Why You Need to Wear SPF everyday

Supergoop Play Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen | Hanitra

How Wearing SPF Daily Changed my Skin  

Some of the things I always hear about my skin and the sun: 

"You have darker skin, so you never get sunburnt"

"You have darker skin, so why do you wear SPF?"

"Your skin doesn't age, so you don't have to worry about the sun..." 

Well, let me tell you that all of that is FALSE!

While the sun doesn't visibly damage darker suns as bad as it does on fair skin tones, there are still non-reversible damage done to your skin, which will just catch up with you when you get older. The sun is important because it helps us produce vitamin D, which is really important for our daily wellbeing but it also release UV rays, which aren't that good for us. 

UVA rays are responsible for the premature signs of ageing that appear on our skin and irreversible sun damage. UVA rays really penetrate into the skin because they have a long wavelength, but most importantly they are the ones that can cause skin cancer. This is one of the primary reasons why you should wear sunscreen daily. Although the UV rays are stronger when the sun is 'fully' out, they are still getting to your skin even on cloudy days. 

UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and are the ones that cause burning. A lot of sunscreens used to only protect from those rays back when we used to only wear sunscreen on hot days (can't believe there was such a time). But now, most sunscreens out there are broad-spectrum and are good to wear dail, even under makeup! I'd recommend going for at least an SPF 30, although I personally always go for an SPF 50. 

The Benefits of Sunscreen 

If I had to downsize my morning skincare to one step, it would be sunscreen. I've been wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 50 daily for a few years and it has drastically changed my skin, I mainly see the difference when I don't wear SPF and I can visibly see how much worse my skin gets. Since I had bad acne, I still have some scars on my face, which is one of the main reasons why I wear sunscreen. But other than that, these are the reasons why you need sunscreen daily: 

  • Better skin texture: I used to have a lot of tiny bumps (keratosis pilaris) on my skin and wearing SPF has really changed things for me. At first I didn't notice that it was thanks to wearing sunscreen until I stopped wearing it for a few days (because I ran out) and the difference in my skin was crazy. 
  • Acne scars and PIH fade faster: As I said, this is the main reason why I wear sunscreen. I've always dealt with scarring and pigmentation and that's actually when my mother told me to wear sunscreen (haven't stopped since). But last year, when my adult acne was so bad that I think I might PIH for the years to come. Which is ok, but I just know that sunscreen is not a step that I can miss in my routine if I want those to go away eventually. 
  • My other skincare products work better: Since my main goals with my skin are to repair and get a more even skin tone, in the evening, I use active like retinol and chemical exfoliants (not at the same time, don't worry). So during the day, you really want to make sure you're using sunscreen because your skin is a bit sensitive from using those products that will boost cell turnover. Not wearing sunscreen would just make my skin worse and create some long-term damage. 

Mineral or Chemical Sunscreen? 

There's a big debate going on with mineral and chemical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens are the more 'mainstream' type of sunscreens, and chances are that if you don't know much about sunscreen, you're using a chemical one.While it sounds more scary, not all chemical SPF is dangerous or harmful for the skin. Some formulations out there are pretty bad and do more harm for your skin than good (and that's the case for any skin product). If you have sensitive skin and are more prone to having reactions, I'd recommend going for a mineral sunscreen. 

Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide, which is prone to leave a white cast and as you can imagine, is not the best for my skin. Unless I'm going to wear makeup on top, I would stay away from mineral sunscreen day to day. Since I have a darker skin tone, mineral sunscreens aren't great for me because they leave a white cast on my skin. Mineral sunscreens don't absorb into the skin like chemical ones do, so the white cast usually lasts all day long, especially on days when I don't wear makeup. 

What I learned is that, there are chemical and minerals sunscreens that are great but there are also really bad ones. Although chemicals are getting bad rep right now, there are some mineral sunscreens that are terrible for you and the environment out there, it's all about making your research to know what products would suit your skin type and skin tone the best. 

What does the SPF number mean? 

Don't know what to choose between SPF 15, 30 50? That number indicates how well and to some extent how long your skin is well protected from the sun with that factor on. It's often recommended to reapply your SPF every two hours. 
The higher the SPF factor, the longer it is working to protect your skin from the UV rays. For the sunscreen to be really effective, you need to make sure you're applying enough of it otherwise, you may have surprise sun spots at the end of the day. I would recommend wearing at least an SPF 30 all year long and an SPF 50 in the summertime, since the UV index goes up when the sun is properly out. 

My Holy Grail Sunscreens (for Dark Skin)

La Roche Posay Anthelios  - Been wearing this one for at least 4-5 years. My mother introduced me to this one and it's been in my skincare routine ever since. Although I do switch up from time to time, this is a product I always come back to. The fluid texture allows the product to absorb really well into the skin and leaves a glowy finish. It's also a great base if you wear makeup underneath. 

Supergoop Play Everyday - I've been trying this one out for a little bit and... I love it! After using the La Roche Posay one for so long, I was afraid that I might not like any sunscreens after that. This broad-spectrum strongly protects from UVB rays, so I definitely will be wearing this summer when the sun is stronger than usual. I'm lucky enough that I didn't have too many sunburns in my life but I remember the ones I had and I want to make sure that doesn't happen again. 
Nuori Mineral Defence  - If I want to wear a mineral sunscreen, this is the one. This broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen is made with really clean and good ingredients for your skin. But it does have a really thick consistency and white cast that doesn't work well with my skin tone. Although the white cast goes away during the day. I still end up with a purple tone on my face in the evening which makes me look a bit unwell if I'm honest. But if I do go to the beach, this is the one I will go for as is it reef safe and creates a safe barrier between my skin and the UV rays. 

Elta MD UV Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 - Haven't tried this one but I want to! It's everything I want in a sunscreen: broad-spectrum protection, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. The only problem is that it's a mineral sunscreen and I don't know if I want to put my money towards a mineral sunscreen right now. Although I've only heard people rave about this sunscreen, Susan Yara talks about this all the time, I can't help but think this might leave a white cast and make me look purple down the line. 


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