Sunscreen is an important part of our skincare routine. I have known this for a long time and have been diligent about my use of it.
It has unfortunately been hard for me to find a sunscreen that I actually like. I have been through quite a few different ones and it was only until recently that I found the one that is perfect for me (might be for you, too!).
In this post I will be talking about the importance of sunscreen and this new product I love.
Most people think of the sun in a positive light (pun not really intended). It provides warm days and makes the outside look beautiful. This in turn makes us feel “sunny” on the inside. The sun also provides natural vitamin D which is beneficial in various ways.
The unfortunate thing about the sun is that it contains two types of ultraviolet rays (called UVA and UVB) which can be harmful to us. It is a dichotomy of sorts! The following are the drawbacks of exposure to the sun:
- Possibility of sun burns- I have gotten sun burned even as a dark skinned, black woman. It was not fun!
- Increased risk of skin cancer
- Risk of getting wrinkles
- Risk of getting sun spots
It is important to note that ultraviolet rays are still present during cloudy and rainy days. They also can get through the windows. This means that sunscreen needs to be worn every day no matter what.
Sunscreen: bit of history and SPF meaning
The drawbacks of sun exposure is where sunscreen comes in. It does just as the name says it does-screens your skin from the sun.
The first sunscreen formulation was created in 1932 with an actual product being put on the market in 1936. Since then, there have been tons of sunscreen products created.
When you look at the different sunscreen options, you will notice that they say something about “SPF” on it followed by a number. This is referring to the sun protection factor. This means how well it protects you from the sun. The higher the number behind it, the higher the protection from the sun.
The amount of protection on sunscreen products ranges from 15-100.You may think that 100 would be the best but experts actually say that 100 is not necessary and could possibly be harmful depending on the particular product. Sticking with sunscreen that has an SPF of 30-50 is adequate as they will block at least 97% of UV rays.
The screening ability of the sunscreen wears off after about two hours and if you get wet. Because of this, it is important to reapply every two hours.
Sunscreen: physical and chemical products
There are two types of sunscreen- physical and chemical. The differences between them are as follows:
This type of sunscreen product does it’s work by sitting on top your skin and it forms a barrier against sun rays that way. They are made with zinc and titanium oxide which are minerals. The problem people have with physical sunscreens is that they tend to leave a white cast to the skin.
This type of sunscreen product absorbs into the skin and then absorbs the sun rays that come at it. The thing that people like about chemical sunscreens is that it doesn’t leave a white cast like physical ones do. The drawback to this type is that they contain chemicals that are considered to be harmful to our bodies. These chemicals include oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate and octocrylene. They have been shown to possibly mess with hormones as well as causing allergic reactions and/or acne breakouts.
There are many options for sunscreens that fall into these categories. It is up to you to decide which type of sunscreen you would be willing to use every two hours.
My past sunscreen usage
I have been diligent about wearing sunscreen since I was around 18 years old. I was told that people with dark skin need to wear it and that us not needing to is just a myth.
We can get skin cancer, sun spots and wrinkles too!
The sunscreen I used back then was a light-feeling one from Oil of Olay. It was extremely moisturizing and did not break me out. I didn’t find out until much later though that it’s SPF of 15 is low and I should be at 30 SPF at least.
The time that I found out about how using a higher SPF than 15 was recommended, I was in panic-mode about my face. I was only three months postpartum and it seemed like my face was looking really old. I was really bothered by this and was desperate to do something about it.
I read a lot about how a higher SPF sunscreen would prevent my face from getting even older looking and prevent my dark marks from getting darker. This prompted me to go out and pick up a different sunscreen to try.
Knowing that I couldn’t have anything with fragrances in them, I ended up picking sunscreen from the Vanicream line. The first one was a physical one that had an SPF of 50. I was excited to try it but when I put it on, I looked like I had dipped my face in white paint. I did not want to go out in the world like that so I just decided to use it on the kids in my daycare business.
I looked up other Vanicream sunscreens to see if they all left the white cast and I found out there was one that didn’t! This sunscreen was their Broad Spectrum Sport SPF 35 product. I was really happy I came across the reviews for it and bought it right away.
The Vanicream SPS 35 sunscreen did go on pretty white but when I rubbed it in good, the white didn’t show anymore. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it definitely did not provide any moisturization to my skin. It was pretty dry so I would put my rosehip or almond oil on my skin before applying the sunscreen.
I used this awesome sunscreen product for a long time and was very happy with it. Unfortunately, the Vanicream sunscreens have been discontinued now because of supply-chain issues stemming from the pandemic.
New sunscreen problem
I was really disappointed that my favorite sunscreen was no longer available. This sent me on an annoying hunt for another one that would take its place.
I needed a sunscreen that would do the same thing that the Vanicream one did- not leave a white cast. It of course had to be fragrance free, too.
I came across one that seemed like it would be good for me. This product is called Black Girl Sunscreen and is SPF 30. It was made to sink into the skin and not leave a white cast. It also didn’t have any fragrance in it.
You can probably see why I would want to buy it!
When I got it in the mail, I wanted to try it right away. I was amazed at how well it sunk in and it had a great natural scent to it. The product impressed me so much that I was considering posting about it here on my blog site.
When I was doing some research on sunscreen that I was going to add into the post though, I came across information about harmful chemicals that are put into some sunscreens. I guess I had never read about this before or cared.
When I looked at the back of the Black Girl Sunscreen, I realized that it contains all of the bad chemicals. Ugh!
This chemical stuff made me not want to use it. So it was back to the drawing board to find a physical sunscreen that met my requirements.
The perfect sunscreen
Since the Black Girl Sunscreen didn’t work out, I really needed to get a new one because I can’t be without it in my skincare routine. This meant that I had to look all over the internet yet again. I finally found one that looked promising after learning about how there are sheer, tinted physical sunscreens products.
The product that I ended up getting is by CeraVe and it is called, Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen. It is considered to be sheer and has a “universal tint.” The latter means that it blends into any skin tone. As with all CeraVe products, it is also fragrance free. This means that it met my requirements.
Just like the Black Girl Sunscreen, I tried it right away once it came in the mail. I was immediately pleased by it. The texture was smooth and it went on very nicely. Not only that but it also blended into my skin tone and did not leave a white cast.
I was worried about getting a breakout from using this but I am happy to say that I haven’t had any new pimples since I first began. The only drawback is the it is a little oily on my skin. To remedy this, I just blot my skin a bit with a paper towel. It also is a little on the pricy side, but I am hoping to finally have an income soon.
All in all, this sunscreen is perfect enough for me!
I would highly recommend this CeraVe sunscreen. It is a great choice for people who are looking for a sunscreen without harmful chemicals that also doesn’t leave a thick white cast. That being said, it may not be perfect for everyone because we are all different.
Here are the pros and cons of it:
- Nice texture
- Very moisturizing
- No harmful chemical ingredients
- Fragrance free
- Has niacinamide in it so it may treat acne, calm redness, provide hydration, improve skin texture and even the skin tone.
- Is a sunscreen!
- May not blend well with everyone’s skin tone
- May leave some feeling too greasy or oily
- May cause breakouts in some
- SPF might not be high enough for some
- Might seem a little expensive for the amount you get
Wearing sunscreen is important
We should all be wearing sunscreen everyday due to its benefits for our health and beauty. I am so glad that I found this one by CeraVe because it was just what I have been needing. If you are in the market for a new sunscreen, consider giving it a try!
What sunscreen do you use?
Thanks for reading!
Ideas for other sheer mineral sunscreens to try: https://www.glamour.com/gallery/best-mineral-sunscreen
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