You can feel that summer is coming when every other email in our Reina Organics inbox is about sunscreen.
Although the questions are usually about product recommendations, SPF is but a part of a much broader subject – sun protection.
Sun protection is one of the biggest skincare mistakes I’ve made. If I could ever go back in time and talk to my younger self, and make her listen, sun protection would be a huge part of our conversation.
In this post I’m sharing my favorite sunscreens about face and body, as well as sun protection lessons I’ve learned which for me were much more important than finding a good product with SPF.
Sun protection is an all year-round thing.
It is not seasonal, and you don’t practice it only when the summer clothes are in your wardrobe.
Sun protection is not reserved for a day on the beach only.
It took me quite some time to lose the belief that if there’s no sunburn, there is no damage. Clouds and windows don’t filter all sun rays and it is exactly those sun rays, the UVA ones, which cause the invisible damage on the skin.
There is no such thing as safe tan.
This for me was the most difficult one, especially because I’m confronted with it e-veh-ry summer.
For the people around me “pale skin” is somehow a sign for being unhealthy. I assume the confusion comes from when someone looks pale when they are sick. I feel that the trend to see bronzed bodies on the pages of magazines during the warmer months also contributes to this misconception.
Anyway, when I put my shorts on in the summer and the remarks start pouring in – "when are you going to get some sun? You need “some color”.
When I think about it I can hardly recall a comment – friends, TV, magazines, anywhere in the spirit of “Oh, she looked stunning with her white skin”. I’ve been paying extra attention to that since I stopped basking in the sun for hours like a lizard and so far the praise for non-tan bodies and face has been disheartening little.
In case you’re wondering what made me change my mind about tan – here we go.
When your skin is exposed to sun it increases the production of the skin pigment called melanin.We call the result of this process “tan”. The reason why the skin does this is the important part – it’s an attempt to protect the skin from further damage caused by the sunrays.
Sun protection means wearing sunglasses, hat and clothes too.
And yes, be extra careful when spending time in the sun between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.
Basically with or without sunscreen you are not doing your skin a favor lying in the sun for hours, even with sunscreen on.
SPF30 is perfectly fine as it blocks 97% of the sun rays.
SPF50 on the other hand blocks 98% which is just one percent more. The downside of SPF50 is that it gives a false sense of more protection and people don’t reapply as often. Which leads me to the next point
Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more often, if needed.
The “if needed” part refers to reapplying more frequently, not whether you need to reapply.
You would need to reapply more often than 2 hours, if you’ve been in the water, excess sweating, wiping yourself with a towel, anything that would get the sunscreen off.
Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28 – while I couldn’t get to apply it without any white residue, my friends both in- and outside the green community are in love with this moisturizer with SPF.
And the name is a great reminder to use it all year round.
Kimberly Sayer Ultra Light Organic Facial Moisturiser SPF30 – my husband’s favourite, with a light citrusy scent this moisturizer is very light weight which makes it perfect for oilier skin types (they have a cream for dry skin too). It’s great for both men and women.
14e cosmetics Aloe Nourish Foundation SPF23 – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this foundation is just as much skincare as it is makeup and its SPF23 is a much-appreciated bonus, especially if you wear makeup daily.
Babo Botanicals – I discovered this brand last year and I’m very happy with it so far. It provides great protection, it’s easy to apply and the biggest plus - it doesn’t leave a white cast. You do have to be careful of your clothes, as the sunscreen could leave white marks (nothing which won’t go away after washing). I use their sheer face sunscreen for the for Eva and she loves it.
Badger – great protection but it does leave a white cast and it is very difficult to spread. Not impossible but it does require some tricks.
This however is the sunscreen I reach out for if Eva will be in the water as it is water resistant.
Raw Elements – same like Badger only this one I use for myself. I think it’s just a matter of personal preference over Badger.
There you go. My own enjoy-the-sun-responsibly rulebook and my favorite products. I’d love to hear what your favorite sunscreen is.