Are you ready for summer? Don’t forget to use the right sunscreens

Summer is an exciting season of the year because it’s all about colorful outfits, bright nails, and of course, lots of outdoor activities. While it’s fun to enjoy the sunshine, I’m sure that many of you, like me, are concerned about the damages UV rays cause on our skin. So, today I’m going to give you some information on UV rays and tips for choosing the right sunscreens. Let’s get summer-ready!

Types of UV Rays

You may have already heard about UVA and UVB, but do you know UVA can be further divided into UVA-1 and UVA-2? And what are the actual damages of UV rays on our skin? Here’s an overview.

UVA-1: long UV rays (340–400 nm); reach the dermis, causing dark pigments, skin ageing and wrinkles

UVA-2: shorter UVA rays (320–340 nm); reach the epidermis, causing skin reddening, sunburn and is the main cause of skin cancer

UVB: medium-wave UV rays (280–320 nm); reach the epidermis, causing skin reddening, sunburn and is the main cause of skin cancer

Broad Spectrum Protection is the Key

As you can see above, UVA-1 penetrates deep into our dermis and causes dark pigments which can result in unsightly freckles, but its prevalence is often ignored. How to choose an appropriate sunscreen? The number one tip is to pick a broad spectrum protection sunscreen, one that defenses our skin against both UVA and UVB, including UVA-1. There are two types of sunscreens: mineral-based and chemical. Below is a comparison of each type and some common ingredients you may like to take note of.

1. Mineral-based sunscreens: 

How it works:
contain physical blockers that form a film on the face to deflect UV rays
Pros: mild on the skin, does not cause skin allergy easily
leaves a white cast and feels greasy on skin
Common ingredients:
Zinc Oxide (blocks UVA-1, UVA-2 & UVB), Titanium Dioxide (blocks UVB & UVA-2)

2. Chemical sunscreens:

How it works: 
contain chemical absorbers that are first absorbed by the skin, then interact with UV rays chemically, converting them into non-harmful substances for skin
Pros: feels light and non-greasy on the skin
may cause skin allergy easily
Common ingredients:
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (blocks UVB), Avobenzone (blocks UVA-1 & UVA-2), Mexoryl SX, XL (covers UVA-1, UVA-2 & partial UVB), Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (a.k.a. Uvinul® A Plus; covers all UVA rays), Tinosorb M & Tinosorb S (blocks UVA-1, UVA-2 & UVB) 

Here’re Our Picks:
Since mineral-based and chemical sunscreens each have their own disadvantages, most sunscreens on the market are a mixture of both – getting the best of both worlds. Here are my recommendations for some of the best and most effective sunscreens.

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF45 / PA++++ (All Skin Types)
A pure mineral-based sunscreen formulated with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide to protect against UVA-1, UVA-2 and UVB. Featuring patented Invisible Screen™ technology that leaves no white traces on your face. The texture? Melts instantly in your skin, giving you an even and radiant complexion.

La Roche Posay Uvidea XL Melt-In Cream SPF50 / PA++++ 
This spring water-infused mixed sunscreen combines L'Oréal’s patented anti-UVA Mexoryl XL with mineral Titanium Dioxide to block UVAs at all wavelength ranges. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate prevents sunburn. Leaves a hydrating and smooth touch on your skin. Excellent makeup base.

Kanebo ALLIE EX UV Protector Gel 4-Piece Set 

Includes three bottles of ALLIE EX UV Protector Gel (Mineral Moist) N SPF50+ / PA++++ (two 90g and one 25g) and a bottle of ALLIE EX UV Protector (Whitening) N SPF50+ / PA++++ (25ml).
ALLIE EX UV Protector Gel (Mineral Moist) N SPF50+ / PA++++ is a mixed mineral and chemical sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, photostable Uvinul® A Plus and Octocrylene, effectively blocking all UVAs and UVB. The watery texture glides on your skin smoothly. Contains Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen and Royal Jelly.

ALLIE EX UV Protector (Whitening) N SPF50+ / PA++++ is also a mixed sunscreen with mineral Zinc Oxide and chemical Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, protecting skin from all UVAs and UVB. The oil-controlling complex gives a non-sticky feeling. Vitamins C and E are added for skin-whitening effect.

Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen A+N SPF50+ / PA++++
A beloved sunscreen worldwide, this powerful sunscreen contains mineral Zinc Oxide and chemicals Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate and Tinosorb S. Blocks UVA at all ranges and UVB. You’ll love its lotion-like texture that feels lightweight and absorbs quickly into your skin.

One last note, always remember to apply sunscreen every day because UV rays exist all year round, even in winter and cloudy days. Try out the products above and fully protect your skin from harmful UV light J

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