Finding the Right SPF For Your Face: Tips You Can’t Miss This Summer

Janell M. Hickman
Galliano bbt S14 003


Everyone under the sun wants that “I-just-came-back-from-the-beach” glow. However, we know that the sun’s rays often do more harm than good. Total bummer, we know. As tempting as it is to skip sunscreen on cloudy days (we are guilty, too!), wearing SPF, especially on your face, sadly isn’t a beauty step that any of us should omit. To help you navigate through the tricky-world of SPFs, we brought in the cavalry so you can find the perfect formula for your skin.

Daily Use Is a Necessity: “It is extremely important to protect your face from the sun—it’s one of the only parts of your body that is being constantly exposed,”explains Founder/CEO of COOLA Suncare, Chris Birchby. “Additionally, the sun can cause damage that leads to premature wrinkles and other signs of aging, including sun spots, dark spots, and fine lines—and most importantly, your face should be protected daily to prevent skin cancer.”

Eating Lunch Outside? Time to Re-Apply: “We all get sun exposure traveling to and from the office with ‘incidental’ sun exposure,” shares Jean Fufidio, CMO of Kiss My Face.“Being inside all day, there is not a need to reapply. If you are going for a lunch break outdoors, of course, you need to reapply.”

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Find the Right Formula: “For acne-prone skin, try something with a matte finish that helps to eliminate extra oil,” explains Birchby. “Mineral sunscreens formulated with physical SPFs are also great for acne-prone, sensitive skin. For dry skin, a moisturizing sunscreen would [be] ideal to keep skin hydrated all day long.”

Consider Your Skin Tone: “Non-mineral sunscreens have a tendency to blend in clearer across various skin types versus mineral sunscreens,” explains Fufidio. “Most mineral sunscreens have a whitening effect to skin (especially on darker skin tones). There are some, however, that blend in clear. Kiss My Face Everyday Moisturizer SPF 15 (a mineral sunscreen) is one that blends in clear.”

Read the Label: “Generally around the face, less is more,” says Birchby. “You want to stay away from a high concentration of ingredients that can irritate the sensitive areas of the face, particularly around the eyes. COOLA Face sunscreens use up to 85% fewer actives than our competitors while still achieving broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection!”

Makeup Isn’t Enough: “Any protection you put on your face works, if you apply enough,” says Fufidio. “Often with makeup with SPF, not enough is applied. Just remember that it does come off during the day, and most importantly, you need to reapply if you are going back out there.”

Lessen Damage With Protection: “While reversing sun damage is not possible, it is important to protect skin as to not make any damage worse,” cautions Birchby. “Make sure to use an SPF of at least 30 daily, and reapply every 30 minutes before any sun exposure. Keep skin covered by wearing a hat or SPF-protectant clothing, and of course, stay out of the sun to prevent any further damage!”

Soothe Sunburned Skin: “Soothing and moisturizing skin is important. There are many lotions, gels, and sprays that can help,” shares Fufidio. “Look for after-sun and moisturizing products that contain natural oils, like olive, sunflower, or safflower oils. Aloe is also one of nature’s best solutions, along with cucumber and green tea.”

MORE: Sunscreens That Don’t Feel Gross on Your Skin

Know the Facts: “One bad sunburn to blistering, under the age of eighteen, can double your chances of melanoma later in life,” cautions Birchby. “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US. That said, only about a quarter of people properly wear sunscreen, so there is a lot of room for improvement!”

Creams, Lotions, Gels, Sprays—The Choice Is Yours: “This is really a personal choice,”explains Fufidio. “Some people like sprays because they provide convenient and quick coverage, however these are not recommended for the face. The best sunscreen is the one you will use!”

But, Use Enough: “You should be using an SPF of at least 30 daily,” shares Birchby. “[Make sure to use] enough to cover all exposed skin generously. A good rule of thumb is to use enough SPF to fill a shot gloss.”

The Sun Is Always Out: “Remember, incidental sun exposure is sun exposure,” Fufidio. “Even running errands on the weekend, from cars to parking lots to stores to offices—you are getting sun.”