Health & Beauty

Pro SPF Tips To Protect Your Skin From The Sun

June 11, 2024

With summer just around the corner, it’s time for an annual reminder about sun safety. Gone are the days of oily, white sunscreen products, which leaves no excuse to avoid daily sunscreen use. Let us guide you toward finding the perfect SPF product that both protects you from the sun’s harmful rays and compliments your skin’s individual needs. Whether you have dry skin, aging skin or acne-prone skin, understanding which product suits you best is key. Below, Nadia Paglia, director of education at Dermalogica, lends expert tips and highlights some of Dermalogica’s most dynamic SPF products. —Vita Daily

With summer fast approaching, can you explain the key differences between mineral and chemical sunscreens, and how should consumers decide which is best for their skin type?

Physical Sunscreen – uses minerals that sit on top of the skin and reflect away UV rays 

  • Shields against both UVA and UVB rays, offering comprehensive sun protection. 
  • Suitable for sensitive skin types, as it sits on the skin’s surface and doesn’t penetrate deeply. 
  • Begins protecting your skin as soon as it’s applied, with no need to wait for absorption.
  • Best for all skin types and conditions, including those with sensitive skin. It is especially ideal for a post-treatment SPF option 

Chemical Sunscreen – uses ingredients that absorb and transform UV rays into heat

  • Loved for its lightweight feel and ease of application, chemical sunscreen is a popular choice. 
  • Shields against both UVA and UVB rays, offering comprehensive sun protection.
  • Chemical sunscreens typically have a lighter texture, making them easier to apply and blend into skin.
  • Provides an invisible finish, ideal for everyday wear and suitable for all skin types and tones. 
  • Best for most skin types and conditions, especially for those with active lifestyles 

Ultimately, the decision between physical and chemical sunscreen boils down to personal preference. Whether you gravitate towards the protective barrier of physical sunscreen or the lightweight feel of chemical sunscreen, rest assured, we have an SPF for you.  

What are the proper SPF UV protection levels for different skin types and conditions, and how can individuals determine the appropriate level of protection they need?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which indicates the level of protection a sunscreen provides against UVB rays. The SPF number tells you how long it takes for your skin to redden from these rays compared to if you weren’t wearing sunscreen.  

For example, SPF 15 means you can stay in the sun 15 times longer without burning than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen. Determining how much SPF you need depends on various factors, including your skin type and the intensity of sun exposure. We recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for daily use. 

How often should sunscreen be re-applied throughout the day to ensure effective protection, especially during prolonged outdoor activities?

When applying sunscreen to your face, a quarter-sized amount is typically sufficient to ensure adequate coverage. For broader areas like the body,  “liberal use” of SPF (picture a shot glass full).

Sunscreen typically lasts for about two hours, but its effectiveness can diminish with exposure to water, sweat, and friction from clothing or towels. To ensure continuous protection, it’s important to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Using a water-resistant sunscreen can provide additional protection during activities involving water or heavy perspiration. Remember, creams and lotions tend to offer better protection than sprays. 

Can you share some expert tips on the best methods for applying SPF to achieve maximum coverage and protection?

  • For maximum protection, sunscreen should be applied directly to the skin. Wash using your favourite facial cleanser to remove makeup and oil that could prevent the sunscreen from sticking properly. Then, pat your skin dry. 
  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen. As a rule of thumb, you need about a nickel-sized dollop for your face. 
  • Cover your neck and upper chest as well. A common mistake is to apply sunscreen to the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin, but forget other sensitive areas. 
  • Apply makeup over the sunscreen. If you normally wear moisturizer, foundation, blush, and other makeup, you may apply it now.

Understanding the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays is crucial for sun safety. Can you explain the differences between these rays and how Dermalogica’s SPF products protect against both?

Applying any old SPF product won’t keep skin safe from both types of harmful UV rays. It’s important to look closely at labels and ingredients to ensure you are protected.  

It’s also crucial to remember that SPF only measures protection against UVB rays. UVA rays, like those from tanning beds, penetrate deeply, accelerating skin aging and increasing the risk of skin cancer.  

To safeguard against both UVB and UVA rays, opt for broad spectrum sunscreen which contains a combination of ingredients known to protect against both types of UV rays. Check for the “broad spectrum” label and look for ingredients like Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, and Avobenzone which provide effective broad spectrum coverage.  

What are some common mistakes people make when using sunscreen, and how can they be avoided to ensure better skin protection?

Sun damage isn’t limited to the summer months or beach days. Photodamage or UV exposure, which leads to aging, can occur even on cloudy days, through glass, and from fluorescent indoor lighting. 

Give attention to all areas of exposed skin, including the front and back of your neck, upper chest, upper back, and shoulders. The tops of the ears are also easy to forget, so don’t miss this area! 

Rub excess sunscreen onto the backs of your hands. This is another commonly forgotten spot. People often wash up after applying sunscreen, but this leaves the backs of the hands and fingers vulnerable to sun damage. A better option is to simply wipe the palms of your hands on a paper towel. 

Dermalogica offers a range of SPF products tailored to various skin needs, such as dry skin, aging skin, and acne-prone skin. Can you highlight some of these products and explain how they cater to these specific concerns?

Incorporating sunscreen into your daily skin care routine is essential for protecting your skin year-round and can prevent roughly 90% of preventable photoaging. 

  •  Porescreen SPF 40: Ideal for blurring pores and providing a subtle tint for a flawless complexion.  
  • Skinperfect Primer SPF 30: A multitasking formula that smooths fine lines while offering sun protection, perfect for pre-makeup prep. 
  • Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30: Delivers sheer protection without the chalky finish often associated with physical sunscreens.
  • Matte Defense SPF 30: Shine-reducing SPF moisturizer helps protect breakout-prone skin from environmental stress. 
  • Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50: A fan favorite, this SPF moisturizer combats signs of aging, visibly firming, hydrating, and protecting the skin. 
  • Prisma Protect SPF 30: Hydrates your skin and leaves behind a radiant glow for a healthy complexion.


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