Spending time outside, especially when temperatures are rising, is a great way to reduce stress, stay active and top up your vitamin D. However, there’s one non-negotiable that you need to be aware of before heading out, and that’s protecting yourself from ultraviolet (UV rays) exposure by using sunscreen.
Unfortunately, misinformation about sunscreen is common, and the category can be confusing, to say the least. But don’t let all the noise prevent you from protecting your skin. We’ve researched and sourced advice and sunscreen tips from dermatologists to help shed light on sun care facts, including how to efficiently reapply sun protection factor (SPF) to ensure high levels of protection from UV rays all year long.
Read on to discover sunscreen for acne prone skin that’ll deliver complete sun protection without the shine and the tips, tricks and seasonal sun and skincare product swaps that will help prevent summer breakouts.
Sun protection tips
When the forecast switches to sunny skies, our attention turns to these skin savers without fail. But the reality is that the damaging side effects of the sun’s rays are felt all year round, so protecting your skin needs to be an everyday endeavour. Here are the most touted sun protection safety tips from the pros that you should implement in your routine.
1. Call in the backup. While sunscreen is a powerful tool in sun protection, dermatologists insist it shouldn’t be your only line of defence. A multi-prong protection approach is the best shield against premature skin aging and skin cancer. First, combine a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) with other protective strategies, like wearing clothing that has been designed for sun protection and tested to confirm its ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). Also, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes as well as a wide-brimmed hat. Sure, a hat gives shade to the back of your neck, ears and face, but it also protects your scalp and hair, as UV rays can make hair brittle and frayed.
2. Water and sun safety. Many people make the mistake of applying sunscreen when they get to the beach, lake or pool and then immediately jump into the water. Big mistake. You want to apply your chemical sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before you get into the water, and make sure it’s a water-resistant formula, like Vichy Idéal Soleil Sport Ultra-Light Refreshing Lotion SPF 60. The high-broad-spectrum lotion delivers 80 minutes of water and sweat resistance and is formulated to be applied (or reapplied) to wet or dry skin.
3. Sunscreen should be worn inside and outside. Sunscreen is top of mind (at least it should be) when you’re spending time outdoors, but dermatologists warn about incidental sun damage that can accumulate. Indoor UV exposure can occur from ultraviolet rays that penetrate through glass, which is UVA. Even worse, UVA is emitted at the same level all day long, whereas UVB (blocked by glass) peaks by midday. If you work next to a window, it’s important to apply sunscreen on your face, neck and décolleté and on the backs of your hands. For super comfortable protection, try Vichy Capital Soleil Ultra-Light UV Lotion SPF 60. If you have acne-prone skin, consider sunscreen for oily skin like Vichy Capital Soleil Anti-Shine Dry Touch UV Lotion SPF 60. Formulated with oil-absorbing perlite, it leaves a matte appearance and provides long-lasting sweat and sebum absorption.
Sunscreen application tips
When you use sunscreen correctly, you protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, reducing your risk of sunburn, skin cancer and premature signs of aging. Unfortunately, the details—like what kind to wear, how much to apply and when to reapply—can be confusing. So, follow these expert tips for applying sunscreen and give your skin the protection it deserves.
1. Ace your base. Before you apply your go-to spray sunscreen, consider starting with a more traditional cream-type lotion for your base. Begin with a dry-touch formula that feels like a second skin, like Vichy Capital Soleil Bare Skin Feel UV Lotion SPF 60. With broad-spectrum protection, this moisturizing lotion will give you much better coverage than a spray. Also, when it comes to spray formulas, it’s difficult to apply enough sunscreen to your body, which experts say is two milligrams per square centimetre. So, it’s best to use sprays for touch-ups.
2. The magic number is 30. The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends a minimum SPF of 30 because it’s clinically proven to deliver a sufficient amount of defence against the adverse effects of UV rays. As the SPF number increases it ultimately starts plateauing between SPF 50 to 60, protect you from 98% of UVB rays.
3. Apply the perfect amount. To get the total amount of your sunscreen’s SPF, you must slather on the right amount. Dermatologists say the sweet spot is two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimetre of skin, which translates to a shot glass full to cover the entire body. The face has a different measurement: half a teaspoon, or two finger lengths (a more user-friendly measurement).
4. Tips for applying mineral sunscreen to avoid a white cast. Finding the best mineral sunscreen isn’t the chore it used to be. The once greasy and thick sun filters (zinc and titanium dioxide) almost always caused a chalky white cast, but now the formulas are much more sophisticated and wear like their chemical counterparts. The beauty of mineral sunscreens is that you can apply them without any downtime because they physically deflect rays, like a mirror. To guarantee no white cast, look for formulas that are tinted, like Vichy Capital Soleil Mineral Tinted UV Lotion SPF 60.
Sunburn safety tips
While it’s always best to prevent sunburn, we know that that’s easier said than done. A sunburn is a visible reaction to exposure to UV rays; these rays hit the skin at wavelengths ranging from 290 to 400 nanometres. The main culprit is exposure to dangerous UVB rays, which have a medium wavelength. They damage the outer layer of the skin, causing a sunburn, which can turn skin red, tender and sensitive to the touch and, in the most severe cases, cause blistering. Here are the best sunburn safety tips for taking care of your sun-ravaged skin.
1. Keep skin hydrated and moisturized. UV light causes inflammation in the skin, which is why it’s essential to add hydration and help repair the skin barrier as quickly as possible. Look for moisturizers containing aloe vera, sodium hyaluronate and mineralized water, like Vichy’s volcanic water, for the most skin-soothing effects. For post-sun and burn care, try Vichy Capital Soleil After Sun Milk; the gel-like formula feels instantly cooling while it works to repair dehydrated skin and infuse it with protection.
2. Blisters be gone! The most severe symptom of sunburn is blistered skin, which is a second-degree burn caused by sun exposure. It can form small bumps on the skin that are usually white or transparent. The experts all agree: Never pop these blisters! They are there to help protect against infection and heal the skin. Instead, your healthcare provider may recommend to take ibuprofen to reduce swelling and place cold, damp packs on blistered skin to take down the heat and minimize blister size, and then follow up with a moisturizer.
3. Resist the urge to peel your sunburn. Our skin is constantly going through a shedding cycle in which dead cells fall off the surface (every 30 days), but this process is usually invisible. However, when you’ve burned that top layer due to exposure to UVB, it kills skin cells prematurely, so the damaged cells die and start to shed visible sheets. We know it’s tempting to peel them, but leave them be; otherwise, you risk slowing down the healing process, increasing inflammation and causing infection. Instead, speed things up by applying Vichy Idéal Soleil After Sun SOS Balm, which instantly relieves burns and restores skin’s protective functions with intensive hydration.