Tricks of the Trade: Top 5 everyday sunscreens


Hello, Miss Kelly. I am working in the kitchen as sous chef. Wondering what’s best sunscreen for those who have dry skin and how to correctly apply it.

While most people still think that sunscreen should only be worn on the beach, the reality is it has to be applied everyday.  Our skin is subjected to constant UV exposure, and what we don’t see are its long-term, irreversible effects that lead to premature aging and even skin cancer. Yes, the heat isn’t the only thing we should worry about, but the sun’s rays that deliver three types of radiation: UVA has been known to cause premature wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and sagging skin; UVB results in skin reddening and painful sunburns; and UVC rays lead to the formation of skin radicals.

Before you reach for the nearest bottle of sunscreen, know that everyday sun protection need not be as dense, thick and uncomfortable as the ones you use for the beach. These days sunscreen is formulated for easy absorption without the stickiness or the “kabuki effect” we usually have to endure when we apply it. Some brands even make them specifically to be worn underneath makeup, so it has to disappear into skin after applying it. Everyday sunscreen should be wearable, have an SPF of at least 30, and be easily absorbed by the skin.

The best way to apply sunscreen is by spreading it generously on clean skin. Like I mentioned, you want a product that is easily absorbed by your skin so make sure to test the product before purchasing it. If it is too much of a chore, you may not likely continue using it, so choosing the right brand is crucial. Then, apply again after a few hours, especially when you know you will be under the sun. If you’re wearing makeup and you’ve already applied sunscreen underneath it, find a powder that contains SPF so you can easily reapply that and not have to redo your makeup. Another important thing to remember is that your everyday sunscreen should protect against all types of UV rays. These are usually labeled “broad-spectrum” or “multi-spectrum.”

I’ve tried a lot of brands that offer everyday sun protection, but the following wear really well and are effective on my skin. Check out these five great sunscreens:

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42. This oil-free daily sunscreen protects against three major causes of skin cell damage: UV rays, oxidation and overproduction of sebum. I know you mentioned you have dry skin—you need not worry about this product drying it out even more. While it prevents oiliness, it also contains mineral powders and herbal extracts that deliver a pore-free and shine-free finish. This product is lightweight and spreads smoothly on skin, so application is super easy. It offers broad-spectrum protection.

Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen SPF 40. Apart from its usual sun protection, this product also contains skincare that helps prevent early signs of skin aging. It works by using a 100-percent mineral filter that defends against harmful UV rays and pollution (it has a patented anti-pollution complex). One of its ingredients is organic cantaloupe, which has been known to fight free radicals and DNA damage. The best part about it is sheer, so you can pair it with any moisturizer (a plus for you, since you have dry skin). This sunscreen is also oil-free, which makes it easy to layer makeup on top.

Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 25. I know I said your sunscreen should be a minimum of 30, but this is an exemption. This particular product is super sheer and lightweight, you would want to keep applying it everyday. More important, it doesn’t contain chemical sunscreen ingredients, so this is ideal for sensitive skin and for applying near the eye area. It is also broad-spectrum, which means it protects again all UV rays. 

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+. Apart from being oil-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free and color-free, this sunscreen offers a new optimized combination of sun filters for an even, more lightweight, nongreasy application. It also contains Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that has been known to prevent free-radical damage. This means your skin gets nourished as you apply it, which is great for dry skin. A plus side to this is that it is water resistant, so it wont slide off your face when you sweat.

Philosophy Hope Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 30. Since this is a moisturizer and sunscreen in one, it might work best on your skin. It is oil-free, so you don’t have to worry about streaking or melting makeup, and it is formulated with broad-spectrum so it covers all UV rays. What I like best about it is that it contains multiple antioxidants to hydrate and protect skin, which crosses over to skincare. It is also paraben-, sulfate- and synthetic-free.



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