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Skincare & Sunscreen: Stay Sun Proof without the Breakouts

Sunscreen might seem plain and simple, but like most things in life - its not! The wrong sunscreen can cause problematic build up that will leave your skin acne prone, irritated and feeling reactive. Its so worth taking the time to find a formula that works for you.

You have most likely heard about physical and chemical sunscreens before - but do you really understand what this means and how these ingredients work? Let's delve in a little deeper and find out.

The things you need to know about SPF:

Fact: Everyone needs sunscreen no ifs, or buts about it!

Sunscreen is key to protecting our skin from harmful damage cause by both:

  • Sunlight
  • Blue light pollution 

These rays cause havoc for our skin creating premature ageing, and in most cases long term skin cell changes. We want to avoid this.

Sunscreen is often a product people hesitate to include into their skin routine due to misheard information and because of the way it feels. Let’s break a few of these myths apart for better understanding.

There are two types of sunscreens: chemical and physical (although some products use a blend of both). Chemical sunscreen sinks into the skin, absorbs UV rays, converts them into heat, then expels them before they can cause damage. 

Physical sunscreen (better known as zinc sunscreen) sits on top of the skin to form a protective barrier. Instead of being absorbed, UV rays repel off the skin’s surface. It’s hard to say which type is “better” as that depends on what you value most in an SPF, and your skins condition.

Physical sunscreens are typically ALL skins safe and better at preventing irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin and rosacea, the heat can be reactive to sensitive skin types the break down of the chemical and UV ray means a stimulation in heat and activity which in return causes irritation for the skin. Also, there are additives in some chemical sunscreens that are detrimental to marine life – we should consider this – especially in Australia. 

If you are looking for a great sunscreen we recommend 'Mother SPF' for the exact reason that is both safe for your skin and the environment too.  It feels fantastic, is highly moisturising. Another one to watch is a new product on the market Beautifltr.

Physical sunscreens are usually made with titanium dioxide or non-nano zinc oxide—the safest SPF active available for our bodies. 

Bonus: Zinc oxide also protects against blue light damage from screentime. However, the issue is that this mineral is naturally white. That’s why a white cast can sometimes show up on darker skin tones. Zinc also can play a little part in congesting the skin if not a premium quality. Its $$$ but better to invest in a good quality zinc based sunscreen. 

Dark Skin Tones and SPF

While melanin does naturally protect the skin, you definitely want to apply sunscreen even if you have a darker skin tone or tan easily. You may not burn as easily, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Plus, most importantly we want to protect against sun damage (which can cause premature ageing). 

All skin types from fair to richly dark in skin tone should wear sunscreen to protect against all rays. Just because you tan easily doesn’t mean you're a super hero against skin cancer.

My makeup has SPF in it, so I don’t have to apply sunscreen.

Makeup brands have started to incorporate sunscreen into their products, but don’t relying on your SPF-infused foundation as a replacement for sunscreen. Skin Cancer Australia recommends wearing daily sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. As most SPF in makeup is 15+ or lower it doesn’t cut the bill! The lower the SPF, the less amount of time skin is protected, meaning you’ll need to apply more frequently to avoid damage. 

However, the real issue with relying on your makeup for your sun protection is the amount. The amount of sunscreen you need to be properly protected is way more than the amount of foundation you use. Plus, experts say that mixing dilutes its strength even further, making it not the best form of protection. 

FUN FACT: You need at least 1 tsp of sunscreen to adequately protect your skin!

If your foundation doesn't have any SPF, you should definitely put sunscreen on as the last step in your skincare routine—whether you apply makeup afterward or not. Just give it a few minutes to sink in to avoid any pilling.

You don’t need sun protection during the wintertime. 

Well if all the above wasn’t enough to prove the point about UV awareness then please read this!

Everyone should use sunscreen every single day no matter the season or weather. The sun’s UVB rays (the ones responsible for burning) are more prevalent during the summertime, but UVA rays (which cause premature ageing) are present year-round. They can penetrate clouds and glass windows and reflect off snow so, even if it’s cold and dreary outside or you’re staying indoors, you still need sun protection. 

Don’t think you’re off the hook when it comes to reapplying, too. The Skin Cancer Foundation warns that your environment can reduce your sunscreens effectiveness  so, even during the wintertime, you should still reapply every three- four hours to up your sunscreen’s protective abilities.

Sunscreen is bad for my skin because it causes irritation and breakouts.

Everyone's skin is different. Like anything you put on your face, it’s important to seek some professional advice about which sunscreen will suit you skin best. Ingredients can be sensitive zinc oxide and chemical sunscreen like oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate… 

If sunscreen is causing you to break out, it may just not mesh well with your skin type. Make sure the product is actually what’s causing your breakouts (don’t forget that stress, not washing your pillowcases, diet, and not correctly cleansing to remove it. Of course, our Cleansing Cloth is a brilliant way to efficiently remove all types of sunscreen) before giving up on it completely.

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