Do you know that an estimated 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun? Yes it is true according to The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Have you heard about free radicals? If not, listen up people, these little free radicals contribute to skin aging in more ways that one, and free radicals cause sagging and wrinkles. How do these suckers get to you? Alcohol, UV exposure, pollution, smoking and more… Oh, hell no. Pollutant particles can be up to 20X smaller than your pores… want to know what that means? Those particles can get right in and do major damage, such as inflammation, fine lines, dark spots (I just can’t with darks spots) and dehydration (the arch nemesis of glowing skin).
Sunscreen. The solution.
So, do we even need to still talk about why it is SO important? Sadly, I think we do. If you are anything like me, this was the one part of my skincare routine that bored me. I just couldn’t get excited about using sunscreen everyday, that is until I really understood the importance. Forget preventing a sunburn, which is the most basic reason to wear a good screen, but think of it really as an anti-aging step. Sunscreen, especially in a polluted city is SO important. Now, and I am not kidding, will not walk out of my apartment without it slathered on my face. I have three favorites that I love and I can not choose between, so I rotate. There is a debate though, whether a physical or chemical block is better. I am on the side of the physical block being superior but I have to admit, two of my favorites are chemical blocks. Let me give you the low down on each and you can choose which is better for your skin.
Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. Chemical sunscreens contain organic compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin.
Which is better? Chemical versus Physical? This is still a huge debate among scientists. Currently, the FDA is taking steps to establish new standards of measuring the effectiveness of sunscreens more accurately. For now, however, both physical and chemical sunscreens will do a great job at protecting your skin, as long as you are applying them generously every morning and reapplying throughout the day.
One of my all time favorites is a Kicho’s Ultra moisturizing sun cream, a Korean brand. I have dry skin so this baby is great and I love the packaging. Usually, I do not like scented skin products but I can get over it here. This is a chemical screen with SPF 50. Kicho’s suncream feels much more like hydrating daytime moisturizer than sunscreen and I love that. Additionally, it is made with skin-loving ingredients like Kicho’s proprietary soybean plant placenta which encourages skin rejuvenation and regeneration, antioxidants including green tea, gingko, wheat, soy, and allantoin which moisturizes. I LOVE the packaging in a hygienic airtight pump tube. Great for travel. I buy this from Peach and Lily for $36
Tied for and now my number one favorite is by one of my all time favorite skin care brands, Drunk Elephant. We can talk more about this brand later. It is one of the best on the market for non- toxic skincare. This one is a physical block, yay! I love the Umbra Tinte version as it helps to combat that white cast that we all hate. This physical block is formulated without any chemical sunscreens, which can cause irritation to some and are said to be not as effective as the natural alternative, Zinc Oxide. This is the only physical sunblock on my list, and only one I will use. It does not have that old school thick and nasty texture. If you are serious about sunscreen, like me, this is the one to get.
Newer to my collection, is the new Glossier Invisible Shield. This is more of a water gel, ZERO white cast. Goes on clear and have a nice zesty orange smell. This is the least expensive of the crew coming in at $34. Not much price difference. However, this is a chemical sunscreen, I don’t mind chemical sunscreens but a lot of people do! This is a sunscreen for sunscreen haters and beginners, this is a great option!
Do you use sunscreen? What is your fave?