August is very much right around the corner, and with its arrival goes the first half of the summer. I am pleased to report that the first half of this summer has come and gone without leaving me with its annual horrid sunburn.
HUGE CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION.
My skin is all kinds of pale and generally goes from snowman to lobster faster than it will take you to read this blog post. McBritish (the fiancé) is the same, plus freckles, and our babies will definitely be teeny snowmen. People don’t believe me when I say that, at times, I literally feel my skin burning. In those moments I know that it is too late, I will head back indoors and a little while later find that I am sunburned. Not pleasant, not healthy, not cute.
And so this summer, as it is every summer, my ongoing mission has been to avoid sunburns at all costs — especially on my face. The skin on your face is more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body, which makes it more susceptible to burns, sun spots, aging, wrinkles, etc. Protect your face (!!!). With this mission in mind I researched and bought enough sunscreens for a small army, determined to make this the year of no sunburns.
As it turns out the sun protection options out there are incredibly abundant. And as someone with super-sensitive skin and a interest-passion-curiosity of skincare, I set off to learn a couple things.
First off, you’re best to know the difference between sunblock and sunscreen. Sunblock typically shields your skin from UVB rays which affect the superficial layers of your skin. Sunscreen, on the other hand, helps to prevent damage from UVA rays that penetrate deeper into your skin. Most people (me) opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen, as they are the better-safe-than-sorry option and very easy to find in stores (sadly probably increasingly due to the danger of UV rays, cough global warming).
Next you discover that there are mineral sunscreens and chemical, or regular, sunscreens. Alright so I already knew that there were mineral and chemical sunscreens, but I did not know the difference in terms of effects on my skin between the two. My sparknotes version: mineral ingredients (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) act as a mirror that reflect the sun’s rays, whereas chemical ingredients (avobenzone, oxybenzone, etc) absorb the rays and transform them into heat that is then released.
There is much debate surrounding which type of sunscreen is “better” for you, and even whether it is good to use sunscreen at all. Personally, I rather slather on the sunscreen and avoid burns.
MOVIN’ ON TO MELLY’S 4 SUNSCREENS OF SUMMER 2017 LET’S GO
∴ Hawaiian Tropic: Sheer Touch, oil-free broad spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30)
This sunscreen smells amaaaaazing. It smells like summer in a bottle and I love it. The texture is creamy and it absorbs quickly, which I love. It is also easy to spread on my skin. I don’t like feeling sticky or greasy and my skin always feels smooth and soft after applying this sunscreen. I use this one on my body only, not on my face. When it comes to the skin on my body I am not as picky as when I’m looking at products that will sit on my face. I find that I do not need to use too much of it, and one bottle will definitely last the summer. It is around $15 and you can find it in drugstores.
∴ Aveeno: sensitive skin, mineral sunscreen (SPF 50)
I have used other Aveeno skincare products in the past, and though I have not always loved each one that I have tried I generally do like this brand. This is a mineral option, and it is also the only SPF 50 that I currently have. I wanted to try at least one sunscreen that had a SPF a little higher than 30 (which is what I use daily) for those extra hot days or days during which I am outdoors for longer periods at a time. I used this one on my face first, and after about a week my skin became extremely dehydrated from it even with the use of a moisturizer. I then began using it on my chest, neck and shoulders instead, as those areas burn very quickly for me, and I love it. It is a little difficult to spread, though once absorbed it feels light. It has a very gentle smell, and costs around $15 in drugstores.
∴ LUSH Cosmetics: Million Dollar Moisturizer (SPF 30)
This one is definitely the richest of my options. It is a moisturizing sunscreen for the face, and it is creamy, silky goodness. I like to use this one in small quantities, under makeup and on days on which I only need sunscreen for a few hours. I do feel that it is a little heavy on my skin if I keep it on all day or if I reapply, otherwise it is lovely. It is a sunscreen from LUSH Cosmetics, and the downside to it is that it is not available in North American Lush shops. I sent McBritish on a mission to find it for me in the UK. If ever you find yourself in the UK or wanting to order it, I definitely recommend it. It is roughly $60 (£32.50).
∴ Tarte: Tarteguard, broad spectrum moisturizing sunscreen lotion (SPF 30)
After hearing many reviews and being recommended this sunscreen by people who know my skincare needs, I caved and bought this sunscreen. I love love love it. I apply this to my face a little while after my daily moisturizer and it has been providing me A+ protection. It smells light and fresh, and it feels wonderful on my skin. I find that it absorbs fairly quickly and it keeps my skin supple and hydrated. This sunscreen is also a mineral option (which I actually just noticed now, I thought it was chemical! the more you know, eh). My goal this year was to find a sunscreen for my face that I could include as part of my daily skincare routine, and I have found the one. You can buy this at Sephora, for approximately $40.
That wraps it up for my sunscreen tour! As I’m sure you know by now I could ramble on even more about all this jazz, and I am cutting it short so as to not drown you in sunscreen boredom.
Please share with me any sunscreen heartthrobs that you have discovered. One that I am dying to try is the Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense (SPF 30), though I cannot as it is not available in Canada. Boo.
On that note — goodnight, enjoy your Monday evening, enjoy the last little bit of July, enjoy the sun.
See you tomorrow, August!