The Ultimate SPF Guide - How to Protect Your Skin from the Sun

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a huge fan of the sun. This often meant spending four or five hours basking in the blistering heat while on vacation. Although I would come back from holiday with the most amazing tan, I burnt my skin to a crisp one too many times. I even remember my mom would chase me around with SPF 50 and no matter how many times she told me to reapply, I often though one application was enough - it clearly was not.

I have to admit that it wasn’t up until a few years ago that I began to realize the importance of protecting your skin with SPF. Not only has my sister had several moles removed from her body, but my dad was diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago. Since then I’ve been seeing a dermatologist yearly to get my entire body scanned for harmful/irregular moles. As a result, I’ve become more aware of why it’s essential to use SPF daily.

Considering I just got back from Hawaii where the sun is frighteningly intense, I thought it would be a good idea to share an SPF guide highlighting the different types of sunscreen you should be using and why each of them is important. I’ve broken things down into categories below and included my favourite product for each.

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Face Sunscreen

A common misconception most people have is that body sunscreen is the same as face sunscreen. This kills me because often times body sunscreen contain ingredients that actually clog your pores, resulting in breakouts and bumpy skin. That being said, it’s important to use sun products that are specifically formulated for your face!

My all-time favourite face sunscreen is the Coola White Tea Sport SPF 50. It shields the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays that cause premature aging, wrinkling and can even suppress your immune system. Not only does this product smells fantastic, but it blends into the skin beautifully and has a super natural finish.

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Body Sunscreen

I’ve always preferred body spray sunscreens over creams. Not only do I feel like I’m covering every inch of my skin, but they’re also extremely effortless. To date, my all-time favourite spray sunscreen is the Coola Classic Body Sunscreen Spray SPF 30.

The most appealing thing about this sunscreen besides the vibrant packaging is the scent. My personal favourite is pina colada because it literally smells like a tropical vacation in a bottle. It also sprays evenly, doesn’t feel sticky and contains ingredients that are actually nourishing and beneficial for your skin. In addition to algae extract that hydrates, softens and detoxifies, it also has red raspberry seed oil that improves the elasticity of the skin. Another key component is aloe vera. This ensures the sunscreen hydrates and soothes the skin while you’re out in the sun. All around this is a fantastic product!

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Powder Sunscreen

This powder sunscreen is my product of choice when I’m on-the-go and don’t want to apply liquid sunscreen on my face or body.

The Eminence Sun Defence Minerals is a hypoallergenic, translucent, waterproof SPF 30 powder. It’s great because it has a brush tip applicator that allows you to apply the product in seconds. Although, my favourite part is that it doubles as a mattifying product. If my face starts to look shiny throughout the day, especially during the summer, I’ll apply it on my t-zone for a super natural matte finish. I use the translucent version but it also comes in several shades and can be used as a bronzer as well.

Sport Sunscreen

Next up is a category that I like to call ‘sport’ sunscreen. The reason I associate these sunscreens with sports is because of the lasting power and water resistance factor. One of my favourite sport sunscreen products that I’ve come across to date is the Raw Elements SPF 30. I often apply this sunscreen on my body if I’m going to be in the pool or ocean for an extended period of time as it’s resistant to water for up to 80 minutes. Another great thing is that it’s reef safe and is made from all-natural ingredients. I know this particular product may be tricky to find unless you order it online, so I’ve linked additional options below.

Mineral Sunscreen

The Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 from DECIEM is awesome. Not only is it the most affordable sunscreen on the list (retails for $9.70 CAD), but the mineral elements in this product provide protection against the full spectrum of ultraviolet radiation. Many chemically formulated sunscreens don’t do this!

After using this sunscreen several times on my recent trip to Hawaii, I quickly realized that this product is the best bang for your buck given how well it works. It didn’t break me out, nor did it leave a greasy or shiny residue on my skin. However, as this is a mineral-based sunscreen it does leave a slight white shadow on the skin - a little goes a really long way! Overall, I highly recommend this sunscreen if you’re looking for a product that’s easy to travel with, affordable and can be applied on the face and body.

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