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If the Baz Luhrmann song hasn’t taught you yet, sunscreen is important. Not only does it protect you from harmful UV rays that cause sun damage (which could lead to cancer), keratosis, and liver spots—it also protects you from pigmentation (sun spots) and darkened or leathery skin. When you’re younger, you tend to feel invincible from things like sun damage. But trust us, when you reach your 40s and above, you’ll facepalm yourself for not diligently wearing sunscreen like all the grownups told you to. If you could only keep one skincare step aside from basic cleansing, it has to be sunscreen. And that’s non-negotiable.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you need to make sure your sunscreen offers both UVA and UVB protection, has an SPF of 30 or higher, and is water-resistant. But the formulation of sunblock that’s right for you can depend on a number of factors. Let’s break down each one and see which is a perfect match:
Cream formulations are best for those with dry skin, and for those who intend to apply it to their face. According to Dr. Vicki Belo, you should still wear sunscreen even if you’re quarantined at home, so don’t skip the face! Your exposure to screens due to working from home can cause its own kind of damage. We recommend the Belo SunExpert Whitening Sunscreen SPF50 for everyday use. (Thanks to its niacinamide content, it whitens as it protects!)
Gel formulations work best for hairy areas, so they’re ideal for men. Just because your BF has a beard or hair on his chest doesn’t mean that area of skin is “covered” from the sun! You need to get the SPF in there, so tell him to go hard with the gel. We recommend the Belo Prescriptives Sunscreen Gel. Its Uvinul® content makes it fantastic for protecting against free radicals and skin damage.
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Mists or sprays are an option for those who want lightweight protection (like a quick spritz on the face before heading out to get groceries). They won’t feel thick or heavy, so they’ll be more “breathable.” They’re also great for energetic kids…you know, the ones you need to hurriedly spray before they break free from your grasp to jump into the pool. We recommend the Belo SunExpert Transparent Mist SPF50.
Sunscreen-primers are perfect for those who want a reliable multitasker. And what’s a more hardworking product than a sunscreen-slash-primer? Having protection from the sun and a good makeup base in one layer will mean having to put less layers on your skin altogether, making for breathability. It’ll also shorten your morning routine. We recommend the ZO® Sunscreen+Primer Broad Spectrum SPF30.
Tinted sunscreens are another great multitasker in the age of mandatory face masks. You get your routine UV protection and a flawless base in one step. Finish with a bit of setting powder and tinted lip balm, and you are good to go! We recommend the Belo SunExpert Tinted Sunscreen SPF50 PA++++.
Now that we’ve done our research, it’s time for you to find your match, stock up like crazy (you’ll never not need sunblock, after all!) and get back to us when you’re in your 50s and still looking amazing. You may not realize it *now*, but nothing looks better in your 50s than diligent sunblock application in your 20s. Trust us. You’ll thank us profusely, we promise!