We just crossed the threshold into June.. which means summer is officially just around the corner! And on that note, it’s imperative we talk about sunscreen, which is crucial. Sun care aids in everything from shielding against sunspots and hyperpigmentation, delaying the onset of wrinkles, protecting against painful sunburns, and most important of all, preventing skin cancer. Unfortunately this is the most common form of cancer in the United States, yet it is also the most preventable. Proper education is key, and as we head outdoors to spend more time in the sun (in fairness, sunscreen should be worn no matter what the weather), make sure to try these 6 essential sunscreens for the summer.
Before we list them, let’s quickly cover the Basics of Sun Protection:
- Always look for broad spectrum protection, meaning both Ultraviolent A & B (a.k.a. UVA and UVB) ray protection. The former penetrates deeper into the skin and is linked to a higher causation of melanoma otherwise known as skin cancer. The latter (UVB rays) is what causes sunburns and non-cancerous moles.
- Beyond the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays, sun exposure can also damage elastin in skin cells and speed the onset of age spots. This presents as sagging of the skin, premature wrinkles, spotty discoloration of the skin, etc.
- The SPF number indicates the strength of UVB protection, but beyond SPF 50, the incremental benefit of a higher SPF is minimal. Higher is not necessarily better! Further, the SPF number indicates very little on the strength of UVA protection, so a higher number does not mean better UVA protection either.
- The effects of sunscreen do wear off over the day. It is important to reapply and physically cover up as well.
Despite the warnings above, it’s important to note that sun exposure is also necessary for vitamin D, which promotes overall good health, and even nitric oxide, which helps lower blood pressure. With such conflicting research, it can be confusing as to what’s the best advice. In my opinion, make sure to always protect your face first and foremost. For all other areas, try to protect as needed but no need to go overboard unless you’re more predisposed to melanoma. At the end of the day, do what works for you.
I’m genetically predisposed to sun spots, so sunscreen goes without saying. A little secret for my readers only: I don’t even open the blinds at home if I’m not SPF protected! That’s not even bad- famed Chinese actress Fan Bingbing goes so far as to wear sunscreen when sitting in front of a computer screen. While research has proven that most tech devices do not emit UV light thus rendering the need for sunscreen void, one has to give her props for the diligent sun protection regimen.
On that note, if you’re heading out to soak up that sunlight and spend time outdoors in the coming months, these 6 essential sunscreens for the face should keep you looking fresh and protected all summer long 🙂
Cane + Austin Protect SPF 50+ Sunscreen
Cane + Austin has become one of my favorite brands because not only are the products amazing, but Dr. Austin and his team at the New York Medi-Spa are simply the best as well (make sure to visit them sooner than later as their schedule is filling up)! The Cane + Austin Protect Ultra Sheer Weightless Sunscreen provides both SPF 50+ Broad Spectrum protection and perfect hydration for dry skin. It has a dewier finish, so I would recommend this more during cooler seasons for combination skin types. Nonetheless it’s perfect for all others even in sweltering heat.
ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica
Ultralight Emulstion SPF 50+
A recent discovery as the brand launched in the USA just last year (it’s actually the number one dermatology company in Spain where it’s based), ISDIN’s Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50+ w/ broad spectrum protection is another great option that leaves a nearly matte finish without drying the skin or leaving a white cast. Gone are the days of greasy sunscreen! Not only does it provide great sun protection, my skin also feels healthier thanks to the Vitamin E in the formula, which protects against free radical damage. A final tip: for 100ml at only $50, this is an amazing value.
Shiseido Urban Environment SPF42 Sunscreen
I’ve spoken about this Shiseido Urban Environment SPF42 Sunscreen in the past (see here), and it’s still a favorite! Lightweight with a very matte finish, it’s especially perfect for those with combination skin. It also leaves a very faint white cast, which I personally like for a brightening effect, and a little goes a long way. If you’re looking for a sunscreen for oily skin that also sits well under makeup, this is your holy grail.
SkinCeuticals Physical Matte
Ultimate UV Defense SPF30
I’m pretty much a fan of all things SkinCeuticals, so this review may be biased, but I promise – this Physical Matte Ultimate UV Defense sunscreen stands apart on its own merits alone. Better yet, this is actually a sunscreen primer especially meant for those with oily skin. With a shade adjusting tint (looks dark out of the tube, but quickly blends in) and incredibly strong mattifying power, this oil-absorbing sunscreen is the perfect base for any makeup look. The texture feels a little powdery and takes some effort to spread, so make sure your skin is well-moisturized before applying. This is the product to use if you’ll be running around in the sun from morning until night.
Cane + Austin Prime & Protect SPF50
Cane + Austin made the list early on with their liquid sunscreen, but their Prime & Protect Mattifying Primer also deserves a special mention. Actually, it’s more accurate to say I’m obsessed with it (seriously, why didn’t I discover it sooner?!). Not only do you get the full power of SPF 50+ Broad Spectrum Protection, but the shade adjusting, tinted mattifying primer also keeps you completely shine free and looking flawless all day long. What’s unique about this product is that while it is oil-absorbing, it still leaves a healthy sheen so there’s no ashy-ness or caked makeup look. This sunscreen primer is especially perfect for days when you want hassle-free but healthy and natural looking skin.
Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin
Instant Mineral Powder SPF30
Remember the earlier point about reapplying SPF throughout the day? It’s easier said than done given most sunscreens are in liquid form and not flattering to apply over makeup. Enter: Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral Powder SPF30. This product delivers oil-absorbing lightweight sunscreen in mineral powder form through a built-in brush applicator. The one pictured above is for Oily Problem Skin, but there’s also a version for normal skin as well. Both versions are perfect for on-the-go and a god-send on warm weather oil-prone days.
Have you used any of the products above? Do you have a favorite facial sunscreen? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
As always, thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed!