Choosing the right sunscreen seems to have become the most popular question from customers lately, and we think we know why. There is an air of optimism that we haven’t felt in a long time, and hope on the horizon that, as we head into spring and summer, we’ll be spending more time outside with our friends and family close by. If we’re very lucky, we may finally be able to take that sunny vacation we’ve been dreaming about!
Choosing the right sunscreen can be narrowed down to knowing when you’ll be using it, making sure it contains effective sun filters, and picking the product that will do the job.
5 Tips to Choosing the Right Sunscreen
We have years of sunscreen experience that we want to share with you! Here are 5 tips to help narrow down the choices:
- Face or Body: Although many sunscreens can be used for either the face or the body, there are differences in terms of the finish, feel and even size of sunscreens. Sunscreens made specifically for the face are lighter in feel, less shiny on the skin and come in smaller sizes. For the body, where aesthetic finishes may be less of a concern, the larger size of the container almost always provides better value.
- Lotion or Cream? Spray or Fluid? Which sunscreen type you choose comes down to personal preference. But apart from that, it is often external factors such as humidity, temperature and even activity that come into play. At PhaMix, we stock a wide selection so that you can choose just the right one.
- Must Have: Everyone has their “must have”, and when it comes to sunscreen, it is usually all about the sun filters. Mexoryl and Tinosorb are two that are leading the pack.
- Deal Breaker: Common deal breakers include a white finish, a greasy feel or a heavy, shiny look. If a sunscreen doesn’t look or feel good, we know we won’t use it, no matter how well it protects. We do our best to personally test every single sunscreen we carry, so if you’ve got a question, there’s a good chance we can give you a first-hand opinion.
- Water Resistant or Not: If you’re planning any swimming or sporty activities, a water-resistant sunscreen is a must. The industry standard is sunscreen should provide 40 minutes of protection in the water if marked as “water resistant”. A sunscreen that is “very water resistant” should be good for up to 80 minutes. If there’s no indication of water resistance, swimming or excessive sweating will simply wash the sunscreen away. Regardless of which you choose, it’s important to reapply after towelling off.
Key Ingredients You’ll Want to Have
Sunscreen labelled as “broad spectrum” will contain ingredients to deliver adequate protection against both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. You’ll find that a combination of effective sun filters, including titanium dioxide, avobenzone and octocrylene, are included in comprehensive formulations.
When we’re on the lookout for the perfect sunscreen, we keep our eyes peeled for two key ingredients:
- Mexoryl: Patented by L’Oreal, Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL (often listed as ecamsule and drometriziole trisiloxane respectively) are photostable sun filters that provide broad spectrum protection while having little to no absorption through the skin. Studies have shown that Mexoryl sunscreens maintain most of their sun filtering capability even 24 hours after the initial application. Both Anthelios and Ombrelle sunscreens use Mexoryl technology and have been customer favorites for years.
- Tinosorb: One of the newer generation sun filters, Tinosorb is photostable, is not associated with skin irritation, and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. If that weren’t enough, it also helps to stabilize other effective sun filters such as avobenzone. We love having another layer of protection against sun damage. Tinosorb S is available in many Anthelios sunscreens while Tinosorb M can be found in formulations by Avene, the newest line we’ve introduced to our store.
Our Top 5 Picks
- Anthelios XL SPF 50 Melt in Cream: We like to call this the OG of Anthelios sunscreens because it’s been the customer favorite for as long as we can remember! It’s great for the face and the body, comes in a large 100ml/3.4 oz tube, has a velvety finish and contains all three of our preferred sun filters: Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL and Tinosorb S. We can see why people come back to it time and time again!
- Anthelios SPF 50+ Invisible Fluid: This minimalist formula contains everything that you’re looking for in a daily sunscreen for the face: invisible look and feel, suitability for sensitive skin, a dry finish and very high protection thanks to Tinosorb S, Mexoryl XL and SX. Worn alone or under makeup, this one’s a winner.
- Avene Fluid SPF 50+: This daily face sunscreen has so many things going for it: light texture, dry finish, fragrance-free formula and an airless pump dispenser. All those things would be meaningless if it didn’t have some serious sun protection, and it does. Its formulation includes Tinosorb M and S, avobenzone and iscotrizinol, one of the most photostable sun filters that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. We also like that it contains Avene thermal spring water for its soothing and softening properties.
- Ombrelle SPF 60 Face Cream: For those who like a blend of physical and chemical sun filters, Ombrelle SPF 60 Face Cream is the one for you. It’s developed quite a loyal following thanks to its light yet moisturizing texture and its combination of titanium dioxide, Mexoryl SX and XL sun filters.
- Anthelios XL SPF 60 Lightweight Lotion: When your goal is a dry touch finish, no white marks and excellent broad-spectrum protection, look no further than this large 150ml/5 oz tube of goodness for both the face and the body. An impressive combination of protection, great value and impeccable finish and feel.
Of course, no sunscreen protects 100% against all UV rays and effectiveness is very much dependent on proper application. This means applying enough, reapplying frequently and making sure that you get commonly missed areas! You’ll find more tips on how to apply properly as well as how much to use and the 10 spots you should pay more attention to in our blogs.
Still need help choosing the right sunscreen? Call us – we’re happy to lend a hand!