Here comes the sun *and clean sunscreens* (do-do-do-do) ✨
We’re half-way through January, and I love seeing the sunshine fill the atmosphere a little bit longer and brighten up the day. Yes, those extra twenty minutes totally count! With growing sunlight comes improved moods, more outdoor exercise + happy vibes. YAY! It also means it’s time to lather in clean sunscreens before heading outdoors.
Regardless of if you are basking in the sun or bundled up, the sun means business. Did you know that even on cloudy days, 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays still make it to earth and can damage our skin? Mhm. That’s right.
Picking a sunscreen shouldn’t be hard, but there are a vast number of choices available to pick from (and all the different SPF levels). What’s more, is many sunscreens contain icky ingredients…even the expensive ones. These harmful ingredients aren’t only bad for you, but all the marine life, too.
Well, how much does the sun actually impact my skin?
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun. While that isn’t a complete shocker, we want to know what we can do to reduce that number. Well, it was found that people who use sunscreen every day with an SPF of 15 or higher showed 24 percent LESS skin aging than those who don’t! That is HUGE.
In less than five minutes, applying a daily SPF can help protect your skin from long-term sun damage and signs of aging.
Plus, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, so it’s crucial we’re making daily efforts to help minimize sun damage + exposure.
So, how do I know what products to pick?
When choosing sunscreen, there can be a lot of words thrown at us. Words (like UVA), that sure, we all hear, but what do they actually stand for? And why does this matter when I’m reading the back of the bottle? I know I was confused about some of the differences, so here is a quick breakdown of the lingo you’ll most commonly read about when looking for sunscreens.
A little lingo breakdown:
UVA = Ultraviolet A (A for aging) – INCREASES premature aging AND CAUSES SKIN TO TAN – THIS IS THE LIGHT TANNING BEDS USE *A BIG NO NO*
UVB = Ultraviolet B (B for burning) – leads to nasty sunburns
Broadspectrum Sunscreen = protects against both UVA + UVB rays
SPF = Sun Protection Factor – how long you will be protected from UVB RAYS
…And what does that mean exactly? I’m glad you asked! If you pick SPF 40, it would take you 40 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen. You can figure this formulation with each number of SPF that’s available.
WHAT SPF NUMBER DO I PICK?
Most dermatologists will push for SPF that is broad-spectrum and between 30-50, depending on your preference. While any number of SPF is better than no sunscreen at all, I always stick for above 15 to protect my skin from more UVB rays. My *perfect* number is SPF 40. I’ve tried my fair share of clean sunscreens, and the ones I have found to work best seem to always have that level of protection.
These are by far the two best clean sunscreens you must try:
By alphabetical order, because they are each ~ fab ~
This gorgeous product gives the perfect amount of light coverage and will truly leave you glowing. It has a tinted mineral SPF 40 serum that shields your skin from a handful of rays, including UVA, UVB, blue light (hello, yes, do you also stare at your computer for eight-plus hours a day at work? Same? Okay great!!) and infrared rays. This checks off the broad-spectrum box from earlier. Woohoo!
It not only protects your skin but it uses a blend of Hyaluronic Acids, plant-based Squalane (which helps to seal in moisture), and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) to even skin tones, soften fine lines and imperfections. It is also fragrance -free, oil-free, and silicone-free.
Okay, and one last thing, it has won awards in beauty mags including Allure, Glamour, Elle, and more. So you can say it’s pretty top-notch.
When buying this product online, Ilia makes it super convenient to match you with your perfect shade. There is a two-question quiz called “Let’s find your shade,” that helps you pick your correct tone and undertone. It has easy descriptions to find the best-suited color for your unique skin tone. If you are taking the quiz, click on the image most applicable to move to the next question. In a few quick clicks, you have your perfect match!
If you prefer, you can also grab this in-store or online at Credo or Sephora. Also….if you don’t know about Credo, check out this post on why it’s the best (and most expansive) clean beauty store in the U.S.
