A lot of people get close to their 30’s before they start worrying about the visible signs of aging. Why wait until 30? Why wait to fix it when you could be actively working to prevent wrinkles and hyperpigmentation? Why do I sound like an infomercial?!
So what’s this anti aging secret? Sun protection!
Exposure to UV radiation aids in the development of wrinkles, rough skin texture, uneven skin tone and the development of skin cancer. While you can try to repair damage and soften the signs of aging with serums, the best you can do is to start protecting your skin from UV damage as soon as possible.
I like to have dedicated sun protection rather than products that include protection within their formula. My reasoning for this is because, while there is SPF in my BB cream, I’m not using enough BB cream where it offered the amount of protecting advertised. It’s generally advised to use a teaspoon to half a teaspoon of product to reap the full benefits of SPF, and I rather use a teaspoon of sunscreen than BB cream. A dedicated sun protection step means I’m getting the most protection possible.
Two types of sunscreens exist, physical and chemical based. Physical sunscreens use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to reflect and dissipate UV radiation. Chemical sunscreens use carbon based compounds to absorb and convert UV radiation into heat. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on personal preference and skin type, as their formulations tend to vary from brand to brand
- Physical Sunscreen Ingredients: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
- The good: They are longer lived than chemical protection, being resistant to sweat. They leave a matte finish to skin, usually better about oil control. Less likely to irritate sensitive skin types.
- The meh: They tend to leave a white cast/streaks on skin, texture can be hard to work into skin, can leave heavy feeling on face
- Chemical Sunscreen Ingredients: oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone
- The good: much thinner in consistency than physical protection, can be more moisturizing than physical sunscreens, typically doesn’t leave a white cast.
- The meh: Chemical filter are shorter lived, can easily be sweated off or rinsed off with water. Can be greasy especially for oily skin. Potentially trigger sensitive skin.
The phrase “your mileage may vary” hits hard when it comes to sun protection. I have had people suggest sunscreens that worked great for them but not for myself countless times. It takes dedication and a lot of samples to find one that works for you. But if my skin works hard to make sure I look good, I can only return the favor by working hard to find a sunscreen!
Oh, and don’t forget to reapply! Sunscreen can be washed off, sweated off, or be used up! Reapply often if you’re in constant sun exposure.