From sprays and creams to water-resistant sticks and fluid formulas, sun protection exists in many forms; there are even sunscreens developed exclusively for the skin on your face. Proper sun protection is without a doubt the most important part of your skin and beauty routine, so be sure you’re treating your skin to the best products available. The face is among the parts of our body that receive the most amount of sun exposure, which is why it requires protection from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Like sunscreens for the body, the best sunscreen for the face can prevent sunburns, minimize signs of aging, and reduces the risk of skin cancer. Non-comedogenic sunscreens sit beautifully on the skin and contain ingredients that won’t clog your pores or cause sensitive or acne-prone skin to flare up.
A quality sunscreen for the face can also serve as a great base for your makeup—a tinted sun cream that mattifies the skin creates an ultra-smooth base for layering makeup. Finally, a sun care product developed exclusively for your face prevents early signs of aging like wrinkles or age spots. Though effective in their own right, sunscreens for the body aren’t formulated specifically for the face, so this texture might not be optimal.
Use a moisturizer with an SPF or a sunscreen?
Wearing a moisturizer with a sun protection factor (SPF) means you’ve already gotten into the habit of wearing products that shield your skin from the sun, and that’s something to celebrate! For the most part, SPF moisturizers contain a minimum SPF of 15, which, while adequate for everyday errand-running use, may not hold up to long periods spent outdoors. Health Canada and the Canadian Dermatology Association both recommend a minimum SPF of 30. Some of La Roche-Posay’s best moisturizers with an SPF provide an SPF of 30, which indicates excellent UVB protection, not to mention high UVA protection and a host of other skin-pampering benefits.
Dermatologists recommend using both a moisturizer and sunscreen—all the more so if the moisturizer contains an SPF—, but in order to be totally effective, a moisturizer with an SPF can’t go it alone. For optimal sun protection benefits, look for a dermatologist-recommend sunscreen.
Many tend to apply their sunscreen after their moisturizer and just before makeup with both types of filters. What’s most important is to apply sunscreen generously and often, based on what makes the most sense for your skincare routine.
How to apply sunscreen to your face correctly, and which ones to choose.
Providing your skin with the sun protection it needs starts with a generous amount of sunscreen. You should be using about a teaspoon-sized amount to sufficiently cover your face and neck.
Choosing a sunscreen depends on your preference, but the good news is that you have options! Organic (sometimes called chemical sunscreens) work by absorbing UV rays and converting these into a small amount of heat. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, contain mineral compounds such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which block out UV rays and scatter them away from the skin.
Though these two products act differently to protect your skin, both are extremely effective. Regardless of what you prefer, the most important thing to consider is that reapplying your sunscreen throughout the day is key to its efficacy, as its effects diminish after about two hours of direct exposure to the sun. Even the best organic or mineral sunscreen can’t provide day-long protection from the sun’s strong rays without reapplication.
Tinted sunscreen and your makeup routine
If you’re in the market for a multitasking product that provides you with sun protection and light coverage to even out your complexion, tinted sunscreens are the way to go.
While some makeup may contain an SPF, most people don’t apply enough makeup to get the same SPF protection as they see on the bottle. A great alternative is to see what tinted sunscreen can do for your skin. La Roche-Posay’s Mineral Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50 is an ultra-light formula that provides protection while lightly evening out your skin tone.
Need more tips on sun safety? Looking for the best products for radiant skin? Get top skincare advice from dermatologists, bloggers, and beauty experts at The Skin Edit.