How to Pick the Right Sunscreen

young woman wearing straw hat applying sunscreen

It’s common knowledge that spending a lot of time in the sun causes your skin to age. Those who have had far less sun exposure enjoy youthful skin for longer. But even if you avoid direct sunlight on your face, general sun exposure is a given in life.

The best way to prevent and pause the aging effect of the sun is by protecting yourself with the right sunscreen for your face and skin. 


How Important is it to Have the Right Sunscreen for your Face?

Here’s an unfortunate but undeniable fact: the sun is the greatest accelerator when it comes to aging

There’s a huge difference in the skin of my patients who have spent their lives in a colder climate, away from long exposure to the sun, and those from sunny areas where they are out tanning all the time.

Without significant sun exposure, the skin stays younger and more supple, while those who are out in the sun a lot look older, and the skin is tougher and less radiant.

The reason for this is that the skin of patients who spent all that time in the sun was exposed to UVA rays. These are the rays that cause the skin to age.



The Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays–Which Ones Cause your Skin to Age?

Many people think that all you need to do is find a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and your skin is fully protected. That’s not the case. While the SPF (sun protection factor) is important, a key component that is often overlooked is which type of sunscreen you’re getting–a barrier block or a pure chemical block. 


Why does that matter? There are two types of sun radiation–UVA and UVB. UVB causes sunburns and skin cancers. UVA causes skin aging. Typically, UVA rays are not blocked with a pure chemical sunblock. It’s vital that your sunscreen protects your skin against UVA if you want to enjoy time in the sun without accelerating the aging process of your skin. 


To protect against both UVA and UVB, find a sunscreen that is a mineral-based, broad-spectrum product, and includes zinc and titanium oxide at 6% and above. These factors are essential when you’re looking for a sunscreen that will protect your skin from the aging effects of sun exposure.



What are the Other Important Qualities to Look for in a Good Sunscreen?

Here’s a complete list of the important ingredients and qualities you want to have in your sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen that provides the following key factors:

  • Non-greasy - leaving your skin glowing, not shiny
  • Non-comedogenic - ensuring that it doesn’t cause blocked pores
  • Sweat-proof and waterproof - to allow you to enjoy your activities as usual
  • Broad-spectrum + mineral-based - to ensure you’re protected from both UVA and UVB
  • Zinc and titanium oxide-based at 6% or higher - to block UVA rays that cause aging

 

The significance of sunscreen in anti-aging cannot be overstated. As evidenced by numerous studies and dermatological expertise, regular application of sunscreen is not just a precautionary measure against sunburns but also a crucial component in preventing premature aging of the skin.

By shielding the skin from harmful UV rays, sunscreen helps to preserve its elasticity, moisture, and overall youthful appearance, thus mitigating the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.

Incorporating sunscreen into daily skincare routines is paramount for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin and ensuring long-term skin health. Therefore, prioritizing sunscreen as a non-negotiable step in skincare regimens is indispensable for anyone seeking to combat the effects of aging and maintain radiant, youthful skin for years to come.



Daily Sun Protection + Active Skincare Routine = Healthy, Youthful Skin

By making sun protection a non-negotiable part of your skincare routine, you not only safeguard your skin's health but also ensure that your efforts in maintaining a radiant complexion are maximized.

Sunscreen acts as a crucial safeguard, preventing the onset of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots induced by UV exposure. By neutralizing the damaging effects of the sun, sunscreen not only preserves the integrity of your skin's collagen and elastin but also amplifies the efficacy of your anti-aging products, ensuring that your skincare efforts yield long-lasting and transformative results.

By combining sun protection, with an active, anti-aging skincare routine, like Trifecta you are giving your skin all that it needs to be healthy, youthful and luminous. The Trifecta includes:


Rinse Daily Cleanser

Gently cleanses and refreshes the skin, removing oils and toxins. Rinse boosts cell regeneration and deeply hydrates the skin to leave it soft and smooth. 


Quench Vitamin C Serum

Quench is an advanced vitamin C serum that brightens the skin, resolves pigmentation concerns, boosts collagen production, and achieves a luminous, fresh skin tone. 


Illuminate Anti-Aging Cream

This anti-aging cream deeply hydrates and renews the skin, boosting skin elasticity, firming the skin, and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Illuminate can act as an all-in-one, standalone product.



In my YouTube video, 5 Sunblock Anti-Aging Tips MOST People Get Wrong! I explain all the details about choosing the right sunscreen for the face, and tips on how to use sunscreen effectively to stop the aging process.

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Amir Karam MD

Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Founder / Creator of KaramMD Skin

Dr. Amir Karam is a renowned facial cosmetic surgeon and an authority in his field. With over two decades of experience helping patients achieve a younger, refreshed appearance. In addition to surgical procedures that sculpt a youthfully-defined facial shape, Dr. Karam takes the quality of the skin into account.