Whether we like it or not, the sun is aging our skin more than anything else.
In this blog post, I’ll explain why you need sunscreen for anti aging, how to find the most effective ones, how to use them. Plus a personal review of the one I found most effective for anti aging; Evy sunscreen mousse SPF 50.
I’ll also explain how sun protection creams out there are far from equal when it comes to protecting you from wrinkles, fine lines, and sagginess. And how using an effective anti aging sunscreen correctly will be the single best action to make for your skin.
The post is quite lengthy and juicy. So I recommend you grab a tea or coffee and read all of it in order to truly understand the importance of this powerful anti-wrinkle product. And how to use it correctly. But if you want to jump quickly to a certain part of the article, this is what I will cover:
- Why should I wear sunscreen?
- When should I use sunscreen?
- How do I apply sunscreen?
- Which sunscreens are best for anti aging?
- The products I use myself
- What about vitamin D?
- What about tanning beds?
- Extra tips to be even more sunwise
- Round up
Why should I wear sunscreen?
Besides protecting you from skin cancer. A good sunscreen will drastically slow down the aging process in your skin.
It might sound boring, but it’s just the facts. Of all skincare products and anti aging creams out there, an effective anti aging sunscreen outshines them all. Simply because the sun is the largest cause of skin aging.
Not saying other products aren’t important to use. But as explained in my previous post, if you do not apply sunscreen as a basic daily regimen no other anti aging product will work efficiently either.
If you haven’t read that post already I definitely recommend it since it will give you the 3 basic rules for anti aging.
By using sunscreen, your skin will be saved from a lot of the damage that UV-light brings on. And that way prevent future wrinkles and other signs of aging.
The sunscreen will also give your skin a chance to rest from its intense work (fighting the acute damage and stress from UV radiation). And when that happens it can also get a chance to work on previously made damage.
One study has found that by applying sunscreen daily for one year’s time, aging is not just prevented but also to some degree reversed. And that was by just using a sunscreen every day and no other anti aging products.
So to summarize, once a good anti aging sunscreen is in place, we can start looking for other anti aging products and methods to compliment with. And to reduce the damage we already have. But never ever the other way around.
The sun is the largest cause of wrinkles and loss of elasticity. But unfortunately, sunscreens out there are far from equal when it comes to protecting your skin from aging.
Don’t have the time?
I hear people all the time saying they forget to use sunscreen every now and then. Or that they don’t feel as if they have the time to apply it in the morning. That they have too many steps in their beauty routine already.
Understandable of course. Everyone is stressed and we need to cut down on something. But if everyone understood exactly how important sunscreen is for your skin’s health and HOW MUCH it prevents aging, I think the prioritizing would look different.
Because every day count. As a matter of fact, even every minute in the sun without sunscreen will cause damage to your skin.
Another reason that might fool you to not use a sunscreen every day is the fact that the harm is not visible right away. Actually, the harm is not visible until years and even decades later!
But the instant effect of getting a tan fast can be quite appealing. So it’s easy to get fooled or just ignorant. Which will be penalizing coming years.
So, to summarize why you need a sunscreen:
1) to save your skin as much as possible from future wrinkles, lines and loss of elasticity since the sun is the largest aging factor.
2) to give your skin a chance to recover from the acute UV-induced damage in your skin. And allow other anti aging products and treatments to work efficiently.
Never ever forget your sunscreen. If you are short on time skip the cream underneath it. A good sunscreen should moisturize your skin and make the cream redundant anyway.
When should I use sunscreen?
If you want to protect your skin from wrinkles, lines, and sunspots, you will need to use your sunscreen every day. Winter and summer. Cloudy days and sunny days. And even indoors if you spend time close to a window or near artificial light sources.
You need to understand that the most aging part of the UV rays that hits the earth is UVA. And UVA rays are present all day, and even inside.
UVA-rays will not give you a sunburn (like UVB does). BUT instead, these aging-rays works in silence and goes much deeper down in your skin layers. And that’s where the damage is at it’s worst when it comes to skin aging.
UVA rays will break down collagen and elastin (the proteins responsible for your skin’s shape and firmness). Which will, in turn, lead to wrinkles and loss of elasticity.
While UVB is most present during the middle of the day, UVA- rays are present all the hours that the sun is up. It also penetrates windows and is emitted from many artificial light sources. Therefore you need protection all day.
Tip: See my post about why you need sunscreen every day for a short and sweet recap.
How do I apply sunscreen?
1) First of all, use enough. A very common mistake is to use way too little. Actually, most people only use about 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sun protection cream. Which will give you much lower protection than the SPF you think you are using.
