I'm going to make a bad beauty editor confession and admit that I don't love wearing sunscreen. It's not that I don't know I need it: I spend a lot of time talking to dermatologists, and not a single conversation goes by without them telling me how important it is to wear at least SPF 30 every day, rain or shine. Aside from protecting against skin cancer, sunscreen can seriously help combat signs of skin aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration, all of which come as a result of free radical damage caused by harmful UV rays (fun fact: sun exposure actually accounts for 90 percent of signs of skin aging).
Considering only 11 percent of people actually wear sunscreen every day, though, I'm not alone in my feelings about how slathering on sunscreen has traditionally, well, kind of sucked. Because, let's be real, who wants to slap a goopy white glob of product on their faces every two hours? Not me.
Thankfully, though, the last few years have seen sunscreen get a whole lot smarter, and the industry now offers a number of sun protection products that are actually fun to put on. In the latest episode of Zoë Tries It All, I'm showing off the ones that have finally converted me into a daily SPF wearer.
As any skin pro will tell you, the "best" sunscreen is the one that you can commit to applying every single day, whether it's sunny or pouring—and for me, that means integrating SPF products into steps that are already a part of my routine. SPF moisturizers, makeup, and setting sprays have become my best friend, and allow me to step outside (or just sit in front of my window or computer screen) knowing I'm properly protected. Check out the video above to see how I put them to use, then shop the products below.
1. SPF moisturizer
Regardless of your skin type, you should be applying moisturizer every morning (yes, even if you're oily or acne-prone), and using an SPF-infused formula will allow you to pair two important steps into one. After all, who doesn't love a double-duty product? Personally, I love using formulas that have a little bit of "glow" in them, meaning that they leave behind a slightly pearlescent finish. Even on days when I'm not wearing makeup, they make my skin look luminous and even while also offering some solid sun protection. The products I swear by all include hydrating ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, which only up their skin benefits further.
Model Winnie Harlow developed this sunscreen after struggling to find a product that matched her skin, and the resulting formula is nothing short of wonderful. It doesn’t leave behind any sort of white cast, but instead makes your complexion look slightly bronzed and radiant.
One of the leaders in the luminizing sunscreen game, this hydrating SPF now comes in three shades to match different skin tones as well as an option that’s meant to be used all over your body.
2. SPF makeup
On days when I am wearing makeup, I figure I may as well use products with SPF in them. And honestly, considering there are so many great options on the market these days, it's pretty hard to find an excuse not to. For example, I love to use sunscreen/concealer hybrids to cover my dark spots, since sun damage is known to make discoloration worse. I'm also a fan of using SPF eyeshadow and lip balm, because your eyes and lips are highly prone to sun damage (your eyes are actually one of the first spots to show signs of aging), yet are often ignored because they don't lend themselves well to traditional sunscreens. That said, it's rare that makeup will truly give you the full amount of sun protection you need (derms recommend applying two-fingers-worth of sunscreen to your face, which feels like a lot of foundation), which is why layering these products with other forms of sun protection is so important. Think of them less as a "one and done" type of thing, and more as a bonus.
This palette includes five different shades to meet all of your concealer needs (two light ones to correct red tones, two medium ones to correct blue tones, and a dark one to correct green and yellow tones) while also upping your sun defense with SPF 20. The brand offers light/medium, medium/dark, and deep options so that there’s a palette to work with every skin tone.
For $11, you can cover your blemishes and ensure that your dark spots will be protected from whatever sun damage threatens to make them more pronounced.
With four shimmery shades to choose from, protecting the skin around your eyes has never felt more glam. Another perk? The beautiful bronze, gold, champagne, and copper colors can all double as highlighters wherever you want to add a little extra glow.
Swap your lipstick for one of these nourishing sun-protective shades. With SPF 50, you can go all out this summer feeling confident your lips will stay safe.
3. SPF hand lotion
The backs of our hands are one of those spots that tend to show sun damage more quickly than the rest of our bodies. Not only is the skin here thin and delicate, but it's also exposed to the sun more frequently (especially because most of us forget to put sunscreen here... myself included). You can typically just slather on a typical facial sunscreen, but my advice? Look for one that's easily absorbed and ultra-hydrating, which will keep your hands protected and well-moisturized even after all those 60-second washes.
Derms are constantly recommending this drugstore diamond for wear all over your body, and your hands are no exception. It literally “melts into” your skin (the name is pretty on point), so applying it takes less than 10 seconds, and you’re ready to go.
If you’re a fan of physical sunscreens (which tend to be less likely to cause irritation on sensitive skin), this stuff is a great option. It absorbs easily and doesn’t leave behind the typical chalky finish we’ve all come to associate with mineral formulas.
4. SPF spray
Derms recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours, which can be a hard sell if you're concerned about keeping your makeup looking fresh (and can also just be... hard to remember when you're out there living your life). SPF sprays allow you to quickly mist your skin with a little extra sun protection, no matter where you are. I like to keep a bottle in my purse when I'm running around, and the fact that many of these formulas offer cooling properties make me actually want to apply them on super hot, sunny days.
Not only doest this mist deliver SPF 38, but it also smells like cucumber and helps to cool down your skin—a treat on any summer day, for sure.
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