Sunscreen is one of the most important products for glowing, youthful skin. However, it is also the most neglected. A lot of times, we neglect SPF for the instant gratification of a tan, for the belief that sunscreen will clear up your skin, or just because it’s inconvenient. We all know that the sun can cause skin cancer but if that’s not convincing enough for you, keep reading!
If you ask any woman over 40 for skincare advice, odds are she’s dealt with the consequences of not wearing sunscreen – wrinkles, dark spots, and increased scaring – and she will most likely tell you to wear it religiously! The consequences of sun damage are extremely hard to reverse but so easy to prevent with the right sunscreen and application.
Choosing a Sunscreen:
The sun emits two kinds of harmful rays: UVA and UVB rays. UVA waves are the ones that age us, and UVB waves are the ones that burn us. We want to make sure that we are keeping our skin youthful but protecting our skin from the aging UVA rays, and keeping our skin bouncy and hydrated by protecting our skin from the burning UVB rays. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF can do this for you.
One thing that we all forget (myself included!) is that the full effects of sunscreen wear off after 90 minutes, especially if you are sweating or swimming. If you plan on being in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, reapplication is key! Make sure you are reapplying throughout the day to reap the full benefits of sunscreen.
Personally, I wear sunscreen every single day as a part of my skincare routine. Even though I’m living in New York City, there’s always a chance I could end up in the sun! If you don’t want to add that extra step, there are plenty of foundations and tinted moisturizers with SPF already in them.
Apply to décolletage and hands:
One of the things I’ve learned from my mother is that your hands and decolletage (neck and chest) are dead giveaways for signs of aging. Making sure you apply sunscreen just as you would to your face on your hands, neck, and chest will kick dark spots, wrinkles, and scaring to the curb!
There are plenty of inexpensive sunscreen options on the market for every skin type. Here are my favorites:
Glossier’s Invisible Shield with broad-spectrum SPF 35 is my favorite for daily use. It has a clear, gel-like consistency that never makes me break out and actually helps me to attain that dewy makeup look when I use makeup after application!
Neutrogena’s Suncare line is one of the best on the market in my opinion. They offer specialized products for every skin type, a wide range of broad-spectrum SPF levels, and both every day and intense sun use. My favorite thing about this line is that all of their products are affordable and rarely make you break out.
Maybelline’s Dream BB Cream was one of the first products I started using in middle school. It delivers broad-spectrum SPF 30, great coverage, great hydration, and it’s under $10!
In your twenties, when the goals for your skin are protection and hydration, SPF is absolutely crucial for healthy, glowing skin!