Therefore make sure you use enough according to the instructions of the product you use.
2) Secondly, remember to cover all the areas that you want to protect from aging. Under your eyes is extremely important since the skin is super thin at that part of the face. That is why wrinkles under and around your eyes usually are the most prominent and where you see your first signs of aging.
Another area that is often neglected is above your upper lip. Which with time will cause so-called smokers lines, even if you don’t smoke.
You should also remember to cover your face all the way into the hairline. The neck. The jawline. Your ears and the skin behind your ears. And of course your lips. All these places are easy to forget but important for your overall elasticity in the future.
*Please note, this post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase through any of those links. It doesn’t cost you any extra and I only recommend products I truly love and use myself. You can read my full disclosure here.
3) Thirdly, my suggestion is to layer for some extra protection. And with layering I mean you should include more than one product that has sun protection. For example, I use the Evy sunscreen mousse SPF 50 as my base protection, and I would not go out the door without it (I will explain why further down).
Second I use a BB cream with sun protection and/or a sunscreen that gives my skin some extra glow. My favorites are Eucerin Sensitive Protect and Jane Iredale BB cream (see more info further down). You can also use a foundation with sun protection if you have one already that you love.
A final step can be to use a mineral powder as a setting. Because mineral powders have some extra protection as well.
Now that protection can vary from brand to brand. But they all contain at least some amount of titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide that will give some extra shield not just against the UV-rays but also other rays that can cause harm to your skin in high doses. Such as HEV (High Energy Visible Light, also called Blue light).
See those layers as a bonus. They are not instead of your basic protection, the one you should be extra careful to take enough of. But they will add extra protection. And as many hours in the sun adds up during the years, those layers will make a difference.
4) The last important step is to reapply. Now, this is the tricky part. And one main reason why I like Evy sunscreen so much. Because sunscreens usually need to be reapplied every two hours if you are out in the sun. And even more often if you sweat or take a swim. That might not be convenient and easily forgotten.
With Evy sunscreen, you can reapply less often (and even over make up) but I will come to that later. If you are using any other sunscreen, make sure you reapply often, especially on your face, if you are spending time out in the sun.
Which sunscreens are best for anti aging?
Besides a high number of SPF ( I suggest using SPF 50 in your face), you’ll need a sunscreen that has high protection from UVA-rays. The SPF only rate the UVB protection, not UVA.
In other words, the SPF value will tell you what protection you have against getting burned by the sun. But not so much about the protection from skin aging.
Most sunscreens today will label themselves as broad-spectrum, which means they will protect from both UVB and UVA. But exactly how much is a different story.
If you live in EU, all sunscreens will have a UVA protection that is at least ⅓ of the SPF. That is good, especially for cancer prevention. But settling for one third is not optimal in order to combat skin aging effectively.
If you want to have the most potent protection for preventing wrinkles you will have to be pickier and choose a product with as high UVA protection as possible.
That is not easy since many retailers are lacking knowledge about UVA. I have even experienced a hard time trying to get correct information from the manufacturers themselves when it comes to their UVA protection. So this is a tricky one.
On some products, you can find a rating for UVA protection. One measurement system is Boots star rating (ranging from 0 to 5 stars) that indicates how much UVA radiation that is absorbed of the particular sun protection. The more stars the better UVA protection.
Besides looking for strong UVA protection you also need to find a cream that you really like and enjoy wearing. Because if it ends up making you look like a ghost you will probably not use it, or you will use too little. Or if it doesn’t go on well with your makeup, you won’t use enough of it either.
So find a cream you love! I have tested so many products and experienced everything from looking like a ghost to breaking out like crazy.
The ones I use today (Evy sunscreen, Eucerin sensitive protect, Jane Iredale BB cream) are some of the few that does not make me break out or irritate my skin in any way. And they will not make me look white either but rather glowy and fantastic! I will list them below.
The products I use myself
1) Evy Sunscreen mousse SPF 50
The sunscreen I have found to be a lifesaver is this sunscreen mousse from Evy.
It’s a Swedish product with a patented technology that gives you longer protection. It works by forming a protective barrier in your skin’s top layer. That barrier will give you a UVA protection greater than 90 percent of the SPF. Which means it is superior when it comes to protection against skin aging.
This mousse is also enriched with an antioxidant called Micah. Which provides great protection against HEV (High Energy Visible Light, also called Blue light).
On top of that, you don’t have to reapply as often as you need with other sunscreens since this protection is valid for 8 hours! It is more water-resistant than any other product out there. And it doesn’t rub off like other products when you swim or sweat, or dry yourself with a towel.
