Sunshine, Sunglasses and SPF — Hello, Summer!

Summer is quickly approaching and we all know the importance of SPF for long days at the lake, but sometimes we forget that wearing SPF is important every day of the year, even if you aren’t planning on spending the day outside. Wearing an SPF everyday is the most important thing you can do for your skin to prevent skin cancer and aging (up to 90% of skin aging is due to sun damage). Our skin also has a memory of sorts and can start to show damage from up to 15 years ago, making prevention even more valuable. Using an SPF daily also ensures that you are getting the full benefit of any other skin care you use or facial treatments you are investing in by preventing any further damage. Many active ingredients in skin care will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is especially important to protect your skin daily when implementing corrective skincare.

When choosing an SPF it’s important to find one that suits your skin type. There are two main categories for SPF – chemical and physical. 


  • Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays and include ingredients like oxybenxone, octinoxate, and avobenzone. 
  • Physical sunscreens reflect the sun’s rays and are made of titanium dioxide and or zinc oxide. If you live with melasma (or pigmentation on the skin), rosacea, or other skin sensitivities, it is best to stick with a physical SPF because it does not trap heat on the skin that could otherwise flare up skin conditions.

It is also important to consider what type of finish you would like your skin to have – do you prefer to be more moisturized and dewy, or matte? My favorite moisturizing SPF is the hydrating daily SPF 30 moisturizer from IMAGE skincare. It is a physical SPF that provides a nice, even layer of moisture and blends into the skin really well. While many physical SPFs can leave a white cast behind, this one blends so well that it works for all skin tones! IMAGE also has a great matte SPF 32 moisturizer for those who get oily throughout the day. As an added bonus, all of IMAGE’s SPFs also protect against blue light damage from computers and phone screens, which can cause aging over time.

Using the right products underneath your SPF will help it apply better and last longer. To best protect your skin and ensure that your SPF goes on evenly, I recommend cleansing your skin and applying a toner and hydrating serum before using your SPF.You want to be generous with the amount of product you use when it comes to sun protection; I suggest using about a quarter size amount, enough to fully cover your face, neck, and exposed décolletage. If you are using a physical SPF, or thicker product, warm it slightly in your hands by rubbing your palms together before applying. This will help the product glide on to your skin better. It is also important to keep in mind that you will want to let your SPF product dry for a few minutes before applying makeup over top to make sure that the layer of protection isn’t compromised.

When you have the right SPF product for your skin and preferences, incorporating it into your daily morning routine will be easy. SPF products have come a long way since they were first introduced, and skincare companies have made big strides with the consistency and amount of different products available in the past few years. The wide variety of products available ensures that you will be able to find something you enjoy wearing everyday, and won’t want to leave the house without! 

Carlee Dather is an Esthetician at Cole’s Salon Eagan Station. You can follow her on Instagram at @skinxcarlee.



Carlee Dather

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