What is arguably the most important yet the most frequently neglected step of the skincare routine? Well, I’m glad you asked! It just happens to be sunscreen - the chore of the skincare routine. However, hopefully, by the end of this blog, I will have helped you find a daily sunscreen that you will be excited to apply every day. Sunscreen is so important in decreasing our chances of developing melanoma, early wrinkles and aging, and general skin damage. Despite common misconceptions and the failure of the skincare industry to provide non-chalky sunscreen, it is vital no matter where you live and no matter what your skin tone. Now keep in mind I’ve been an avid sunscreener since highschool so I’ve got years of product empties under my belt. SO, let’s get started!
My overall fav: Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun SPF 50+ PA++++ ($15.90)
I’ll be the first to admit there is a lot that confuses me about sunscreen… What is exactly blocking the sun?… What are UVs? In the US we have pretty strict regulations about sunscreen and what can be used to block the UVs. It comes down to chemical and physical (zinc oxide). In the US I would generally opt for physical as it can be less irritating and pore blocking. HOWEVER, in Korea it is a whole other ballpark. They are so ahead in sunscreen technology that I am fully behind chemical sunscreens coming from Korea. This sunscreen blocks both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays, it is fragrance-free, and includes the ingredient Centella. It is rare to see large amounts of Centella in US skincare because it can be expensive, however, it is such an amazing calming agent against sensitivity and redness. Additionally, I’ve seen it recommended for dark skin tones as well (ie. NO cast!). Overall, I can’t recommend this sunscreen enough!!!
My recent fav: Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral SPF 35 ($21.99)
If I’m being honest, I bought this sunscreen for the same reason I ever buy anything from Glossier. The packaging is ridiculously perfect for sitting by your mirror looking all cute (and made with 79% PCR). Luckily, the sunscreen lived up to its packaging. It comes out with a slight tint, however upon rubbing it in I find there is no coverage or color. Despite being a mineral sunscreen, it doesn’t sit on the skin with a cast. It sinks in and leaves a tacky finish that is great as a primer for makeup.
Internet fav: Krave The Beet Shield SPF 50+ PA++++ ($20)
This is another incredible chemical sunscreen from Korea. Just like the Purito sunscreen, it leaves no cast and is great for dark skin tones as well as light skin tones. Not only does it protect against the sun, but other environmental factors that cause irritation as well. Similar to the Versed sunscreen, the packaging is immaculate. You may say that the packaging is irrelevant, but in my mind, it is vital for transforming sunscreen from a chore and into your favorite part of the skincare routine.
The melanin blessed fav: Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 ($18.99)
There are a lot of great things I could say about this formulation, from non-toxic UV protection to soothing jojoba oil to the absolute zero white cast. However if you don’t believe me, maybe you will their 2,864 five star reviews. I think they say it best on their website, “Sunscreen made by women of color for people of color, because we get sunburned too.” The notion that people of color don’t need sunscreen is dangerous and can lead to undetected skin cancers.
I will scream it from the rooftop until everyone I know is wearing sunscreen! I hope this might help even if it is a small drop in the bucket. I promise you there is a sunscreen for everyone, and when you find it, you will become as crazy as me (just ask all my friends that I have bullied into buying a daily sunscreen). Have you been wearing SPF this summer? Let me know your fav in the comments below!