For me who works with training (and therefore sweat a lot during the day), finding this product was truly a game-changer! I cannot tell you enough how glad I am for their invention and I wish I discovered them earlier.
Additionally, this sunscreen has vitamin C and E. Both important antioxidants to use during sun exposure. And it’s well tolerated even for those (like me) with the most sensitive skin types.
The mousse is hypoallergenic and recommended by dermatologists to use if you have sun eczema, albinism or sun allergy. And it will actually help with healing your skin if you are irritated and experiencing redness. For example, you can even use it directly after harsh treatments like Dermapen, Microdermabrasion, and Lasers.
This sunscreen can also be used over makeup. Even though the protection will not be quite as long-lasting as when applied under your makeup. It’s still a great way to protect your skin if you are out more than 8 hours and don’t want to wash off your make up and start all over.
I know this product is not sold in the US. But it is available in the UK, for example at Face the Future.
I am not sure about shipping and extra taxes for delivery in the US, but I understand it can be difficult.
My best recommendation if you cannot get hold of EVY sunscreen is a product called Elta MD UV Sport SPF 50. You find it at Dermstore where you can also see all the reviews about this fantastic product.
Even though it does not stay on the skin as long as EVY sunscreen does. It does give high UVA-protection, is very water-resistant, and goes on super-smoothly without a need to be rubbing your face. It is also developed for the most sensitive skin types.
Since I live in Europe though, I use Evy sunscreen mousse SPF 50 on my face, neck, decolletage, and on my hands. On the rest of my body, I settle for the one with SPF 30. You’ll find them both on Face the Future if you live in Europe too.
2) Eucerin Sensitive Protect SPF 50
On top of this, I use Eucerin Sensitive Protect SPF 50. And that is for three reasons. It gives me an extra glow. It gives me extra protection from UV radiation. And it also includes some beneficial ingredients that give me protection från HEV.
Even though UVA is the number one aging factor (and should always be your first priority to protect your skin from), it can be worth to add some extra protection from HEV as well.
Several studies are indicating that HEV can induce hyperpigmentation and contribute to sun spots and melasma. And on top of that generate damage in the deeper layers of your skin by generating more free radicals.
HEV is also emitted from your phone screen, computer screen, artificial light sources with a colder light, and your TV. So even if more studies are needed, some extra protection is probably a good idea.
Eucerin Sensitive Protect has a special antioxidant; Licochalcone A, that is proven to have effective protection against HEV. It also contains Glycyrrhetinic Acid which provides additional DNA protection that will help your skin repair itself from UV-stress. And it also has titanium dioxide that is a physical sunscreen ingredient that not just protect from UV rays, but also to some degree against other rays such as HEV.
I love how smoothly this fluid goes on with its very loose texture. It is almost watery so be prepared for that when you turn the bottle upside down. It also gives my skin a fantastic glow.
All Eucerin sunscreens have a UVA protection of at least 50 % of the SPF, according to one of their salespersons. That is higher than most brands. And for me, a great bonus protection since I already have EVY as my base (with its UVA-protection of > 90%).
3) Jane Iredale BB Cream Spf 20
If I want to look even more glowy I use Jane Iredale BB cream Glow Time with spf 20 on top.
It has some extra SPF and also titanium oxide that will protect even more from UVA and HEV. And it contains even more antioxidants that will support your skin’s own defense mechanism.
For example, it contains chlorella, white tea, green tea, and different fruit extracts. So Jane Iredale BB cream will do a lot of good for your skin, at the same time as it gives coverage.
I actually think it gives too much coverage so I only use the tiniest amount (see picture) since I prefer the natural look. This cream still gives me an amazing glow and tint of color.
The price of this BB-product is a bit more expensive. But you need so little that the tube will last forever. I cannot even remember when I bought mine, but it was several months ago and it is still not even half empty.
If you need more coverage than I do I would still guess one tube would last for at least 2-3 months. If you want to check out the current price on Dermstore then this is the link to it. Dermstore offers free shipping, great prices, and you can see they have all the 9 different colors that this BB-cream comes in.
So there you have my own favorites. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about them.
My skin on my face is one of the most sensitive on this earth. And I have experienced so many sunscreens (and other products) that make me either irritated and/or causing me acne.
I have tried and tested ALOT! These three are well tolerated and actually very calming if my skin is upset for any other reason.
Another good thing to know is that all these products above do not contain chemicals that will damage the coral reefs.
I layer at least two of the products listed above (and Evy is always my base layer). And sometimes I finish with a light sweep of mineral powder on top.
