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Sunscreen Decoded

Sunscreen Decoded

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"What do you mean that doesn't count?"  I questioned my Dermatologist as he handed me back my SPF 70 Sunscreen.

When I started this journey to that perfect-even glow, I realized it was time for me to start taking sunscreen seriously.  The years of enjoying that bronze summer tan, not achieved by a spray, were behind me.  After some hasty research, I came across an article, where the lovely Karlie Kloss explained that she loved Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Sunscreen... And I was sold.  I mean, if it's good enough for Karlie.

It wasn't until finally visiting a dermatologist to talk about my pesky melasma, that I found out there's more to Sunscreen than just an SPF number.  The most important of which is what is used to actually protect you from the sun.  Now if you're reading this and saying, "Yeah, Bridge!  There wasn't any Zinc in something named 'Ultra Sheer'!"  You're free to go, we'll see you next post.  If you have no idea why that's important, let's talk about Physical vs. Chemical sunscreens. 

Physical Sunscreens 

So, What is a physical sunscreen?  From what we've discovered, it's a sunscreen made out of minerals that physically reflect light off of your skin creating a physical barrier light can't pass through. 

Pros: 

This is really the best protection against the sun and it's damage.

It's literally Dermatologist recommended.

Cons: 

The texture is usually thick, making it hard to wear under makeup.  (Some brands are doing a pretty good job and making this less of an issue.  Try a few.) 

Because they reflect light, they look kinda ghostly in pictures. 

How to find them: 

Look for sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide. 

Examples: 

Laneige- Triple Sunscreen (My Current Fav!)

Coola- Rose Essense Tint

 Chemical Suscreens

These use chemicals that are made to absorb the sun before it gets to your skin. 

Pros: 

Lighter texture. 

Easier to locate. 

Cons: 

These don't protect as well, because some rays still make it though the chemicals. 

How to find them: 

Look for products that don't contain Zinc or Titanium. 

Examples: 

Neutrogena- Ultra Sheer 

Sephora- Mattifying Mosturizer 

So what's the verdict?  Wear a physical sunscreen, and reapply often!  If you're in a pinch, or going to be in pictures, chemical is still better than no sunscreen, but protect yourself!  If you didn't know, now you know, see ya next time!

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