Skincare can indeed keep your skin healthy and protect it from pollution and free radicals. However, there is one important thing that we MUST do in the last step of our skincare routine – sunscreen! Sunscreen is like a shield that protects our skin from the sun’s UVB and UVA rays. If we are exposed without proper protection, there will certainly be consequences.
On this occasion, Serenitree will explain why sunscreen is so important, its benefits, and some do’s and don’ts tips that you need to know about using sunscreen. Using the wrong sunscreen can also cause skin problems. So, let’s take a look together!
Why is sunscreen so important?
Sunlight itself is good for your health because it triggers the synthesis of vitamin D. Vitamin D is beneficial for bone health and increases calcium absorption in the body. However, at the same time, Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can also be a major threat to skin health. Overexposure to UV rays can seriously damage our skin. Therefore, sunscreen is the skin’s first and foremost shield against these harmful UV rays.
Apart from being a shield, sunscreen also plays a role in preventing hyperpigmentation, a condition where the skin color becomes uneven with the appearance of dark patches or blemishes. There are several types of hyperpigmentation, namely: Lentigo, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If this has already happened, it will be more difficult for us to get rid of it!
Also, hyperpigmentation isn’t the only problem we can avoid with sunscreen. Skin that is overexposed to the sun tends to age faster. Sunscreen helps protect the skin’s collagen, a protein that keeps skin firm and wrinkle-free. You don’t want your glowing skin to age quickly, do you? Especially if it’s already happened, this risk is also difficult to overcome!
Another reason why sunscreen is important for the skin can be seen in its function of reducing the risk of skin cancer. Exposure to UV rays can cause skin cell mutations, or what we call the precursors of skin cancer. Of course, all of this is one of the most serious and dangerous skin problems. But take it easy, with regular sunscreen application, we can avoid it.
Now that Sereni-Trees already understands how important the role of sunscreen is for our skin, we shall not be too lazy to use sunscreen again!
Difference between Physical and Chemical Sunscreen
After we understand the dangers and importance of sunscreen for the skin, the next step is to choose the right sunscreen! Generally, there are 2 types of sunscreen, namely physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen.
Physical sunscreens, otherwise known as mineral sunscreens, contain active ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They work by forming a physical layer over the skin that reflects UV rays. The advantage of this type of sunscreen is that it works instantly after application and is suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. However, they can leave a white cast on the skin and feel heavier.
Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, or octisalate. They work by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat before being released from the skin. The advantage of chemical sunscreens is that they are lighter, do not leave a white film, and are suitable for daily use. But, they may cause irritation to sensitive skin.
Which one is better? Both have their own benefits and drawbacks. It comes down to our own skin preferences and needs.
For each skin type, there are more tips for choosing sunscreen:
- Dry Skin
If your skin is dry, choose a sunscreen that contains moisturizing ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid.
- Oily Skin
Owners of oily skin should look for a sunscreen that is non-comedogenic. Non-comedogenic means it won’t clog pores and cause acne. Try to choose a water-based or gel sunscreen.
- Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin needs a sunscreen that is free from chemicals so there is less chance of irritation. Physical sunscreen is the best choice for sensitive skin.
Do’s and Don’ts of Using Sunscreen
Now let’s get into the tips for using sunscreen that is good for the skin! It’s useless if you’ve been diligently using sunscreen, but it’s wrong and you end up not getting the benefits perfectly. Here, take note of the Sereni-Trees, Do’s of using sunscreen:
- Use at least SPF 30+
Make sure the sunscreen you use has an SPF of at least 30+. A higher SPF provides better protection against UV rays.
- Apply 15-20 Minutes Before Activity
Sunscreen needs time to penetrate into the skin and work. Different skin types need different amounts of time!
- Choose Sunscreen Type According to Skin Type
Every skin type has different needs. Choose a sunscreen that suits your skin type, whether it’s chemical or physical sunscreen as well as the content and method of application (spray, cream, lotion).
- Use Sunscreen Every Day
Make sure to use sunscreen as the last step in your skincare routine! This will keep your skin protected throughout the day.
- Use on Unprotected Skin
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on uncovered parts of the skin such as the ears, neck, and other parts exposed to the sun.
- Use Two Fingers/1 Teaspoon
Take enough sunscreen to protect the skin well, no need to overdo it! Two fingers or about a teaspoon is the ideal amount.
Easy right? There are actually not too many complicated things you have to do to apply sunscreen correctly. The last step is to avoid what we should NOT do with sunscreen:
- Sunscreen Application Only Once A Day
Once is not enough! Reapply every two hours, especially if you do a lot of outdoor activities.
- Not Using Other Protective Equipment
Sunscreen is not the only protection from UV rays. We can reduce the effects of UV rays by using other protective gear such as hats and sunglasses.
- Uneven Application
Make sure to apply sunscreen evenly all over your face and body. If not, you will end up with stripes and uneven results!
- Only Use Sunscreen in Summer
A common mistake is to only use sunscreen during summer or outdoors. In fact, UV rays are present all year round and we can still be exposed even indoors.
In conclusion, even though the skin is moisturized, hydrated, and nourished by all kinds of skincare, we must still use the shield that is sunscreen! Make sure to choose the right sunscreen for your skin type and condition. You also have to be diligent with your application! For a more complete and maximized skincare routine, check out the skincare usage order article!