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We’ve all heard the advice: Wear sunscreen every day to protect yourself from skin cancer. But for one reason or another, it doesn’t always happen. Maybe it’s a hassle. Maybe you forget. Or maybe you’ve fallen for one of the many SPF myths out there. 

If we all understood what sun exposure actually does to our skin, we might not be so casual about incorporating sunscreen into our daily habits. Skin can become damaged by the sun in as little as 10 minutes of exposure, and 5 or more sunburns during your lifetime doubles your risk of melanoma. When your skin burns, it’s an indicator that your body has sounded the alarm to kick its anti-inflammatory and other healing processes into gear. Consistent unprotected sun exposure has been shown to break down your DNA and form reactive oxygen, which—over time—can lead to cancerous cells. 

SPF is the best defense in this fight. Studies have shown that regular daily use of sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent. And working SPF into your daily skincare routine means you’ll be more likely to maintain the healthy habit in the long run.

At Oars + Alps, we want to make using SPF daily as easy and realistic as possible. Below we cover the types of sunscreen options you have to choose from and products that may make sense given your typical activities. Our goal is to help you incorporate SPF into your daily routine so you stay prepared and protected, no matter what your day may hold.

What Types of Sunscreen are Safest for Daily Use?

There are two types of sunscreen you can consider introducing into your daily routine: chemical and mineral. What’s the difference, and are some sunscreens safer than others?  

  • Chemical Sunscreen: Most sunscreens on the market fall into the “chemical” category. “Chemical” refers to the type of active ingredients used in the formula, as they are synthetic. They work by absorbing UV rays like a sponge and tend to rub in easier than mineral sunscreens without leaving white residue on your skin. Chemical sunscreens most commonly include one or more of the following active ingredients: Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Homosalate, and Octinoxate. Don’t be alarmed by the term “chemical” at large -- while some chemical ingredients have come under scrutiny lately (namely Oxybenzone and Octinoxate), the majority are deemed safe for use. That being said, some chemical sunscreens are carefully formulated to be cleaner than others -- like those in our SPF Essentials line. We formulate our sunscreens to safely guard you against UV rays and promote your skin’s health while excluding the ingredients that have come into question. We also choose ingredients that are “reef-safe.” Certain chemical ingredients (again, Oxybenzone and Octinoxate) have been shown to harm the health of ocean reefs, and we choose not to use them.
  • Mineral Sunscreen: Also known as physical sunscreen, mineral sunscreen is the second category of sunscreen. It works differently than chemical sunscreens by sitting on top of your skin to deflect UV rays. For this reason, it is typically a bit thicker than chemical sunscreens and can leave a white hue on the skin. The two most common active ingredients found in mineral sunscreens are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and both are considered safe for daily use.

How to Incorporate Sunscreen into Your Daily Routine

The real key to forming a daily SPF routine is finding the specific products that you’ll find effortless to incorporate into your day. A product’s formula, container size and type of application can make a world of difference. Here are five easy ways to make daily SPF use happen on the reg:

  1. Apply Moisturizer with SPF after Your Morning Shower
  2. Stash SPF Lip Balm for Convenient Use
  3. Get Full-Spectrum Coverage with SPF 50 Spray
  4. Spot Check with Solid Stick Sunscreen
  5. Reapply SPF with Anti-Aging Essentials

Apply Moisturizer with SPF after Your Morning Shower

The easiest way to build SPF into your day is to put it on during your morning routine. You can even replace your morning moisturizer with one that has SPF built in so you can hydrate and get your SPF at the same time. Simply apply each morning after you wash your face and use a nourishing serum. Our Everyday Face Moisturizer with SPF is totally odorless and non-greasy, so it absorbs fast to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. It has extra-hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and anti-aging antioxidants to boot.

Stash SPF Lip Balm for Convenient Use

Don’t forget your lips! They’re just as susceptible to damage from the sun, which can result in sun spots, wrinkles and other premature signs of aging. Block the sun’s harmful radiation with our easy lip balm with SPF. Keep one in your pocket and one at your desk so you never find yourself without.

Get Full-Spectrum Coverage with SPF 50 Spray

If your day includes an activity where most of your body will be exposed, bring along an easy-to-apply, broad-spectrum spray SPF. Applying SPF with a spray allows you to quickly cover your entire body with even application without having to get your hands dirty. Remember that exposure to UV rays happens even when it’s overcast, so you’ll want to do this even if your day doesn’t include going to the beach. Our spray has a high SPF so you can get more time outside while staying protected, and it’s made to withstand sweat and water for up to 80 minutes before you’d need to reapply.

Spot Check with Solid Stick Sunscreen

If you’re out during the day, let’s say on a long bike ride, you’re going to need to reapply an SPF to the areas that are exposed to the sun about every 2 hours. In these cases, carrying around a bottle or can of sunscreen isn’t the most practical. We make a solid stick sunscreen that’s perfectly packable and won’t spill for exactly these moments. It rubs in easily and goes on completely clear. Use this convenient option to bring on the go when you know you’ll need a quick hit of protection.

Reapply SPF with an Anti-Aging Boost

If you’re having a city day (patio lunch, anyone?) or out running errands for multiple hours, you’ll need to reapply your SPF, especially to your face. You can use the solid stick sunscreen mentioned above or reapply your daily face moisturizer with SPF. Both of our face moisturizers with SPF have hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and Alpine Caribou Moss™ to promote skin elasticity, so you’ll be getting lots of added benefits beyond sun protection. These formulas also have antioxidants like Vitamins E and B5 to fight off cancer-causing free radicals and leave your skin extra smooth.

With the right tools in your arsenal and habits built into your day, you can significantly reduce your risk of cancer through sun exposure. If you’re looking to take a cleaner approach to your suncare, try starting with our SPF Essentials.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543289/

https://europepmc.org/article/med/10468796

http://www.iaeme.com/MasterAdmin/uploadfolder/IJMET_10_01_062/IJMET_10_01_062.pdf

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2758982

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/understanding-over-counter-medicines/sunscreen-how-help-protect-your-skin-sun

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0190962215013523

https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts/

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