The Low Down On Sunscreens

Let’s talk about sunscreens.  We are all told (over and over) to wear it, and that it protects you from getting a sunburn – but do you really know what it is and all the ways it can help you?  Let’s dive in, figure out what it is, how it works and WHY you need […]

Let’s talk about sunscreens. 

We are all told (over and over) to wear it, and that it protects you from getting a sunburn – but do you really know what it is and all the ways it can help you? 

Let’s dive in, figure out what it is, how it works and WHY you need it.  

We’re not telling you to wear it for shits and giggles –  we’ve got REASONS. 

SUNSCREEN 101 – The Basics

First, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way.  You know, the sciency stuff.  

SPF – what does it mean and what does it stand for?

S.P.F. stands for Sun Protection Factor.  It is a measure of how much solar energy (UV radiation) is required to produce sunburn on protected skin (i.e. in the presence of sunscreen) relative to the amount of solar energy required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin. As the SPF value increases, sunburn protection increases.

In layman’s terms, if you use a sunscreen with SPF 15 the expectation is you are protected for 150 minutes. This is a rough estimate that depends on skin type, intensity of sunlight and amount of sunscreen used.  

Most people think that using a super high SPF (anything over a 30) will be stronger and more protective, but to be honest, a high SPF usually offers far greater UVB than UVA protection, not equal parts UVA AND UVB which is what we really want, thus offering a false sense of full protection.

There are two types of sunscreens – mineral and chemical. Each type uses a different mechanism for filtering UV rays and protecting the skin from damage.

Mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin’s surface, acting as a physical blocker by deflecting and scattering UV rays away from the skin like tiny mirrors. Because they block UV rays at the surface level, mineral sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into your skin and sit in the deeper layers. They absorb UV rays and change them into heat, then release the heat from the skin.

We are big believers in mineral sunscreens.  This is because mineral sunscreens create a physical barrier.  They are effective as soon as they are applied, so there is no need to wait.  Also, they are made with natural ingredients.

Did you know that creams and serums applied onto the skin can potentially absorb into the bloodstream within 20 seconds? This is why it is important to know the ingredients of what you are putting onto the skin.  

A recent study investigated the plasma concentration of sunscreen active ingredients after application in maximal use conditions. In the study, 24 healthy volunteers applied one of four chemical sunscreens on 75 percent of their skin, four times daily for four days. Four active ingredients were measured for blood concentration: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule. All four ingredients exceeded the 0.5 ng/mL threshold limit after just one day of use. 

Meaning the chemicals were absorbed into the bloodstream.  This is huge because they may be able to make changes to our bodies like our endocrine system (hormone disruptors), create cell damage and possibly cause cancer.   Nasty!

Now let’s get into the FUN stuff (well, fun to an esthetician maybe?).  

Too much sun exposure can lead to premature aging.  That means wrinkles, dehydration, and sunspots.  Notice we say TOO MUCH, because sun exposure is healthy and necessary for a vital, healthy body.  However, do not forget our faces are always exposed to the sun, even going to and from our car, and that exposure is cumulative.  That is why your trusted estee always tells you to put it on in the morning.  Take note:  sunscreen does NOT stop the absorption of vitamin D.  Putting sunscreen on your face will not make you deficient in vitamin D.

This is where I will point out – these rays we keep talking about – they don’t just come from the sun.  Now, with modern day technology, we are getting them from screens.  Tv’s, phones, computers, ipads. . . .  

So think about this.  How many hours are you in front of a screen?  The closer the screen to your face, the more intense the exposure.  

Let’s get back into what sunscreens can do for you.   Too much UVA and UVB exposure causes free radicals.  Free radicals wreak havoc on our skin.  If you have acne it can exacerbate the issue making your acne worse.  Free radicals are the most common causes of aging.  

LUCKILY – we have some gorgeous sunscreen options at the spa for you.  These will not only protect you from harmful light rays, including those from your screens, they will target premature aging, redness, pigmentation, acne and dehydration.  

We have options from head to toe and for the whole family.  

Our sunscreens are coral reef safe and good for you inside and out! 

Here are some options for you depending on your main skin concern;

TINTED:  For all skin types, especially those with redness. Sorella Tinted Dew Drops  These are awesome because they range in colour from very light to quite dark and they offer sheer coverage and an amazing glow.  These are a WF fave 

DEHYDRATION & PREMATURE AGING:  Eminence Organics Tropical Vanilla Day Cream

ACNE/OILY :  Eminence Organics Red Currant SPF or Sorella Matte Sunscreen

ALL SKIN TYPES:  Fight free radical damage and for a lighter texture.  Eminence Organics Lilikoi Daily Defence

PIGMENTATION:  Eminence Organics Bright Skin SPF

SENSITIVE:  These are great for every skin type.   I keep one in my purse.  These are great for kids too.  Since  they are a powder they are really easy to apply.    Eminence Organics Sun Defence Mineral Powders


Eminence Organics Lilikoi Sport


All Good sunscreen sticks

Boo Sunscreen Spray

We love teaching people every aspect of your skin care.  Sometimes we blindly follow what we are told – but we think it important to know the why!  Be empowered when it comes to your skin care.  Book a 1:1 consultation today and get to know why and how today!  

Email if you have questions or just want to tell us your favorite sunscreen: