Ask any dermatologist, and they’ll likely say that the most important skin care step is sunscreen.
Like a final line of defense, sunscreen has always played the role of skin’s protector. Come rain or shine, it should be worn every single day; after cleansing, toning, and moisturizing the face, an SPF 30 (or higher) should be applied before makeup.
Dr. Frances Jang, a Vancouver dermatologist and injection specialist who recently partnered with Dermapure (a renowned network of high-end aesthetic medicine clinics in Canada), says SPF is all about mindset: basically, if you’re going outdoors, you need to protect yourself. “They key thing is the amount you put on,” says Jang, who runs Dermapure’s Vancouver location near Dunbar and West 41st Avenue. Taking a bottle of SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair Broad SPF 34 Sunscreen, Jang pumps about a quarter teaspoon onto her hand to show how much is needed for the average-sized face. “That’s the thickness you want,” she says, adding that if applying sunblock to the whole body, one ounce (the equivalent of a shot glass) is needed for exposed areas.
With many sunscreens to choose from, finding the perfect companion for a summer in the sun is worth it—because beautiful days are for getting outdoors. Here, a selection of high-end options.
Spray It, Don’t Say It: Coola Eco-Lux Body SPF 30 Organic Sunscreen Spray
Since nothing smells quite like a vacation more than a tropical cocktail, Coola has created a sheer, water- and sweat-resistant organic formula that smells just as good as it feels. The Eco-Lux Organic Sport SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray is made for those who need to reapply as they go in and out of the pool or lake. Packed with 70 per cent certified organic ingredients, the formula boasts antioxidants like algae extract, red raspberry seed oil, and aloe vera extract; plus, it absorbs without that greasy feel, proving that a sunscreen doesn’t have to be thick in order to work. Now bring on the piña coladas.
The Perfect Tint: SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
If you want some makeup coverage at the beach but don’t want to layer on multiple products, this is the sunscreen for you. Dermatologist favourite SkinCeuticals has created a pure mineral sunblock with a sheer tint that melts into the skin. When gently patted onto the face, the formula blends beautifully, lightly covering up redness and dark spots. With a mix of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (a must in sunscreens), this paraben-free formula keeps the skin soft and dewy.
You Can Have It All: Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50
What if your sunscreen could not only protect you from UVB rays, but also promote collagen production and minimize signs of aging? That’s exactly what Dermalogica’s Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 does. The soothing moisturizer is more than what most sunscreens have to offer, neutralizing free radicals caused by the sun. A part of Dermalogica’s Age Smart collection, the sunscreen not only tones the texture of the skin, but also reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation and fine lines. Even without the sun, this product leaves faces glowing and safe all day long.
Feeling Patriotic: Functionalab Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
With a unique pure mineral formula, Quebec-based Functionalab has created a product that protects against photodamage caused by UVA and UVB rays. “SPF only refers to UBV protection, whereas UVA is the more deeply penetrating ultra violet light that causes probably more damage in a way,” says Jang, noting that a chemist was employed to guarantee this Canada-made formula was scientifically sound and high-quality. “UBV gives you the burn and UVA gives you the damage. So, you want to make sure that it’s protecting you from UVA as well.” Infused with moisturizing argan oil and vitamin E, this is a sunscreen that works with skin from the inside out.
It Takes Two: Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50 and Shiseido Clear Stick UV Protector WetForce SPF 50+
Whether hiking Quarry Rock or playing beach volleyball at Kits, an active lifestyle requires a high-performance sunscreen—and that means finding an SPF that doesn’t melt off with sweat. Thanks to Shiseido’s WetForce Technology, its clear formula actually becomes more effective when exposed to water, allowing sweat and SPF to work in harmony. Apply the ultra-sun protection lotion onto a cleansed face and feel the light texture absorb quickly without oily residue. Shiseido has also released a Clear Stick UV Protector, the perfect sunblock to apply over makeup. No need to rub it in, either—simply swipe over cheeks, forehead, jaws, and nose. Throw this stick in your bag and have it for touch-ups throughout the day.
The Makeup Hero: TarteGuard Mineral Powder Sunscreen
Thirty-degree heat is not ideal when you have a full face of makeup on and a summer wedding to go to. How can you keep your beautiful canvas in check while protecting yourself from the beaming sun? TarteGuard Mineral Powder Sunscreen. The translucent, mineral-based, vegan formula can be dusted over face and makeup effortlessly, keeping everything locked in and protected without making a mess. Reapply every two hours by pressing the bottom button of the brush to dispense the SPF 30 powder.
Some Like It Hot: Clarins Sun Care Oil Spray
Gone are the days of slathering baby oil all over your body for the sake of a good tan. But when it comes to oil sun care, Clarins knows how to protect. The brand’s latest product is an organic Indonesian Nyamplung beautifying oil with a high level of sun protection thanks to the power of plants: the radiance of senna, the regeneration of plane tree, and the softening of aloe. And for those who need a tan break by jumping into the pool, this formula is water- and sweat-resistant, too. Unlike most oils, the product can be sprayed on and easily rubbed into the skin. Bonus: the nourishing elixir, with a sweet floral scent, can also be drizzled onto the hair for protection and a silky texture.
Bronzed to Perfection: Vichy Ideal Soleil Double Usage After-Sun Care
Now that skin has been properly protected, it’s time to look at a product that focuses on post-sun. Vichy’s Ideal Soleil Double Usage After-Sun Care can come to the rescue when you feel a little crisped or want to keep that perfect vacation glow moisturized and intact. This blend of shea oil, apricot kernel oil, coriander seeds, blackcurrant seeds, and Viper’s Bugloss deeply nourishes the skin following sun exposure. A double-usage formula, it can be applied to both wet and dry skin. Talk about replenishing.
The key to staying forever young? We may not know, but sunscreen sure does help.
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