It is well known that exposure to UV radiation results in skin damage and premature aging. For our face, this means wrinkles and aging appearance. Facial sunscreen is crucial for our protection. But how can we choose which to buy? I would like to highlight your best options to consider while searching for the best facial sunscreen for you, so let’s have a look at the alternatives on the market:
Last update on 2020-05-19 at 15:58 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our recommended facial sunscreens:
Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen
This product is a great sunscreen to invest into as not only it protects from sun rays but it has a anti-aging formula too. It is designed to block rays and prevent UVA rays for great skin support. Moreover, it will keep your skin hydrated for a youthful appearance.
I personally trust products from Neutrogena as they are a well known manufacturer that seem to put a lot of effort in their testing in order to provide revolutionary products every year. This is not an exception, a great shield for preventing damage from sun rays and a conditioner to keep your skin hydrated at all times. It ticks all the boxes for features I would look at a facial sunscreen, so I highly suggest having a closer look at this one while researching.
Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion
I wanted to include this option on the list as its a budget friendly option for people looking for a travel sized lotion for their trips. I personally love having a travel sized sunscreen with me at all times, so this is a great option to consider in the 3oz option.
Its unique formula helps keeping your skin hydrated at all times, and I love the fact that it is sweat and water resistant for 80 minutes. This is the perfect companion for drivers of convertible cars, and also great for anyone like carrying only the absolute necessary while visiting the beach.
If you haven’t made up your mind yet, and think that a pocket size option is for you, I highly suggest you have a look at this option. You can find it a really attractive price online, so you can have a personal sunscreen with you at all times. You can’t go wrong investing in one.
Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
If you are anything like me and love great smelling sunscreens, you might love this option from Sun Bum. You can find this product at either 3oz travel size option or the regular 8oz. I would consider them a little pricey, but they are work perfectly with their formula keep your skin hydrated and protected. I like that they also have Vitamin E added to the formula, a feature that commonly omitted.
I would consider this a nice alternative to check while researching. I personally would go for the Neutrogena sunscreen but this one smells wonderfully, so make sure you check it out if that’s a feature you look for at a sunscreen.
Here are some tips about DO and DON’Ts
FIRST STEP: Myths that we must get over
One sunscreen is enough – I will use my body sunscreen as facial
No, our facial epidermis differs from the one of our body. It is thinner and more fragile. Facial sunscreens are specially designed for the increased needs of our face skin and they are more moisture. However, if you don’t want to carry two bottles with you there are specific combo products.
I don’t need facial sunscreen – I am a brunette, I have dark skin, etc.
No, we ALL need protection from the sun
I use makeup with SPF so I don’t need extra facial sunscreen
Makeup with SPF is good for the city and everyday use (go to work, shopping, etc) but not for going to the sea neither for sunbathing
If I use a high SPF I will not get a tan
No, SPF is about the level of protection not the level of tan
SECOND STEP: choosing SPF
A bit of theory: Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a measure that shows us the level of protection from UVB. This number shows us how long we can stay under the sun before getting redden. For example, an SPF 15 means that the sun needs 15 times more time to burn us than if we hadn’t used it. However, this is theoretical because the sun can cause also no visible damage (i.e. without get burn).
The crucial factor for choosing SPF is our phototype. It declares the reaction of our skin to sun exposure. It is determined by the color of our skin and hair:
Analytically (regarding Fitzpatrick scale) :
PHOTOTYPE I: extremely white skin (porcelain), blond or red hair and freckles. If you belong here then you have a huge problem with sunbathing – skin burns intensely. Choose SPF 50+
PHOTOTYPE II: white skin, blond hair, maybe a few freckles. Skin gets burn – tans poorly. Choose SPF 50+
PHOTOTYPE III: medium skin color (not very white neither dark), brown or tawny hair. Your skin gets slightly red at first but then it gets a nice bronze tan. Sunscreen with at least SPF 30+
PHOTOTYPE IV: light brown skin tone, dark hair, and eyes (we can name it as “Mediterranean type”). Your skin tans easily and gets burnt rarely. Sunscreen with at least SPF 25+
PHOTOTYPE V & VI: very dark or black skin. You don’t have to worry about sunburn – but you still must use sunscreen. At least SPF 15+
Now that we have chosen the SPF let’s consider the other factors
THIRD STEP: Choosing the right brand
- READ THE LABEL: yes, I know, it takes time and can be boring BUT we need to be conscientious consumers. Otherwise, we may buy something else than the one we need.
- Broad-spectrum: look for a product that protects you from both UVA & UVB
- Water-resistant: choose this for swimming or intense outdoor exercise.
- Skin condition: nowadays there is an enormous variety of facial sunscreens. Choose the one that corresponds better to you (sensitive skin, dry, oily, mature, acne-prone, etc).
- Ingredients: avoid silicones, parabens, oxybenzone which are harmful not only to us but also to the environment (they seep into the sea while we swim).
- ***If you are traveling at different continents or buy from online global sites keep in mind that there are ingredients (such as Tinosorb H and M) that are banned in the US but very common at European sunscreens.
- Avoid spray bottles: even the “safe” ingredients can be harmful through oral or nasal import. Furthermore, there is the danger of contact with your eyes.
- Tinted sunscreens: choose this if you intend to use also makeup (you can, of course, use different products but there is a probability that their characteristics don’t mix well)
Note. At pathological cases, you should first consult your doctor – for example, if you take medication, if you have allergies affiliate with the sun, skin disorders, pregnancy, hereditary predisposition to melanoma, etc.
Enjoy the sun and be safe