Protecting yourself from the sun: NEW LEARNING and FINDS!
Updated: Sep 19
SPF! Every year I learn more and more about sun protection and this year is no exception. In this post I hope to educate you on what to look for in a sunscreen. I'll keep it short and sweet!
I'll be doing an Amazon live all about sun protection later today but I wanted to share this here first in case you can't make it.
PHYSICAL OR MINERAL
First of all determine if you have a preference between physical (mineral) and chemical sunscreens. The difference is the sun filters and if you have sensitive skin you may want to stick with physical (mineral) SPF. If you have sensitive eyes or you work out in the sun sweat may "run" your sun screen so you may want mineral based so that your eyes aren't affected like they would be with a chemical sun screen. Some are a mix-mostly physical with one chemical filter to bolster protection. I do not find that the hybrids bother my skin or eyes but do take note when there is a chemical filter in the mix that that is possible. Always look for Zinc Oxide in mineral sun protection (titanium dioxide alone is not good enough) and Avobenzone in chemical sun protection. Those are the filters (in the states) that protect against UVA (ageing/cancer) rays.
Next, look for a sunscreen with these ingredients: IRON OXIDES
(help protect against visible light (blue light. This is ESPECIALLY important if you have skin with more melanin-a 3(ish), 4,5, or 6 on the Fitzpatrick scale. Even more important if you are in those ranges and are fighting hyperpigmentation as visible light is shown to affect darker skin (darker than Fitz 1 and 2) and exacerbate pigmentary issues more than lighter skin.
(help neutralize oxidative stresses) this is important but can be addressed in a serum (vitamin C for example) under your sunscreen. I do love to see antioxidants in sunscreen.
DNA REPAIR ENZYMES/INGREDIENTS
This is a way to up the protection. DNA repair enzymes have been shown to literally remove damage from DNA and patch it back up....effectively repairing OLD damage while protecting against new damage. Look for plankton in an ingredient deck even if the product doesn't say DNA repair enzymes. Often plankton is EXCELLENT at repairing and protecting our DNA from sun damage.
Don't get TOO caught up in the Zinc percentage. Zinc can be tiny or large in a formula affecting it's protective value. Look for the SPF number and know that that Is a value that tells us how much time we have before we burn. Knowing the right ingredients to look for is super important.
Here are my current recommendations- all literally sitting in front of me on my desk. You do not need them all (at ALL)-the best sunscreen is the one you WILL WEAR.
*Penn Smith Skincare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program. Many links are affiliate links, meaning I am compensated when you shop through these at no extra fee to you.
Best DNA repair SPF (in my opinion so far) is the NEOVA Silc Sheer 2.0 Photo finish tint SPF 40 Zinc, Titanium and Octinoxate with DNA repair enzymes (photolysomes ((usually derived from plankton and light activated)), Endosomes, and antioxidants along with iron oxides. Really a powerhouse sunscreen! The texture is sheer and doesn't offer a ton of coverage. It is yellow at first site but disappears in to the skin (no white cast, no yellow cast). This one comes in a 2.5 oz tube with a pump for no mess. So far this year my best SPF discovery https://amzn.to/3fJIu1e
Best new discovery for darker skin tones (Fitz 3,4,5+6) is by Dermaquest. Their Sheer Zinc tinted sunscreens are fantastic! They are zinc oxide along with iron oxides, licorice, plankton (yes!!) and vitamin C. This is a GREAT choice if you have skin darker than a 3 on the Fitzpatrick scale as these sunscreens protect from visible (blue light). We now know that visible light is especially detrimental to darker skin tones and contributes to hyperpigmentation (esp in skin types 3+). This comes in 3 shades-and is a very sheer beautiful color with NO white cast. Sunkissed shade (middle shade) will be my "summer color" as it is darker than I am now. https://amzn.to/3fHoLPG I also have the nude shade which is perfect for me right now: https://amzn.to/3uMcu0B It comes in Tan also (which I haven't seen in person).
BEST FOR REDNESS
If you are red or have redness consider the Dr Jart Cicapair color correcting SPF. It is green to beige and helps to neutralize redness. I love this on my neck! https://amzn.to/3uKBDIX
Colorscience has a couple products specific to the under eyes and the lips. I have used the 3-1 total eye for YEARS. It is a color correcting SPF for the under eye area and it is so easily reapplied that I carry it everywhere with me. https://amzn.to/3rbn7K0
Their lipgloss in champagne is also a fave-SPF 35 and sheer slightly glossy color is what I prefer in the summer. https://amzn.to/2S7T493
Last from Colorscience is their powder. This is an excellent way to top off sunscreen during the day. This should NOT be used as the primary sun protection but only as a reapplication product. https://amzn.to/3wRR03T
I still love my Drmtlgy and my CerAve. Great options and if you have them and love them (and wear them) then that is GREAT!
Shop Drmtlgy year round at 20% off with code M9HH1
Body: I am still using and loving my aveeno Protect and Hydrate. It's just a great body sunscreen in SPF 60.
The whole list is here:
(each product has a short note with it, if you have questions on any of them just ask below).
Interested in reading more on DNA repair enzymes?
Check out this article in Pub Med:
Please join my private Facebook Group for more information and discussion on SPF and DNA repair enzymes!