Broad-Spectrum Sun Protection: Why you need it indoors and out
Most of us know that exposure to UV rays damage our skin. “A is for Aging, B is for Burn’’ is a simple way to remember that UVA leads to premature aging (wrinkles, roughness, hyperpigmentation), while UVB causes sunburns, and both contribute to the development of skin cancer.
Besides ultraviolet rays, we have to be wary of blue and infrared lights too. In recent years, high-energy visible light (aka blue light) and infrared rays have been shown to cause skin damage, such as hyperpigmentation and loss of skin elasticity. Alarmingly, electronic devices, such as smart phones, flat-screen TVs and computers also emit blue light, which means that days spent indoors staring at digital screens could also visibly impact your skin.
Broad-spectrum sunscreen is the way to go. Look for sunscreens which combine several different active chemical and physical ingredients. Minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide deflect solar radiation, physically blocking UV rays from reaching the skin. Chemicals such as octyl methoxycinnamate or oxybenzone absorb UV radiation and disperse it as heat. Antioxidant compounds counter infrared radiation by helping to buffer the skin from the heat-derived oxidation process.
Cosmetic acceptability is of utmost importance. No matter how effective the ingredients are, nobody would want to apply a sunscreen that leaves their face feeling greasier than an oil slick and looking like a vampire with a dreaded white cast.
Here are our top picks for sunscreens that offer broad-spectrum protection,
feel great on skin and work well under makeup.
This broad-spectrum sunscreen provides UVA/UVB protection in a non-greasy, PABA-free, and fragrance-free formula that applies completely sheer in an elegant matte finish.
ZO Skin Health Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF 50
A non-greasy, quick drying sunscreen with a matte finish that provides sheer coverage and evens out skin tone. Offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA, UVB rays, with natural melanin to shield skin from aging effects of HEV light. Exclusive 12-hour time-release antioxidant complex guards against photo-damage from harmful infra-red rays. Water and perspiration resistant, suitable for outdoor activities.
Ideal for oily or breakout-prone skin, this broad-spectrum facial sunscreen features a lightweight, quick-absorbing formula with ultra-sheer zinc oxide, plus antioxidants milk thistle and caffeine. Use this product easily under makeup.
Available in 4 shades, this breathable skin tint provides broad sun protection. Contains LYCO-Complex, which is made up of 12 active ingredients to hydrate, nourish and oxygenate the skin. Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.