Sunscreen Showdown: Which is best for your Skin?

The summer sun might be calling your name, but protecting your skin is essential before you head outdoors. Sunscreen is your best defense against harmful UV rays, but choosing the right one can feel overwhelming with so many options on the shelves.

Let’s break down some of the most common types of Sunscreen to help you find the perfect fit:

Chemical vs. Mineral:

  • Chemical Sunscreens: These sunscreens absorb UV rays and convert them into heat, which is then released from the skin. They tend to be lightweight and feel greasy on the skin. Common chemical sunscreen ingredients include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octanoate, and octinoxate.
  • Mineral Sunscreens: Also known as physical sunscreens, these sunscreens sit on top of the skin and deflect UV rays like a shield. They are often a good choice for people with sensitive skin, as they tend to be less irritating. Mineral sunscreens typically contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Here’s a quick comparison table to help you decide:

FeatureChemical SunscreenMineral Sunscreen
How it WorksAbsorbs UV raysReflects UV rays
FeelLightweight, can feel greasyCan leave a white cast, but newer formulas are sheer
SuitabilityGenerally good for most skin typesIdeal for sensitive skin

Important Note: Hawaii and other locations have banned or restricted the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate due to their harmful effects on coral reefs. Choose mineral-based, reef-safe Sunscreen if you’ll be swimming in oceans, lakes, or rivers.

Sunscreen Powders:

Sunscreen powders are an excellent option for oily skin or for reapplying Sunscreen throughout the day. They are typically mineral-based and offer a matte finish. However, they may need to provide more coverage, which can be challenging to apply around the eyes. Powder sunscreens can be easily kept in the car or in a purse for regular use and application. They also make it easy to apply in the divide/parting of your hair, which can easily get burned, if you’ve ever had your hair braided on a sunny day, this may be all too familiar!

Tinted Sunscreens:

Tinted sunscreens offer a hint of coverage to even out skin tone, eliminating the need for foundation. They come in both chemical and mineral formulas. Choose a tint that matches your skin tone for a natural look.

Ceramide Sunscreens:

Ceramides are a type of lipid (fat) that helps keep your skin’s barrier strong and healthy. Some sunscreens contain ceramides to help replenish your skin’s natural ceramides and prevent dryness. This can be beneficial for all skin types, but especially for those with dry or sensitive skin.

Choosing the Right Sunscreen for You:

The best Sunscreen is the one you’ll wear every day! Here are some factors to consider when making your choice:

  • Skin Type: Mineral sunscreen is a good option for sensitive skin. For oily skin, consider sunscreen powder or a lightweight, oil-free lotion.
    Activity Level: If you sweat a lot, look for a water-resistant sunscreen.
    Coverage: Do you want a sunscreen with a tint, or do you prefer a clear formula?

Our recommendations :

At Renew Medical Spa, we offer nearly a dozen different types of SPF; choosing one boils down to your specific preferences. However, some of the products that our estheticians most frequently use include Sunscreen and primer SPF 30 by ZO® which is slightly tinted and provides a base for makeup. Another great option is either the Colorscience® Sunforgettable SPF 50 because of its easy-to-use brush on application as a powder or EltaMD® UV Clear SPF 45, which comes in tinted or non-tinted, as this product is lightweight and free of harsh chemicals makes for the sensitive skin on/around you face.

Sunscreen Tips:

  • Apply Sunscreen generously to all exposed skin 15 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Reapply Sunscreen every two hours or more often if you are sweating or swimming.
  • Remember to protect your lips with a lip balm that contains SPF.
  • Seek shade during the peak sun hours of 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Keep some on hand in the car so if an adventure takes you by surprise, you’re not left needing a little extra protection and having to go without.

By following these tips and choosing the right Sunscreen for your needs, you can enjoy the summer sun safely! Pop in to Renew Medical Spa to sample the entire line of sunscreens we carry. Don’t get stuck using the harsh chemicals from those other drug store products and start enjoying the summer sun!


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