This weightless clean sunscreen can dual as a perfect primer for makeup that will leave your skin with a dewy, gorgeous finish. It gives off the perfect “no-makeup makeup” look that you can achieve in just seconds. I use this when I want a perky fresh-faced looking brightness after just waking up. Trust me, it makes allllll the difference in the morning. ☺
The sheer liquid texture will give your skin a hint of ~ pearlescence ~ for a glowing face without glitter or shimmer. It packs an added boost of hydration with a blend of hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 to give you a naturally supple look. The light layer of protection will cover your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, and leave you refreshed.
The “Glowscreen SPF 40” gives you a more of a *highlighted* look compared to the “Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40” which is more matte. I’ve tried both, and they are equally lovely, it just depends on your mood and vibe that day. Both are cruelty-free and reef-safe, which is oh so important for our big blue. Pick your choice, pal!
*I would recommend the 1.7 oz. product, as the 0.5 oz. is too small for me, given it’s used daily!* You can also purchase this online (or reserve it for pickup) at makeup stores including Sephora or Blue Mercury. Get those points, baby!
Get glowing + stay protected, babe!
I hope you give the Ilia or Supergoop clean sunscreens a try, as both are truly fab. Neither will leave a goopy or white residue behind nor a strong sunscreen smell…which is key! Let me know if you plan to take one of the amazing products for a spin, or are already using one that you love.
P.S. when you finish your clean sunscreens (regardless of the brand), make sure you recycle the empty containers responsibly. Learn how to easily do this *and get rewards towards free products* here!
Even if it’s just a speck of sunshine you get today, I hope you feel that warmth. ☺️
I need to remember to put on sunscreen more. With the pandemic, I hardly leave the house now so I’ve gotten lazy but I know it affects my skin when I don’t apply it. I love clean, vegan reef-safe and cruelty-free sunscreens! Thanks for the info!
Totally agree! I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping my Supergoop sunscreen next to my work computer so that I remember to apply it every day. Clean, vegan, cruelty- and reef-sunscreens are the best – so happy to find someone else who appreciates these!
Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂 xx
K.A. Wypych says
Love these recommendations, and I will be looking into them! Protecting our skin is underrated in our sun-loving culture. Thanks for the tips!
Woohoo!! I love how you worded that – our sun-loving culture – so well said. I hope you found a rec for a clean sunscreen you adore! Thanks so much for reading! xx
Robyn Jones says
This is very informative and so helpful. Thank you for the recommendations and for explaining the benefits of each. I am starting to take sun protection more seriously living in L.A. where it is almost always sunny, year round. ☀️🙂
I’m so happy to hear that, Robyn! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post – I hope you’ve found a sunscreen you la-la-la-love for LA! 😉 It’s sunny year-round where I’m from in AZ too, so I feel you!
I am so excited to read this post. I have used the Supergoop Glowscreen and I love it. It is just as you described–glowy and very smooth going on–but I hadn’t realized what a clean product it was. Now I am inspired to try the Ilia product. I have always found sunscreen to be a bit of a mixed blessing: I know I need to use it but it has so many horrible ingredients. I am happy to learn that, in fact, some companies have realized that there is a great need for both good sun protection and clean ingredients. And thanks for the reminder that we can recycle these products with Teracycle. I have loved your last few posts and now have you on my list for a Sunday-feel-good fix.
I am smiling ear to ear! Thank you for this absolutely lovely comment. I am so happy you’ve enjoyed the last few posts and couldn’t be any luckier to have you supporting my blog and coming back every Sunday to read the new posts! It means the world. 🙂 Isn’t the Supergoop Glowscreen amazing?! Love hearing a fellow user of that awesome product! I think you will love the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint too, as it leaves a great smooth finish. Plus, the product comes in a fun bottle that has a dropper application – I love it! I can’t wait to continue sharing these posts. xxx