Nov 16th 2022
Say Yes To The SPF
The 411 on your #1 skincare essential.
SPF, am I right? Before we get into it - raise your hand if you have heard the popular spoken word Baz Lurhman song from the late 90’s. Stick with me here.
It opened with:
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '99
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The one tip. It’s that simple! When applied correctly, daily, and yes - year round - sunscreen decreases your risk of skin cancer and helps prevent premature aging caused by the sun like wrinkles and dark spots. What’s the catch? Nothing.
Remember, if you’re investing in skincare like vitamin C serums , hyaluronic acid moisturizers and dark circle reducing eye creams to keep your skin smooth, fresh and glowy, you must end your skincare routine with SPF. It’s the ultimate skin-saver to protect your skin’s health and appearance!
Ok, so we all promise to wear sunscreen daily. Conversation over? Not yet - because we asked and you shared with us your burning SPF questions. But when do we apply it? How much? What kind? Do we really need to wear it in the winter? So many questions, but fret not, we have all your answers.
So, let’s re-apply our sunscreen, toast with some virtual caffeinated beverages and dive right in because we’re about to go deep on SPF.
Who needs to wear sunscreen?
Literally everyone over the age of 6 months should apply - and reapply - daily. This includes people who burn easily and those who tend to now burn at all. Remember, sun damage is cumulative over your lifetime - so start young, or start now. Your future skin will thank you.
What does SPF mean?
SPF stands for sun protection factor. Scientifically speaking, it’s the measure of how much UV radiation is required to produce sunburn on protected skin (i.e. skin with sunscreen) vs. the amount required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin. As the SPF value increases, sunburn protection increases.
Fun fact: Until the early 90’s, SPF 15 was the standard, but now SPF 30 is the minimum dermatologists recommend for daily use.
What is a chemical sunscreen vs. a mineral sunscreen?
Chemical sunscreen is made of ingredients that penetrate into the skin, absorb UV rays, convert them to heat and release them from the body.
The pros: Chemical sunscreens tend to be lighter weight and absorb into the skin, so they typically don’t leave a white cast.
The cons: You must apply 20-30 minutes before sun exposure so the chemical sunscreen has time to sink into skin and do its thing. It may also be more irritating to the skin.
Mineral sunscreen (aka physical sunscreen) is made of ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that sit on the skin’s surface to physically prevent UV rays from penetrating the skin.
The pros: Mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have been deemed safest for skin by the Environmental Working Group. Also, they go to work instantly to block and protect against UVA/UVB rays and tend to soothe and calm the skin, making mineral sunscreen a great option for sensitive skin types.
Which sunscreen is best?
We are partial to mineral sunscreen because well..our award-winning Block Star 100% Mineral Daily Sunscreen with SPF 30. It features a vanishing tint that blends effortlessly into skin with no white cast. It’s non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested and leaves skin with a smooth, flawless finish. It is the SPF you will actually want to wear every day.
However, we really just want you to WEAR. YOUR. SUNSCREEN, so mineral vs. chemical - the one you will wear is the one that is best for you.
When to apply sunscreen?
Experts agree applying your sunscreen as the final step in your skincare routine every day is a must. If you have a 10-step skincare routine or you prefer the 2-step, sunscreen should always go last. Again, if you are using other skincare products to keep your skin looking amazing - skipping the SPF makes it all for naught.
How much and how to apply sunscreen?
So! How much? Dermatologists suggest at least ½ teaspoon to your face and neck. To apply sunscreen, dab onto nose, cheeks, forehead, chin & neck in thin, buildable layers, then blend into skin and repeat. Be sure to get commonly missed areas like the hairline and ears.
Do I need to wear sunscreen indoors?
Yes. UVA (aging) and UVB (sunburn) rays are sneaky and can easily penetrate through windows – including car windows! So, wearing a broad spectrum SPF daily is a must.
Do I need to wear sunscreen in the winter?
I think we all know the answer to this. Yes! While UVB rays - those responsible for burning - can be reduced by cloud cover, UVA rays - the ones responsible for aging - are still in full effect. UVA rays can penetrate clouds and glass and go deep into the skin to cause signs of aging (like dark spots and wrinkles) and initiate certain skin cancers. So while it may feel strange to lather on sunscreen when baby, it’s cold outside - remember, UV rays do not follow a calendar when it comes to causing sun damage.
Ok, sunshines. That’s a wrap on our SPF deep dive. We hope you learned a thing or two about sunscreen and the importance of complexion protection every day, all year round. Now get out there and have some good screen fun!