Quick sun reminder: the sunlight that reaches us is made up of two types of harmful rays: long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short wave ultraviolet B (UVB). Here’s an easy way to remember the difference: UVB rays burn the superficial layers of the skin, while UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis (the skin’s thickest layer). UVAs are incredibly damaging and can lead to premature skin aging. Keep your defenses up with a sunscreen that protects you.
Remember that the sun protection factor (SPF) measures the ability to block UVB radiation. The higher the number, the greater the protection. Here’s a quick reference point: SPF 15 sunscreen may absorb about 92% of UVB radiation while an SPF 40 may absorb up to 97.5% of the UVB radiation. Another way to think about SPF is to consider how long it takes your unprotected skin to burn. An SPF 15 means your skin would take 15 times longer to burn (for example, you’d extend 15 mintues to 150 minutes).
Here's our round-up of the 5 best sunscreens to protect your skin:
COOLA Face SPF 30 Matte Finish Cucumber
Say hello to your new everyday sunblock. Mineral active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide work overtime to scatter and reflect UVA/UVB rays while borage seek oil targets early signs of aging. It’s ideal for all skin types, including those that are especially sensitive or oily. And, it smells exactly like a freshly cut cucumber. This organic favourite is available locally at LUX Beauty Boutique.
Kiehl's Since 1851 Cross-Terrain UV Face Protector SPF 50
Designed to provide UVA/UVB broad-spectrum protection against sunburn in even the most extreme weather conditions. Having been tested on cliff climbs, ocean dives and arctic treks by National Geographic’s team of young explores, this face protector delivers unprecedented performance. Simply, this Kiehl's stuff is tough. Available at Kiehl's stores in West Edmonton Mall and Southgate Centre.
Vichy Capital Soleil High Protection Body Oil SPF 30
Those most resistant to using sun protection will adore this protective Vichy dry oil. It’s reminiscent of the days we baked in sun drenched in oil, yet it offers a high SPF and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. The luxurious oil dries to a satin finish giving a radiant, sun-kissed glow. Available at drugstores.
Vichy Capital Soleil Bare Skin Feel Face and Body SPF 60
A breakthrough in texture: unlike most high SPF sunscreens, which can feel icky, Vichy delivers sun protection that feels like your daily skin care. Its dry-touch texture is ideal for slathering on your face and body. Available at drugstores.
Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray SPF 45
We promise this Neutrogena sunblock will never leave your beach bag: sweatproof and waterproof. If you’re re-applying after a quick swim, you’ll appreciate that it’s designed to be applied to wet or damp skin with minimal whitening or dripping off. Available in SPF 30 to SPF 85+. Available at drugstores.
(p.s. looking for a little faux glow? Here are our favorite products!)