The ins and outs of protecting yourself from the sun
Sun protection falls into the category of necessary evil: you know you’ve got to use it, but for many it’s the trickiest product to find in a sea of pore-clogging, white-cast-causing formulas that do as much damage as it does protect. But here’s the good news: the latest generation of sunscreens take all your needs into account, and will protect you not only from the punishing rays of the sun, but also from damage caused by blue light from devices.
If the white cast in photos is getting you down, or you have oily skin and your sunblock is causing breakouts, then opt for a chemical sunscreen instead of a physical one — physical sunscreen uses ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to block UVA and UVB rays, while chemical formulas penetrate the skin layer and essentially soak up the damaging effects of the sun; though, because they go deeper, they are more likely to cause sensitivity.
Sunscreen in general should be the last step of your skincare routine, and the pre-game to your make-up application, unless you’re using a product like DR. BARBARA Sturm’s Sun Drops, a chemical sunscreen that can be mixed in with your serum or moisturiser (though the Doctor, radically, suggests sun protection only when you’re out all day, not just, say, commuting). When you’re outdoors for an extended time, don’t forget to spread your formula to your ears and neck, and note that it takes at least ten minutes for the sunscreen to take effect.
In general, SPF30 is considered sufficient for daily use, but if you’re spending a weekend at the beach, even SPF50 or higher products need frequent application, regardless of whether you’re wearing SPF-rated foundation. Sunscreen mists or setting sprays with SPF are your go-to for these situations, or compacts like DIOR Prestige Light-in-White The Mineral UV Protector Blemish Balm Compact.
Otherwise, take advantage of all-in-one potions that perfect as they protect: ESTÉE LAUDER’s Perfectionist Pro Multi-Defense UV Hydra Gel is a lightweight gel that contains eight antioxidants to protect against sun, pollution and dehydration; GUERLAIN’s Abeille Royale Skin Defense Youth Protection can firm, plump and reduce wrinkles; and THE HISTORY OF WHOO's Gongjinhyang Seol Whitening Essence Sunscreen hydrates and lightens dark spots. There’s sure to be a formula for you somewhere out there.