Sunscreen isn’t optional. Long gone are the days when slathering on zinc was reserved for beach days or when heading to an amusement park. We now know that sunscreen must be part of your daily skincare routine. Even when working in an office. Even when you’re kicking it at home. And, yes, even for your children at school on a cloudy day (which, no doubt, takes Herculean efforts on your part). The reason, as we’ve come to learn, has everything to do with the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and the risk of skin cancer.
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We’re a nation addicted to busyness, which makes it convenient to make excuses about why we’re not re-applying (or even applying) sunscreen throughout our crazy busy day. But the bottom line is this: sunscreen helps prevent most skin cancers caused by sun damage. Unless you’re militant about wearing protective clothing and a visor all year round, your skin is going to get repeat sun exposure on a daily basis. The goal is more than just protecting your skin from sunburn (that’s simply the immediate reaction to too much sun); it’s about protection from long-term, repeat exposure over time (this is when sun damage happens).
Take a look at the following ways you can get sunscreen into your daily skin, makeup and hair routine. You’re likely already wearing multiple skincare products, so why not double-up on the benefits of moisturizing your skin, erasing your wrinkles, keeping your hair healthy and protecting your skin?
A bright idea in skincare and makeup
Since we live in the age of an upgrade, see if you can’t take your skincare routine to the next level. The following types of products can be found with sunscreen as one of the ingredients. The more applications of these products containing SPF, the better your chances of getting good protection.
- Daytime moisturizer Choose a daytime moisturizer featuring a broad spectrum sunscreen that specifically protects against UVA and UVB rays. Look for active zinc oxide, avobenzone (parsol 1789) or ecamsule (Mexoryl) combined with octocrylene on the label. The key is to find a moisturizer that still feels lightweight even with the sunscreen added. This makes makeup application that much smoother.
- Brightening agent Brighten your skin tone and reduce brown spots with a product that contains sunscreen. While the goal might be to reduce aging spots and add more luminosity to your skin, you’re also helping protect against future damage when using a brightening agent with added sunscreen.
- Firming cream If you’re sold on the possibility of an at-home tuck, you’re no doubt using a firming cream. The truth is, with the right mix of products, you may see a more lifted appearance over time. So, why not get one with sunscreen included? Even if the firming doesn’t work, at least you know the sunscreen does.
- Powder Looking to absorb some oil during the day? Sunscreen doesn’t only come in liquid products! Choose a pressed face powder featuring active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Paula Begoun, author of “Don’t Go to the Cosmetic Counter,” says it’s important you apply the powder “liberally, completely and evenly” in order for the sunscreen to do its job. The added benefit with powder is that it’ll help your sunscreen and moisturizer stay put as you go about your day.
- Lipstick Lips get sunburned because they don’t have tons of melanin in them. Plenty of brands feature colors with an SPF of 15 or higher. Whether you’re looking for a balm with a little sparkle or a bright red in a matte formula, you should first consider the brands featuring sun protection. Just don’t go super-shiny, high-gloss without any pigmentation because it’ll act as a magnet and draw the UV rays toward your lips. Not what you want!
- Hair The easiest way to protect the scalp is to wear a hat. But, if you’re looking to protect and hydrate your scalp, try a leave-in, spray conditioner with sunscreen. You can easily spritz it throughout the day for scalp protection while giving your locks a leg up from feeling dry and brittle.
While these kinds of products provide an added layer of sun protection, they are not replacements for sunscreen when you’re out in the sun for longer periods. Always slather sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher on your face and body before starting your skincare and makeup routine. And, since reapplying throughout the day is important (even when wearing makeup), spritz on a setting spray. It’ll set your makeup and give you UV protection without messing with your makeup.