The Skinny with Val
Would you believe me if I told you there's a magic potion that might literally turn back the clock for your complexion? It's inexpensive and easy to use. You can even buy it at the drugstore. This enchanted elixir is...sunscreen.
You most likely already know that consistently using sunscreen can help prevent premature wrinkles, hyperpigmentation (dark spots), and skin cancer. But a small 2016 study found that daily use of broad-spectrum sun protection may also visibly reverse existing sun damage, including rough texture, lack of clarity, and hyperpigmentation. So, if you want to preserve (and maybe even improve) your beautiful self, use a sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF 30—no excuses—every day. Any questions?
Q: If my moisturizer contains broad-spectrum SPF 30, do I need to apply sunscreen on top of it?
No, your moisturizer will help protect you from skin cancer and the photodamage that causes aging. And if it also contains brightening and softening antioxidants, amino acids, and peptides, you'll get a trifecta of healthy skin benefits. If you're going to be outside for a prolonged period, you must reapply sunscreen every couple of hours. Instead of remoisturizing, try dusting on a mineral sunscreen powder to get the protection you need, says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Q: What protective ingredients should I look for in a daily moisturizer?
You want sunscreen to be listed as one of its active ingredients. (The actives in a formula must adhere to FDA guidelines and be listed separately on the label.) Look for chemical protectors avobenzone, oxybenzone, and homosalate, or physical protectors zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Q: Can I just use a foundation with SPF?
You should think of sunscreen in your makeup as an extra protective layer—your second line of defense, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Wearing foundation with an SPF of 8 to 15 or higher increases the likelihood that you're getting good protection because many people apply sunscreen unevenly or not liberally enough.
Q: Is it okay to use sunscreen around my eyes?
You should! The thinner, delicate skin around your eyes needs protection, though not all sunscreens are suitable for that area. There are now many SPF creams specifically formulated to be safe around the eyes; the label should say so.