Sunscreen 101

UV rays’ harmful effects on your skin and the importance of choosing an appropriate sunscreen are well known. But with all the different products available on the market, how do you pick one? Here are a few basic guidelines to follow in order to select the right sunscreen for you and maximize its benefits.

CHOOSE THE APPROPRIATE SPF

15, 30, 45, 60… What exactly is the meaning of the number associated with FPS? In fact, it illustrates a comparison between the time that UV rays would take to produce a sunburn on the skin with and without protection. Per example, an SPF of 60 indicates that our protected skin would theoretically burn 60 more slowly than an unprotected skin.

Consult the table below to find out which SPF is recommended for your skin type and degree of exposure. 

SPF Skin type Exposure

60

Very sensitive to the sun

  • Very light complexion
  • Blond or red hair
  • Pale-coloured eyes
  • Freckles
  • Rare tan (skin burns without protection)

Extreme

  • Outdoor activities or working outside during the day
  • Beach outings
  • Water sports
  • Travelling to tropical regions

45

Sensitive to the sun

  • Light brown or hazelnut hair
  • Pale-coloured eyes
  • Freckles
  • Light tan possible

Prolonged

  • Day on a terrace
  • Hiking in the woods
  • Gardening

30

Normal

  • Tans easily in the sun
  • Brown hair
  • Brown eyes
  • Light tan

Limited

  • Outdoor activities for short periods and far from surfaces that reflect sun rays (water, sand, snow, etc.)

15

Dark skin

  • Brown or black hair
  • Brown or dark-coloured eyes
  • Rare sunburns

Moderate

  • Outdoor activities for very short periods before 11:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m.

 

* SPF15 is found mostly in daycare creams and foundations. It is not recommended for long periods outdoors, even if your skin is dark.

Need help determining your skin type? Don’t hesitate to ask for your cosmetician’s advice.

SELECT PROTECTION SUITED TO YOUR NEEDS

There is a variety of sunscreens on the market. They are divided into two categories: chemical sunscreens, which act as absorbent sponges, and mineral sunscreens, which form a protective shield against UV rays. Take a look here to discover their properties! It will then be easier to select a sunscreen according to your needs.

  • For children and babies over 6 months of age
  • Hypoallergenic (for delicate skin)
  • Water resistant (sunscreen stays on after swimming or heavy sweating)
  • Non-comedogenic and non-greasy (for face)
  • Cream (for dry skin)
  • Milk or gel (for a light finish, not as rich as a cream)
  • Atomizer or spray (for easy and quick application)
  • And much more!

Whichever type of sunscreen you choose, look for wide-spectrum protection to shield your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Also favour photostable products as they remain effective even when exposed to intense heat.

APPLY YOUR SUNSCREEN AS INDICATED

If applied improperly, even the sunscreen with the highest SPF will not be able to protect you from the sun. Carefully read the instructions on the label to ensure you are properly protected, and follow these simple rules:

  • Apply generously and often!
  • Apply 15 to 30 minutes before your first exposure to the sun.
  • Repeat application every two hours.
  • Apply sunscreen again after swimming or heavy sweating (even if the product is water resistant).
  • Apply sunscreen even when it’s cloudy. Contrary to popular wisdom, clouds don’t stop UV rays, so you could still get a sunburn!

Finally, don’t forget to check the expiration date! Once it has expired, sunscreen loses its power to protect you. 

Tips

No matter how many precautions you take, sometimes you can’t avoid sunburn. If you end up with one, apply an after-sun product to ease your reddened skin. This will soothe irritation and restore its suppleness. And to prevent your skin being exposed to sunlight while it’s recovering, wear a large-brimmed hat when sunbathing or an anti-UV t-shirt when taking a dip.

Sunscreen SFP 30, 150 g, Fragrance Free
Attitude

Sunscreen SFP 30, 150 g, Fragrance Free

Ever wondered what the difference between UVA and UVB sunlight is? UVA can burn deeply, while UVB more superficially. Fortunately, our newly EWG Verified™ Mineral Sunscreen forms a physical barrier that protects against both! Attitude's Fragrance-free 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 uses worry-free, natural ingredients like non-nano zinc oxide for the safest possible sun care. Easy to apply, smooth and non-whitening, it's never been easier to block the sun — not their fun! * Helps prevent sunburns. If used as directed with other sun protection measures (see directions), decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.

Anthelios Mist SPF 50, 155 g
La Roche-Posay

Anthelios Mist SPF 50, 155 g

Ultra-light texture, invisible finish, dry touch. Non-greasy ultra-light fresh mist that penetrates quickly, leaving skin dry and clean. Continuous spray for even application. Perfectly adapted for outdoor activities.

Pure & Simple Face Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, 59 ml
Coppertone

Pure & Simple Face Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, 59 ml

Canada's most trusted sunscreen brand offers 100% zinc oxide mineral sunscreen (protection from zinc oxide). The product provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and is made with no PABA, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, dyes and oxybenzone. Water resistent (80 minutes). Always read and follow the label.

Ultra Light Advanced Tinted Sunscreen Lotion, 50 ml, SPF 60
Ombrelle

Ultra Light Advanced Tinted Sunscreen Lotion, 50 ml, SPF 60

Tinted formula that enhances natural skin tone, while providing high sun protection. 100% mineral formula.

Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, 1 L
Personnelle

Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, 1 L
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Sunscreen 101

UV rays’ harmful effects on your skin and the importance of choosing an appropriate sunscreen are well known. But with all the different products available on the market, how do you pick one? Here are a few basic guidelines to follow in order to select the right sunscreen for you and maximize its benefits.
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