Summer 2017: 3 Tips for Picking the Right Sunscreen

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Temperatures are rising, and with the sun on top, it’s very important to find the proper sunscreen to best deal with the sun all the while taking care of your skin.

Here are a few pieces of advice that should help each and every one find the ideal product, based on skin type and needs.

Oils, creams, lotions, milks, wipes… every brand offers different ways to protect your skin against the sun. More than the type of product though, what really matters is the sun protection factor, which needs to be picked based on skin type, which part of the body it is for and how much sun will be hitting it. Needless to say, this can get rather confusing.

Solar Protection Factor (SPF)

A sunscreen’s SPF is indicated right on the label, and relates to two factors: skin type (extremely sensitive to resilient) and exposure conditions (moderate to extreme).

There are four phototypes, meaning an aptitude to tan or redden with more or less ease, and the lighter the hair and skin a person has, the more sensitive and fragile they are considered, which calls for a higher SPF.

As for sun exposure, since summer is all about beach and prolonged outdoor activities, we’re looking at “significant exposure.”

So, people with white or fair skin, those with freckles should look for an SPF of 50+, while those with light skin, with or without freckles, but who can develop a bit of a tan under the sun should opt for a high protection in the 30-50 SPF range.

Light skinned people with brown hai,r but who tan easily, should go for an SPF of 15-25, while darker-skinned people can settle for a light protection in the 6-10 range.

What Texture to Pick?

Contrary to popular belief, the various textures are all practically equally efficient in protecting your skin from UV rays. Brands have improved their formulas to give their products a minimum SPF of 30, even for oils that people often think of as inefficient.

Though it is always going to be important to select an SPF made for your phototype (don’t select a sun spray that only has an SPF of 30 if you have very sensitive skin), the type of product you buy is an entirely personal decision.

Oils are usually best for those in search of a glossy or iridescent effect, whereas sprays will satisfy the more impatient who just want something light and non-sticky.

This is a quality also found in mists, a product steadily becoming more popular. Both of these options should be massaged into the skin anyway in order to provide maximum protection.

Milks today have been enhanced to leave behind a light and glossy layer, but they can prove to be rather sticky on some skin types. In the end, the go-to has always been and always be a cream, as it offers the highest SPF and is more water resistant than the others. It is also ideal for dry skins.

Facial Protection

It is crucial to protect the face from the sun, with textures and SPFs intended for it. Generally, powders and foundations list their SPF, but they tend to be light and aren’t necessarily best for being in the sun with beach conditions.

Unlike the body, the face is always exposed to UV rays, which in the long run leads to faster aging of the skin, a loss in elasticity and in spots. In order to avoid this, you should protect your skin every day.

Of course it is possible to use the same sunscreen for body and face, but certain textures are better adapted for the face and thus more comfortable to wear on a daily basis. There are now creams, sprays, milks and even gels made specifically to protect the face, with or without effects.

Though the choice should always be made based on SPF depending on phototype and level of exposure, it is also possible to fine-tune the search for anti-aging, anti-wrinkle and anti-spot sunscreens, and even sunscreens for babies that hydrate and nourish as well as protect.

Already a huge success last summer, solar sticks are a good compromise for the face, especially thanks to their ease of use. But be careful, some are restricted for use on certain parts of the face, such as the lips or nose.

Source: AFP Relaxnews

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