Most people have a love-hate relationship with the sun. We love the Vitamin D, the way it raises our spirits and the sun-kissed look it gives our skin. But we hate sun burns, brown spots and the premature signs of aging caused by sun exposure. The culprits? UVA and UVB rays. Though they bring light and heat, they can also damage your skin if you don’t take the proper precautions.
And that means all the time, rain or shine. UV rays are active year-round! That’s why you see SPF cropping up in more and more day creams, serums and even makeup. We love to see it: it’s easier than ever to add sun safety to your daily beauty routine! Keep reading for our tips, tricks and products to protect your skin in every season.
Get you SPF
protection on the daily
As long as there’s daylight, there are UV rays (even when you can’t see the sun). Year-round, in the city or wherever else, your face is exposed to these rays and needs to be protected. To go out without risking damage to your skin, apply a sun cream just before you put your makeup on. You could also try a serum or a day cream with SPF, a BB cream or a foundation that has SPF integrated… Depending on your skincare routine or how much time you have in the morning, there are endless solutions to get your SPF every day. Here are 4 of our favourite ways.
a moisturiser with SPF
The comfort of an antioxidant moisturiser, enriched with a UV filter and a high SPF, gives your skin the protection it needs to take on the day, every day.
serums and fluids with SPF
Already use serum in your routine? Did you know there are formulas out there with sun protection? If you can’t find the right combination, you could also try a fluid with SPF. Apply it after your moisturiser for a cool, multi-layered approach to sun safety.
makeup with SPF
A perfect fix when you don’t have time to apply a separate sun cream. Foundation, tinted moisturiser, concealer, or even setting spray can come with SPF. They unify and illuminate your complexion, all while protecting your face from harmful UVs.
A must when it comes to any SPF:
a good cleanser
At night, don’t skip your cleanser. A good gel or oil cleanser will eliminate any and all residue from your SPF products that can otherwise clog your pores. So you can protect your skin from UVs, but also rid it of impurities to stay fresh-faced and beautiful.
Fun in the sun,
the safe way
In the summer (or whenever there’s high exposure, like on a ski slope), the sun’s rays are stronger. And you’re also exposed from head to toe: your hair, face, legs and arms are all bare. So it’s essential to choose broad-spectrum sun care (anti-UVA & UVB) with a higher SPF. Other criteria: a texture that suits your skin type and composition. Whether you prefer chemical filters (absorbent action) or mineral filters (reflecting action), discover how to enjoy the nice weather with guaranteed peace of mind.
UV Shield no1:
a facial sunscreen
At the start of the season, don’t hesitate to apply products with SPF 30 (medium to dark skin) or SPF 50 (light skin). That way your skin will have time to adjust and your tan will be more luminous.
UV Shield no2:
a body sunscreen
Waterproof formulas if you go swimming, SPF sprays in the city… Light textures (gel, spray) for oily skin, richer textures (lotions, creams) for dry skin. More than anything, it’s important to want to apply your sun care, and even enjoy it!
UV Shield no3:
UV rays, sweat, salt, chlorine, sand, wind… Whatever your plans are, your hair ends up taking a lot of abuse. From protective oil to after-sun masks, you can give it some love before, during and after any fun in the sun…
UV Shield no4:
Relieve, refresh, repair, smooth, hydrate and extend your tan: after-sun care has numerous virtues that make it indispensable. Your skin will get its softness and comfort back, two aspects that show it’s recovered from sun exposure.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and is generally communicated by numbers on the packaging of sun care products. The number represents how much time your skin can be exposed to the sun’s rays before it burns. But SPF only concerns UVB rays, which are responsible for sunburns.
The SPF number measures a sunscreen’s ability to filter UVB rays. The higher the number, the stronger the protection. How long you can be exposed to these rays depends on a number of factors: your skin’s phototype, the strength of the UV rays… Make sure you read the instructions that are specific to each product, and always check the expiration date before using.
UVA and UVB are the two types of solar rays. Most rays are actually UVA. They penetrate deep down into your skin and are responsible for causing signs of premature aging, dark spots and skin cancer. UVBs only make up 25% of rays. They stay at the skin’s surface and activate melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin colour and makes it tan. UVBs are also the ones that cause sunburns.
“Broad spectrum” means a sunscreen can filter both UVA and UVB rays. This is essential when you want to ward off signs of premature aging, sunburns and any other negative effects of the sun, including skin cancer.
A chemical filter is an ingredient in sunscreen made of organic molecules. They absorb UV rays instead of your skin. Labs are required to choose from a list of filters that are authorised by health officials. If your skin is sensitive, or you have allergic reactions, mineral filters are generally a better option.
A mineral filter (also called a physical or inorganic filter) is made up of different microparticles of minerals (often zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) that diffract light and reflect UV rays. These act like a barrier on your skin. They’re less allergenic and are effective as soon as applied. Environmentally-friendly, you can often find mineral filters in organic sun products (which are normally paraben- and conservative-free).
- Apply a sun cream or any other form of SPF every day, even if the sun isn’t visible.
- Apply your daily SPF in the morning or before any long exposure to the sun.
- In the summer, reapply your SPF at least every 2 hours, and more often if you’re sweating or after going for a swim.
- Check the expiration date on your SPF products, and the shelf-life of each product when sorting through your beauty products.
- UVA rays can damage your skin even through glass. So don’t hesitate to apply sunscreen, even if you’re staying inside.
- Wash your face thoroughly at night to get rid of any residue from your SPF that can clog your pores.
- Favour textures that are lighter, like gel or spray, if you have oily skin. Go for a richer texture, like a lotion or cream, if you have dry skin. Oils are good for all skin types. The most important thing is picking a sunscreen you enjoy applying, so you’ll want to use it all the time.
- The lighter your skin tone, the higher your SPF should be. But dark skin needs protection too! While it’s true that phototype VI skin has more natural protection because of a high concentration of melanin, this skin type isn’t immune to sunburns. On top of that, sun exposure can cause age spots on dark skin that are dark or light. A product with SPF 10-20 is great protection for darker skin tones.
- Understanding skin phototypes: phototype I comprises very fair skin, phototype II comprises fair skin, phototype III comprises medium-fair skin tones, phototype IV comprises light brown skin, phototype V comprises dark brown skin, and phototype VI comprises very dark brown and black skin.
- Sunscreen made of chemical filters should be applied 15-30 minutes before exposure. Ideally, you should first apply once while you’re at home, before going out. Then you should regularly reapply after that.