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Sunscreen is not just for sunny days…

I’ve always got a good chuckle when people say “I wear sunscreen in the summer….” Just curious….Does the sun go away in the winter?? Haha. No my friend, it does not. 

Did you know that most sun damage is caused not from those times you laid out on the beach but just from your everyday life! Whether it’s walking your dog, driving your car or simply sitting by a window, UV rays are coming down on you. 

Now there are a lot of different things I could talk about when it comes to sunscreen. In fact, if you asked me “What is the one product, if I used nothing else, would you suggest I use on my face?” my answer would be sunscreen. 

Always wear sunscreen!!

The sun is not your friend! It is the number one reason for premature aging of the skin and something that will always be a factor in your life. 

For the sake of this blog I am going to help you choose which type of sunscreen to use. 

Chemical vs Physical Sunscreen

Now a common misconception when people hear the word “chemical” is that it is bad. In this case, chemical is actually referring to the way in which it protects you against the sun.. which I will get into in a minute. 

Chemical sunscreens, yes, are generally not as “natural” as physical sunscreens and some ingredients have been banned over the years. This is why it is important to use sunscreens that are health canada approved. Proper sunscreen will come with a DIN (drug number) on it which means that the product, and it’s ingredients, are properly regulated. 

Okay, back to how it works… 

Chemical sunscreen absorbs the UVA/UVB rays into the skin and converts them into heat, pushing them back out of the skin in a “chemical reaction.”

Why do people like chemical sunscreens?

  • Chemical sunscreens tend to be thinner and leave little to no residue on the skin.
  • They require less rubbing as they absorb into the skin easily.
  • They are more breathable which is often a better solution for layering under makeup. 
  • They hold up better to water, making them the better option for sports and swimming.

Now let’s talk about Physical sunscreen…

A physical sunscreen does just that- physically blocks the sun’s rays from penetrating the skin. This is often referred to as Mineral sunscreen. 

Why do people like physical sunscreens?

  • Less irritating on sensitive skin
  • More natural ingredient list
  • Provide immediate protection
  • More suitable for children

If you ask me if I have a preference for one over the other, the short answer is no.  That being said, depending on your skin type some may be better suited for your individual needs. 

To keep it easy for you, I will share who I like each type for and give a quick reason why:

  1. Melasma– Physical sunscreen

Since melasma is triggered by heat, using a chemical sunscreen can actually worsen the skin rather than help protect it. 

  1. Acne- Chemical sunscreen

As it tends to be lighter, allowing the skin to breathe 

  1. Rosacea- Physical sunscreen

Rosacea is a condition in which the blood vessels of the skin dilate and cause flushing and physical broken blood vessels on the face. Adding heat can cause this to worsen. The best option for this skin is Triple Protection SPF which not only protects against the damaging effects of UV rays but also protects against Near infrared rays, which are the heat rays. 

  1. Darker skin- Chemical sunscreen

If you have a darker skin complexion opt for a chemical sunscreen or you will likely be spending way too much time rubbing it in or complaining about a white cast.

The rest of you, who have pretty normal skin, the option is yours.

The biggest factor to take into play…. You cannot just apply it once and expect to be protected all day. 

I do suggest using at minimum an SPF 30, it isn’t necessary to use a 50 or 60 but anything under 30 really won’t do you much good. 

That little number on the bottle that says 30, 40, 50… all that number means is that it will provide you with 50 minutes more than your body’s natural ability to handle sun. If you burn easy this means you will be applying more frequently than your tanned friend. 

My general rule of thumb is when I feel my skin getting too hot or see any pink I will reapply. For me that is generally every 2 hrs in direct sunlight on the beach. On a normal day at home I am good with my once a day application. It just really depends on what I have on the go. 

And yes, I still get very tanned even though I wear sunscreen… I just don’t get the damaging part of it! No sun spots for this lady!

Lastly for the love of all things holy, the sun is just as strong now in -20 as it is on those +40 days. Put your sunscreen on! Prevention is always cheaper!!!

Not sure what you need or if what you have is good? Let’s talk!

As always,

Your skin revival

Alexis Fry

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