Most of us understand the importance of wearing sunscreen during summer, but not everyone is aware that wearing a sunblock with broad spectrum coverage is a year-round necessity. Sunscreens with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) are essential also during winter months as they help block UVB and UVA rays, preventing the skin from burning, photo ageing or increasing the chance of developing skin cancer.
According to the British Association of Dermatologist «more than 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in the UK, and while the disease can also occur on parts of the body not exposed to sunlight, extensive sun exposure is thought to be responsible for the vast majority of cases. In more than four out of five cases skin cancer is a preventable disease».
How does sun protection work?
There are two types of sunscreen: chemical and physical. Both of them create a shield on top of your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays but they act in different ways, depending on the mechanism.
The chemical sunscreen works by absorbing the rays before they can actually damage the skin, allowing the UV light get into the skin. Once the rays have been absorbed, the chemicals contained in the sun protection start to work by converting the UV light into heat.
On the other hand, physical sunscreens contain the main ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which create a physical shield, blocking UV rays and reflecting radiations. Which one is better? It really depends on your skin type, as both have pros and cons.
Mineral VS Chemical
- Ideal for sensitive skin and skin prone to eczema and rosacea
- Thicker texture compared to chemical ones
- Sits on the surface of the skin, without being absorbed
- A more frequent application is required
- Typically take around 20 minutes to be absorbed
- Fewer applications required
- Can cause allergic reactions
- Lighter texture and quick absorption
To help narrow down your search, here’s a list of the best face sunscreens recommended by our in-house Skincare Specialist and Beauty Therapist Maria di Chio.
Sunscreen for dry skin
Dermalogica AGE Smart Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 is a medium-weight advanced formula packed with antioxidant White Tea, rich in polyphenols, and a patented polypeptide combined with Glucosamine and Soy that helps improve the appearance of photo aged skin. Ideal for everyone and beloved by dry skin, this broad spectrum moisturizer protects against skin-ageing environmental assault, enhances the skin’s natural ability to fight free radicals and prevents the signs of ageing caused by sugar reacting with proteins in skin (AGEs) and provides long-lasting hydration.
Sunscreen for oily skin
If you feel that your skin is naturally greasy and often with that shiny-look, then you probably think its a real challenge to find the right SPF, as many of them have a quite thick texture. Thanks to the exclusive Fluidactiv patent, this Bioderma Photoderm AKN Mat SPF30 Matifying Fluid protects skin from Uv rays, improves sebum quality as well as the appearance of blemishes. Not only does this formula protects from UVA/UVB, but also preserves and stimulates the skin's defences during sun exposure. Colourless when applied, this SPF instantly absorbs and hydrates, leaving skin with a matte finish.
Sunscreen for sensitive skin
Many people have discovered that chemicals contained in sunscreens can actually irritate the skin causing burning, itching and red bumps. Heliocare 360° Mineral Tolerance Fluid SPF50 has been designed especially for all those with sensitive and intolerant skin as it is fragrance-free and created only with mineral filters to protect the skin from UVA/UVB, visible light and infrared-A. Key ingredients are Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, and a blend of antioxidants such as Fernblock FC, roxisomes, vitamins C and E, which help prevent free radicals from causing damage.
Sunscreen for acne-prone skin
Despite some sunscreens clogging pores and causing breakouts, wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with the right SPF is a step you shouldn’t skip, even if you have acne-prone skin. Anthelios Anti Shine SPF 50+ by La Roche Posay is a new and improved formulation that contains exclusive anti-sweat molecule Airlicium, a powerful molecule with the unique capacity to absorb up to 100x its weight in water, smoothing the skin whilst letting it breathe.
Remember, applying a sunscreen every day helps to slow down the development of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and discolouration, keeping your complexion even and radiant. It prevents sunburn and most importantly it decreases the risk of developing skin cancers, especially melanoma.
Discover our range of Sun Protection