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.

1

CHOOSE THE APPROPRIATE SPF

SPF, or sun protection factor, allows you to know how much time you can spend in the sun before your protected skin will burn.

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

SPFSkin typeExposure

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? Visit your Jean Coutu cosmetics counter and ask for your cosmetician’s advice.

2

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.

3

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.

Vichy

Idéal Soleil Dry Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60, 50 ml

A dry touch texture for face. Non-greasy, non-shiny, non-sticky for a light feeling. It is particularly suitable for normal to combination or oily sensitive skins. Ideal for daily use. No fragrance.

Ombrelle

Kids Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, 100 ml

High protection for sensitive skin made with 100% natural sunfilters. Hypoallergenic 100% mineral lotion.

Clarins

Sun Control Stick SPF 30 for Sun Sensitives Areas, 8 g

Developed for sun-sensitive or very exposed parts of the face (nose, lips and ears), this sun stick is perfect when playing water sports, skiing and or when in intense sunlight.

La Roche-Posay

Posthelios Hydra Gel After-Sun, 200 ml

Cooling after-sun protection. Cooling after-sun gel that instantly soothes sun-exposed and dry skin, continues to protect your skin after sun exposure and offers 48 hours of hydration.

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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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