Wearing sunscreen every day
According to the Government of Canada, skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Canada, counting for about one third of all new cases of cancer. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the two most common types of skin cancer; while melanoma, which is rarer, is considered to be a much more aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer.
The good news: Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher reduces the risk of developing BCC and SCC by about 40 percent, and reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
"Sunscreen reduces your overall UV [ultraviolet] exposure and lowers your risk of skin cancer and sun damage," says Hadley King, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medicine. With regular use, sunscreen can help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer and also prevent premature skin aging caused by the sun—think: Wrinkles, sagging, and discoloration or age spots, Dr. Hadley explains.
It's especially important on your face. Your face is one of the areas of the body that gets the highest amount of sun exposure, says Haley Goldbach, MD, California-based board-certified dermatologist. "That means it's prone to both skin cancer and aging," she says.
Your face gets a lot of "sneaky sun exposure" throughout the day, meaning, it's getting hit by UV rays even if you don't notice it, Dr. Goldbach says. "Walking to the store, driving, even taking out the trash. It all adds up. And don't be fooled by clouds or colder weather—UV radiation still hits the skin."
While most dermatologists suggest wearing wide-brimmed hats and seeking shade as much as possible when you're spending time outside, that doesn't really help in everyday life. You're not going to wear a big beach hat on your commute to work. What you can easily do is apply face sunscreen every morning before you leave the house.
Buy a sunscreen with at least SPF 30
Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with at least SPF 30. "A sunscreen's SPF, or sun protection factor, measures how much the product shields shorter-wave ultraviolet B rays, known as UVB radiation, which can cause sunburn," Dr. King explains. Sunscreens with SPFs that are higher only offer marginally better protection from a sunburn than SPF 30; for example, SPF 100 blocks 99 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks 98 percent and SPF 30 blocks 96.7 percent, Dr. King says. "I therefore generally recommend using a sunblock that has SPF 30 or higher."
Read the sunscreen labels
You also want to look for sunscreen labelled "broad-spectrum." This means it protects against both UVB [ultraviolet B] and UVA [ultraviolet A] rays, which are both responsible for causing skin damage that can lead to skin cancer and aging.
Facial skin is often more sensitive than skin on the rest of the body, Dr. King notes, meaning that it's more likely to break out or become red and irritated from products. To reduce the risk of breakouts, look for products labelled "non-comedogenic" or "oil-free." If you have sensitive skin, avoid any added fragrances or "parfum," suggests Dr. Goldbach, as these ingredients can potentially cause an allergic reaction.
Physical (or mineral) sunscreens
More and more, dermatologists suggest choosing a physical (or mineral) sunscreen over chemical sunscreen if you can. That means the active ingredients should be zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Physical sunscreens sit on the top of the skin and block UV rays, whereas chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and absorb UV rays before they can do damage, the Skin Cancer Foundation explains. A 2019 study published in JAMA found that common chemical sunscreen ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream. This has led experts to question the safety of chemical sunscreens, though more research needs to be done to determine if the typical amount we use is enough to cause adverse effects. In the meantime, many dermatologists suggest opting for physical when you can—though any sunscreen is always better than none, Dr. Goldbach notes.
Physical sunscreens may also be kinder to your skin. "Physical sunscreens are less likely to clog pores and irritate complexions, particularly for those with sensitive skin," says Dr. King. That's because these active ingredients are non-comedogenic and also tend to be a bit drying. (Keep in mind, though, that facial sunscreens may contain other ingredients that can cause breakouts, Dr. King adds.) As a bonus, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are also safer for the oceans and coral reefs, Dr. Goldbach says.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide used to be known for being thick, chalky, hard to spread, and very white. But in recent years, skin-care brands have made leaps and bounds in product formulation. "So many companies have developed products that are incredibly sheer and won't leave a white residue," says Dr. Goldbach.
Below, with the help of Dr. Goldbach and Dr. King, we've rounded up 10 great face sunscreen options that you won't mind wearing every day. Bonus: Some of them can double as a tinted moisturizer, making your morning routine even simpler. (See, applying sunscreen doesn't always mean more work!)
6 Dermatologist-Approved Face Sunscreens to Wear Every Day, Source:https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/skin/face-sunscreens/