Skincare Matchmaker: Sun Protection

Our skin is as unique as we are, which is why we take a “Skincare Matchmaker” approach to products. This month, we put sun protection on the spot. We spoke with two experts — Dr. Leslie Baumann, founder of Skin Type Solutions and Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute and Miami-based dermatologist Debra Price, M.D.— who shared everything you need to know. (P.S. If you’re just tuning in you can catch up with the rest of the series here

Sun Protection Basics

You know UV rays are bad for you but do you know just how bad? “UV rays break down collagen, leading to wrinkles; stimulate melanocytes, causing brown spots; and suppress your immune system, which can lead to skin cancer,” says Dr. Baumann. It’s crucial to apply sun protection every day, even if you spend most of your time indoors. SPF, or sun protection factor, is the term used to gauge a product’s ability to protect skin from ultraviolet B rays. Products with an SPF of 15 to 50 can help protect your skin in two ways: “Chemically, by taking UV rays and converting them to heat, or physically, by reflecting light,” says Dr. Price. Read on to find out which formulas work best for your skin type.

Skin Types & Concerns

Senstive/Rosacea:

Because chemical-based sunscreens can irritate sensitive skin, Price recommends products that contain physical blocks like titanium dioxide and transparent zinc oxide. Anti-inflammatory suncreens (Aveeno Ultra-Calming Lotion and Eucerin Redness Relief are Baumann’s picks) keep redness at bay. Avoid SPFs higher than 50, as they can increase irritation.

Oily/Aacne Prone:

If you have oily or acne prone skin, you might be tempted to skip sunscreen - Don’t! Instead, Dr. Baumann suggests mixing equal parts of an oil controlling and a SPF moisturizer together, or looking for a lotion that contains glycolic acid. Price says sunscreens containing Mexoryl sx (also known as ecamsule) can also work on oilier complexions.

Resistant/Hyperpigmentation:

Resistant skin takes well to virtually all sunscreen types. To address hyperpigmentation, Baumann recommends products like NIA24 and Olay Pro-X.

Dry/Sun Damage:

The key to protecting dry and sun damaged skin is priming it for SPF absorption. Apply a rich moisturizer underneath your sunscreen for maximum results. Try FIX Malibu’s The Works, which has ingredients to counteract UV damage.

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