It may seem like a lot to layer like I explained. But using those extra steps of protection will truly benefit your skin in the long run. Especially if you’re like me, and you haven’t always been cautious about sun protection.
I don’t think I ever put sunscreen on my face before my later adolescence. And it wasn’t until I was over 30 that I started to understand the importance of using it exactly every day.
I wish I would have known what I know today when I was younger, but to compensate I try to be even more rigorous now 🙂
Summary of what sunscreen to wear
An anti aging sunscreen that has high and stable protection against UVA rays is a must. But also, it has to be a product that you like and tolerates well.
For all of you who are in the US (where Evy is not available) I recommend a product called Elta MD UV sport with spf 50.
It has high UVA protection thanks to its zinc oxide. But it does not do not leave a white residue on your skin and it goes on very easily without any need to rub your skin. It is also water-resistant which means it simply will stay on for longer, even during humid climates. You find it at Dermstore on this link.
What about vitamin D?
When talking about sun and sun protection, I think it’s important to include some information about this important vitamin. Since many people do have a deficiency of it which can cause a number of health problems.
Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to UVB radiation. Not UVA. This means you will NOT get any vitamin D from sunlight through the windows. Nor sunlight from being outside during winter months (unless you live in warm climates closer to the equator).
Additionally, getting your skin exposed to UVA-rays alone (such as through windows, or during winter months) for a longer time will break down vitamin D in your body and increase the risk of vitamin D deficiency. Another reason to avoid uva alone.
So sitting close to a window without protection will not give you vitamin D. On the opposite it can deplete you of it.
Something else to notice about vitamin D is that the amount that can be synthesized is limited. So you will not produce more by spending hour after hour in the strong sun. Actually, you need no more than a few minutes per day during midday if you’re a Caucasian (if you have darker skin you will need more sun exposure) to maximize the vitamin D production for that day.
And if you still want to expose your skin to direct sunlight, for a short period of time per day, then at least make sure you cover your face with sun protection. Since your face is the body part that is exposed the most, make sure you protect it the most.
For more information about Vitamin D, I suggest reading this page.
What about tanning beds?
Tanning beds are mostly emitting UVA. So using solarium is probably one of the best ways to get wrinkles fast. Besides aging your skin rapidly, it will deplete you of vitamin D.
Using tanning beds will also increase your risk of skin cancer. People using tanning beds before the age of 35 actually increase their risk of developing melanoma by 75 %. So if you should avoid anything in this world, let it be tanning beds.
Tanning beds are mostly emitting UVA. So using solarium is probably one of the best ways to get wrinkles fast. Besides aging your skin rapidly, it will deplete you of vitamin D.
Extra tips to be even more sunwise
Your face (including your neck) is the body part that gets most exposed to the sun and UV radiation. If you think about it, it is the only part of your body that gets exposed every single day, unless you live in a climate that is warm all year round. Therefore it needs even more thorough protection.
I suggest adding some extra protection by wearing a hat when the sun is strong. And of course, wearing sunglasses whenever the sun is attendant enough to give you a reason to squint. Even sunny winter days.
Remember that the eye area is the thinnest and most delicate part of your face. And that’s the place where signs of aging will be most prominent.
Don’t forget your hands. It’s another body part that gets exposed almost, or exactly, as often as your face. And on top of that, you usually wash them several times per day. So apply and reapply your sunscreen on your hands.
Finally, add some extra protection from the inside with the right diet. Read my article about the amazing carotenoids to learn more. That article will teach you about the foods that are proven to actually provide extra UV-protection as well as HEV-protection to your skin.
Puh, a long post and lots of information. But now you know how to save your skin from the most devastating factor when it comes to skin aging. I have covered what you need to know about sun protection from an anti-aging perspective. Plus giving you my own favorite products.
Once this preventive action is in place it will be much easier for other anti aging methods to start working efficiently. So you will see better results, both short term, and long term.
Thinking in terms of anti aging will also protect your skin from cancer since UVA does have a considerable role in cancer development.
Just remember that we do need the sun for many health reasons and I do not suggest you avoid it completely. Just be smart and limit your exposure.
Wear an effective sunscreen that has the ultimate protection against UVA-rays but also remember that no sunscreen will give you 100 percent coverage.
If you’re like me and want even more protection, you will need to compliment with extra topical antioxidants and nutrients from the inside, in order to help your skin recover from the damage that still gets through. As mentioned above, you should really take a look at this post about the amazing carotenoids.
Finally, let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about this topic. And I would love to hear if you have tried any of the products I recommend or if you have any other favorites. Sharing is caring!
Until next time!