How Does Sunscreen Protect Your Skin?

How Does Sunscreen Protect Your Skin?

Sunscreen is THE BEST beauty product out there. 

Seriously, there is no better skincare tool out there to keep your skin looking even, dewy, and snatched. 

No, it’s not going to cover any of your insecurities. But, it will help prevent wrinkles, textured skin, sunspots, and dryness—not to mention skin cancer!

That means you should be wearing sunscreen every single day. It should be included in every part of your skincare routine. 

If you’re not convinced, we get it. This is seriously not the norm. (Though it 100% should be.) 

However, we think if you have an understanding of how sunscreen works, you might see things the way we do. 

Here’s how sunscreen works and why we decide to wear it anywhere anytime.

(Um, yes. Even in the shade.) 

How Does Sunscreen Protect Your Skin?

How Does Sunscreen Protect Your Skin?

Sunscreen works by reflecting or absorbing in the UV rays to prevent sun damage to skin cells. Different types of sunscreen protect differently, which we’ll get into in a minute.  

No matter the sunscreen, it needs to be reapplied every two hours AT LEAST to be effective. 

If you’re sweating at a summer soiree or soaking it up in the pool, you’ll probably need it even more often than that. Like, recoat that shit every 30 minutes just to be safe.

However, it’s not just at a sunny outdoor gathering that you need to worry. You encounter UV rays literally everywhere you go. 

Driving in a car, flying in an airplane, sitting next to a window, or scrolling in front of a screen are all sources of sun exposure. YEP. UV gremlins are everywhere...

Don’t forget your sun is an organ—your prettiest organ too. It needs to be protected from dangerous UV rays to stay healthy and beautiful.

Different Types Of Sunscreen

Different Types Of Sunscreen 

Mineral Sunscreen

We like mineral sunscreens. They protect skin from the sun by creating a physical barrier to reflect UV rays. 

The mineral sunscreen, which is usually made of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, sits on top of the skin and prevents sun damage. 

Usually, they leave an ashy appearance on your skin, but you can get tinted products to minimize the effect—or just embrace it. We think good skincare is sexy AF. 

Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens absorb UV radiation instead of reflecting it. 

This is still a super useful method of preventing sun exposure! And, chemical sunscreens don’t leave that white residue and the feeling on your skin is usually thinner and lighter. 

Normally, if you have a skincare or makeup product that includes SPF protection, it has chemical sunscreen mixed in. 

What people don’t love are the potential negative health effects of chemical sunscreen, since it’s absorbed into your body and bloodstream. Do your own research and make your own call on that! 

How To Choose A Sunscreen

How To Choose A Sunscreen

Consider your specific skincare needs. 

First of all, consider your skincare needs. Is your skin dry? Is it oily? Do you have acne? Is your skin pretty sensitive to products?

If your skin has any special needs, make sure your sunscreen serves that. 

Like Ombrelle Complete Sensitive Advanced would be good for you sensitive girlies. Elta MD Oil-Free SPF might be best for you if you’re dabbing oil off your forehead all day. 

There’s no reason your sunscreen should make your skincare probs worse-get something that makes sense for your needs!

Make sure it has broad spectrum protection and SPF 30+.

You need sunscreen that’ll protect from UVA and UVB rays. Only one time gives you a sunburn, but both will damage your skin if it's not protected!

To confirm the sunscreen works for both types of rays, make sure it says “broad spectrum protection.” 

Also, get sunscreen that is minimum SPF 30 (we prefer 50!). SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and it represents how much of the incoming UV rays will be reflected or absorbed. 

Get something that works with your skin tone. 

That white, ashy residue that mineral sunscreen leaves behind may not be ideal for every skin tone. 

However, if you have darker skin, you don’t need to jump straight to chemical sunscreen (though you can if you want to). There are tinted mineral sunscreens that are perfect for all skin tones! 

Our favorite tinted sunscreen is Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion

Confirm its water resistant.

Water resistant sunscreens are definitely the right call, even if you’re not yachting, surfing, or swimming. 

Sweat, rain, and other everyday splish and splash can make your sunscreen wear right off. 

Confirm it says “water resistant” on the sunscreen bottle. 

Think about where you’re applying the sunscreen.

You should apply sunscreen everywhere. That includes your face! 

A body sunscreen makes sense, and it’s easy enough to fall in love with sunscreen body lotion like COOLA Organic Sunscreen or sunscreen mist like Supergoop! PLAY Antioxidant Body Mist. However, what about your face?

Our face needs special care. Not only because it’s pretty much always exposure to the sun, but because you’ve got your makeup on! 

You can apply sunscreen and reapply sunscreen without fucking up your makeup, believe it or not. You can use a moisturizer with sunscreen built in, or grab an SPF setting spray like Ulta Beauty Facial Setting Spray or Pacifica Beauty, Set & Protect Matte Sheer Setting Mist.

Remember, sunscreen can’t 100% protect you from the sun. 

No matter what sunscreen you use or how good your products are, sunscreen can’t protect your skin 100%. 

It’s best to use protective clothing on top of a great sunscreen! Think sunglasses, a floppy hat, and sun protection gloves

Ehm, might we recommend the functional and fashionable BOUGIE DRIVING GLOVES??? 

Clothing is the perfect way to represent your signature style AND save your skin. 

What’s not to love?! ♡

Want to know the secret to perfect skin? It’s sunscreen!

Are we obsessed with sunscreen? Yes. 

In fact, our founder Lauryn Bosstick wrote a book and created a podcast called Get the Fuck Out of the Sun to really showcase the magic of sunscreen. Definitely check those out if you haven’t yet!

Also, browse The Skinny Confidential Shop for more must-have skincare products and look around the blog for more beauty advice. 

Ladies, it’s time to reach all those skincare goals!