There are so many factors that come into buying an SPF, like - do I want it to spray? Or how long will last? With all the things to consider it can be easy to just grab the first SPF you see. But unfortunately, you're only doing yourself harm. So we're here to provide a simple checklist on what your ideal SPF should look like.
Do I Have the Best SPF for Me?
Choose lotions over sprays and powders. Studies show that when SPF's are sprayed, you can't guarantee that all the product has gone on your skin, or where it actually went. When a spray SPF is clear (like the usually are), this just further adds to the issue.
Mineral or Chemical
What is Physical / Mineral Sunscreen (SPF)? Physical SPF, also known as mineral, sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays without penetrating the deeper layers of the skin.
The active constituents are made of Zinc Oxide and or Titanium Dioxide.
Physical SPF PROS
- Physical sunscreen works immediately after application.
- Physical sunscreen is photostable (it does not decompose when the UV rays hit the skin).
- Suitable for all skin types including the most sensitive.
- Zinc also helps your skin's immunity & healing when inflammation is present. This makes Physical sunscreen best for those with Sensitive and Acne conditions.
Physical SPF CONS
Because these a mineral based they are not invisible & are known to create a white cast. Modern technology has significantly improved the texture to an almost invisible state.
What is Chemical Sunscreen (SPF)? Chemical SPF absorbs into the skin and then absorbs UV rays, converts the rays into heat, and releases them from the body.
Chemical SPF PROs
- Chemical sunscreens perform better in consumer tests, where one pays attention to how long they protect the skin from UV rays,
- Chemical SPF is completely invisible.
Chemical SPF CONS
- Testing showed that from just a single application it increased the blood levels of the chemical actives found in in chemical SPF for days & even weeks
- Can be highly irritating
- In order to be effective chemical sunscreens must be applied to dry, naked skin and require approximately 20 mins for absorption. (It is not recommended to apply anything underneath Chemical sunscreens.)
- Potential adverse health effects with long term use.
- Most are NOT photostable (it DOES decompose when the UV rays hit the skin).
Rating - SPF30+
As you can see, the difference between SPF ratings and their effectiveness don't differ too much. As long as you're getting an SPF that's at minimum SPF30.
UVA Protection - Broad Spectrum label
SPF ratings only measure UVB ray protection. So what about UVA rays?! Don't fear, just look for the broad spectrum label. This means the SPF protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
In the heat or when you're sweating, you're going to want your SPF to be water resistant. Liquid exposure impairs the effects of SPF and even removes it from your skin. So a water resistant SPF allows you to sweat and swim till your hearts content.
The active ingredients in SPF that protect you from UV radiation commonly degrade when exposed to light and heat. When an SPF active is resistant to this degradation it is photostable - like Zinc Oxide in Super Sun SPF50. If your SPF is not photostable, it just means you have to reapply more often.
The reapplication of an SPF is vital.
No sunscreen works effectively all day long. In fact, most break down within approximately 2 hours. However, mineral (physical) sunscreens do last longer as they're photostable, and will work immediately when reapplied.
Chemical SPF's need to applied under your moisturisers and serums AND need to settle for about 20 minutes. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be waiting around for 20 minutes, every 2 hours, just to make sure my sunscreen doesn't degrade before light touches it.
To be regularly reapplying SPF throughout the day, a generous sized mineral SPF is your best option.
To fight hyperpigmentation and damage caused by UV radiation, antioxidants can be included in an SPF to not only protect your skin, but heal it as well.
Leaving your skin enhanced, opposed to just stabilising it.
Skin conditions - If your skin is sensitive or acne prone - look for a 'non-greasy' or 'oil free' mineral formula
Pregnancy - Find a mineral and pregnancy safe SPF
Tanning - Look for tinted SPF's. This means that while SPF is still its primary purpose, it applies a natural tint to skin without the damage of sun tanning.
How to Apply SPF and How much?
In regards to your face and neck, you should be applying approximately one teaspoon, or three finger lines.
One thing people don't realise is that chemical and mineral SPF need to be applied differently. Mineral SPF's should be applied after moisturisers and serums, and it will work instantly. Chemical SPF's on the other hand, must be applied before serums and moisturisers and should be left for approximately 20 minutes to ensure full absorption and effectiveness.
Super Sun SPF50 by Sunny Skin ticks all the boxes for you so you don't have to worry about anything!
Use our quick checklist to see how your SPF matches up.