Summer is around the corner. While it seems (as of this writing) that the weather is being a capricous flirt, the sun has been out the past few days reassuring us that the promise of summer is to come.
One should be prepared to face the sun with your best ally, sun screen.
I have heard many complaints from people who doesn’t want to use sun screen for the primary reason that it makes their skin “oily”. Second, they don’t like the “white cast” it leaves on the skin. Third, they couldn’t care less for sun screen.
Here’s the thing, aside from tiny beads of sweat coming out of your pores, if your sun screen of choice is making you appear “oily” , you are supposed to be assured that your skin is being protected. There are some formulas that are silicone or chemical based that creates a “barrier” on the skin, protecting it from the sun by absorbing and dissipating its harmful light.
If you have a “white cast” on your face or body, that is actually an active ingredient that helps protect your skin from the sun. This means that your sun screen of choice has mineral components. These mineral components (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) reflect the sun light off so that UV rays won’t penetrate deep into your skin. If you do not want to have a “white cast” on your face, change to a different formulation.
And if you don’t care less for sunscreen, well that’s your choice. An unintelligent one at that.
One other question is, what is SPF?
Based on my own research and understanding, SPF or Sun Protection Factor is an indication on how much time the sun screen protects you from burning. UVB rays is actually what causes our skin to burn. The SPF indicated on your sun screen protects you from UVB rays.
To let you understand SPF more, let me put it in simple mathematical terms.
I have observed that my skin burns in 10 mintues and the SPF on my sun screen is 70. When I apply my sun screen, it multiplies the time it takes before I get burned. So my sun screen gives me 700 minutes of extra protection before I burn. Now, I might be wrong with my calculation and I would appreciate someone telling me if I am off with this.
Choosing the right sun screen should be based on your life style and sun or light exposure. If you only go out for errands, then a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 would do. If you do sports, choose a sun screen with a higher SPF rating. And if you’re like me, a makeup artist who constantly work under the bright lights of the studio or on location, my sun screen of choice has an SPF of 70.
I use VMV Hypoallergenics ARMADA Sport SPF 70 . It is a full – spectrum sun screen with an SPF rating of 70 and a PFA rating of 10. I love this sunscreen so much, I have a Pinterest board for it (click here).
PFA means Protection Factor in UVA. VMV Hypoallergenics ARMADA Sport SPF 70 affords me ten times as much protection from UVA light than if I go with out this sun screen.
As we all know, UVA is more harmful than UVB because it actually penetrates deeper into the skin. UVA light is what makes our skin darker and long time exposure can lead to wrinkles, leathery skin and in some cases cancer.
ARMADA Sport is a silicone based sun screen, so this will not give you that “white cast” look.
The main reason why I love this product is because I do not get the burning sensation after frolicking on the beach under the sun. I spread a generous amount on my face (paying attention to the forehead), on my head (yes! so my scalp won’t burn), on my ears, my nape and on my shoulders. These are the parts of the body that get “hit” by the light of the sun in earnest, so it’s best to protect them.
I do not break out from this product. It is validated hypoallergenic, non-drying and non-comedogenic.
For the rest of my body, I choose to use a cheaper brand of sun screen like Nivea. Frankly, Armada Sport is a bit expensive, that’s why I only use it in specific areas. This is the main reason why, the tan on my face is lighter than the tan I have all over my body.
Now, when buying sun screen (or any other product) ALWAYS read the literature or instructions written on the box or on the product itself. This will educate you on the right application process and on other needed instructions. If it says to apply sun screen 30 minutes before sun exposure, do it. Let this product help you help yourself by following instructions.
I do not believe some sun screens that say they are water proof because it will be washed off eventually. It is a very misleading piece of information and but a marketing ploy. Choose a sun screen that is water resistant, aside from the fact that is a much more viable fact, this product had to undergo testing required by the FDA. Be wary as well of sun screens that profess having an SPF of 100 because it sounds unrealistic and it cannot be claimed because of the logarithmic/mathematical nature of how these sun screens are tested.
If it is possible, avoid sun exposure between 10 AM and 4 PM. The sun’s intensity peaks from 12 noon to 4 PM. If you cannot avoid the sun, just protect yourself with umbrellas, hats, caps and sun glasses. Speaking of sunglasses, I strongly believe that one should invest in dark glasses to protect ones eyes and under eyes from the sun. Remember that your under eyes has the thinnest layer of skin on your face. Extreme sun exposure can lead to crows feet and other signs of ageing.
Now, if you have any further questions about sun screen, ask your dermatologist or a practicing professional in the field of skin care. They can give you more technical information that you might need. All that I have written here is based on my own research and understanding.
I will end this blog with a video made by Baz Luhrmann in 1999, its lyrics was originally written by Mary Schmich in an essay back in 1997.. it’s not only about sun screen but its about life in general.
For the rest of the world the sunscreen with SPF ratings of 30 and 50 are only available, check it out here.
VMV Hypoallergenics ARMADA Sport SPF 50 Active Ingredients:
Avobenzone – 3.0%, Homosalate – 15.0%, Octisalate – 5.0%
VMV Hypoallergenics ARMADA Sport SPF 50 Inactive ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolmer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Glyceryl Laurate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Phytate, Steareth-2, Steareth-21, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer.
VMV Hypoallergenics ARMADA Sport SPF 70 Active Ingredients:
Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid.
VMV Hypoallergenics ARMADA Sport SPF 70’s Other Ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Tromethamine, Glyceryl Laurate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, *Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, *Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, *Tocopheryl Acetate.