Does SPF really matter?

According to everyone and their mother, the answer is yes, SPF matters! Now if you’re like me the idea of SPF is daunting and you just don’t apply it on a daily basis – guilty!

To be honest, I think because there are so many different types of sunscreen I’m just overwhelmed by the variety. So how does one choose a sunscreen? How high of a SPF do you really need? What should you look for in a sunscreen?

After a lot of research and chatting with experts in the skincare field, I was educated with the following:

  • Select a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection. This means that the sunscreen protects against both UVA (contribute to skin cancer and premature aging) and UVB rays (causes sunburn and skin cancers)
  • Choose a sunscreen at least 15 SPF or higher
  • If the sunscreen claims it is water resistant, it must specify whether it lasts for 40 or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating
  • This is very important: when applying sunscreen you will need to at least let it sit for 15-20 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours or as directed on the package to ensure optimal protection
  • If you have sensitive skin (like I do) look for sunscreens that use zinc oxide and titanium oxide to block UV rays
  • A sunscreen life hack = purchase foundation that includes SPF *boom* This will help ensure that your face is always protected from the sun without needing to apply a separate sunscreen.

Sunscreens come in a variety of forms including lotions, creams, ointments, gels, sprays and lip balms. Choosing which one works for you is really your preference! I had to try quite a bit of different sunscreens with different ingredients to see which worked for me (especially because I have very sensitive skin). Below are my top 5 sunscreen recommendations (in no particular order):

  1. Avene Complexion Correction Shield
  • Includes Titanium Dioxide + Zinc Oxide
  • UVA/UVB SPF 50+ protection
  • Vitamins C + E antioxidant protection

This is a really great face sunscreen, it’s really lightweight when applied and doubles as a tinted moisturizer!

  1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion
  • UVA/UVB SPF 50+ protection
  • Oil-free and non-comedogenic

The gel formula is light, refreshing and it made my skin feel moisturized for hours. The best part about this sunscreen is that it doesn’t leave any greasy residue or white marks.

  1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL
  • UVA/UVB SPF 60+ protection
  • Includes Titanium Dioxide
  • Excellent for sensitive skin

The cream formula of this sunscreen is really nice! The non-greasy texture really melts into your skin quickly and leaves your skin very soft.

  1. Alumier MD Sheer Hydration
  • UVA/UVB SPF 40
  • Uses a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, while moisturizing with vitamin E
  • Offered in both untinted and versatile tine that blends beautifully with the skin

This sunscreen is silky and hydrating but doesn’t have that greasy feeling, which is nice.

  1. Vichy Ideal Soleil
  • UVA/UVB SPF 60+ protection
  • Recognized by Canadian Dermatology Association
  • 80 minutes water & sweat resistant

I really enjoy using this sunscreen when I know I’ll be active outdoors. The dry touch lotion formula is lightweight and dries instantly.

The sun is a powerful thing so make sure you take that extra step and apply sunscreen! Your skin will thank you for it.

Have you tried any of these sunscreens? What’s your favourite? Let me know in the comments below.

Note: These products have been provided to me for review, but all opinions are my own

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