Sunscreen is an essential part of any skin care routine and should be applied every day, rain or shine, since the sun’s UV rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. UV rays can also penetrate through glass, so it’s best to apply sunscreen even if you plan on spending most of your day indoors.
Applying sunscreen is always the last step in a morning skin care routine. Sunscreen should be applied after cleansing, toning, using serums or ampoules, and moisturizing your skin, and before your makeup. Remember that sunscreens can take up to 15 minutes to fully sink into skin. To ensure full protection, it’s best to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before heading out in the sun.
Sunscreens use the Sun Protection Factor, widely known as SPF, on their labels. SPF measures the amount of protection you get against UVB rays . A higher SPF means the sunscreen can block more of the sun’s UVB rays. For instance, using sunscreen with SPF 30 permits 3% of UVB rays to hit your skin while using one with SPF 50 only allows 2%. Sunscreens with at least SPF 30 are recommended for everyday wear.
While most sunscreens include SPF in their packaging, Korean and Japanese sunscreens also include the PA rating system, which rates sunscreens from PA+ to PA++++. PA measures the amount of protection against UVA rays via a method called persistent pigment darkening (PPD). PA+ and PA++ offer light to moderate UVA protection while PA+++ and PA++++ offer higher UVA protection.
It is important to know how sunscreens work on your skin. Usually thicker and denser, physical sunscreens (a.k.a. mineral or natural sunscreens) instantly reflect UV rays from skin using natural minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They’re most suitable for those with sensitive skin. Chemical sunscreens (a.k.a. organic or synthetic sunscreens) absorb UV rays and convert them into heat. Their lightweight, white-cast-free texture makes them suitable for daily wear. However, some active ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone may irritate skin and potentially disrupt hormones.
Sunscreens are available in many different forms and textures ranging from sun essences and sun milks to sun gels and sun sticks. Skin care brands also often incorporate unique ingredients in their sunscreens, such as snail mucin, centella asiatica, madecassoside and aloe leaf extracts, for added skin care benefits.
Besides focusing on a sunscreen’s formula and protection factors, you should also consider your skin type when looking for a sunscreen. Whether you have oily, dry or sensitive skin, there’s a right sunscreen that works for your skin type. Check out some of YesStyle’s best sunscreens for your skin type below!
Rich and creamy sunscreens packed with hydrating ingredients are ideal for dry skin. Sun creams, like esfolio’s Blue Flower Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++, are a great option for those with dry skin as they provide long-lasting hydration while still feeling light on the skin. On top of that, this sun cream is formulated with lavender, borago and chamomile extracts that refine and brighten your overall complexion.
Sun sticks and sun gels work great on oily as well as acne-prone skin. Sun gels apply like a lightweight serum and won’t leave skin feeling greasy. They also work well under makeup. If your skin is prone to acne, count on make p:rem’s UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF50+ PA++++ to protect skin from the sun without causing any new blemishes.
Sun sticks also come in handy if you have oily skin. Many skin care brands offer sun sticks that are great for touch-ups and ideal for traveling. TOSOWOONG’s SOS Spot Whitening Vita Clinic Vitamin Sun Stick SPF50+ PA+++ is a top contender among sun sticks available at YesStyle. This trifunctional sun stick doesn’t just block UVA and UVB rays, but also brightens and nourishes the skin. To use a sun stick, gently swipe it across your face, and make sure not to rub it too hard on your skin to avoid irritation.
Physical sunscreens infused with mineral UV filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work best for sensitive skin. Benton’s Mineral Sun Cream has a mildly acidic, hypoallergenic formula and features tea tree extract and glycyrrhizic acid to soothe skin. Sun sticks, especially those with centella asiatica or aloe leaf extracts, are also great for sensitive skin.
Sun essences’ lightweight, serum-like texture works well for dry and acne-prone skin by offering a healthy boost of moisture . THANK YOU FARMER’s Sun Project Light Sun Essence is made without sulfates, parabens and mineral oil, and contains portulaca oleracea and aloe leaf extract to treat pores and calm skin.