The Secret to Looking Younger: Sunscreen
In the endless search for the fountain of youth, there are countless products that promise to keep you looking younger. Apply this. Apply that. And while we can’t guarantee that all of those will work, we do know one thing for sure. Out of all the anti-aging ingredients available, one stands out as the most important—SPF!
What is SPF?
Sunscreen is essential! SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how effectively a sunscreen will protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Both UVA and UVB rays are damaging to the skin, leading to sunburn, premature skin aging, and, in severe cases, skin cancer. According to a study on the connection between sun exposure and skin cancer, exposure to ultraviolet radiation is estimated to be associated with 80-90% of skin cancers.1
Does the sun damage skin?
The simple answer is a resounding YES. Sun damage is the biggest cause of premature aging, accounting for up to 80% of the visible signs of aging.2 Did you know that it only takes 15 minutes of exposure for the sun to damage your skin? Environmental stressors and genetics can also contribute to aging, but sun damage is one of the most preventable factors.
What are the common signs of aging skin?
UV exposure can cause sunburn, dark spots, and wrinkles, all of which can contribute to premature aging. This damage causes changes in the skin such as age spots and freckles, along with the loss of skin tone (or a decrease in elasticity), a rough, uneven skin texture, and even broken capillaries (aka spider veins) usually around your nose and chest.
How can you minimize sun damage with sunscreen?
To help protect and preserve your skin's youthful appearance, it's essential to incorporate a daily dose of sun protection into your skincare routine. Daily. Rain or shine. Summer or winter. Remember the sun is always out and the sun's rays are always coming down whether we think they are strong or not. By using a daily SPF, you can help protect your skin from sun damage, reducing your risk of developing fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Higher SPF numbers offer greater protection. While the differences seem minimal for a moment in time, higher SPFs block out more UV rays over time. For example, an SPF 30 blocks out 97% of the sun's UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks out 98%. So the SPF 30 is allowing 50% more UV radiation through (3% of UV rays get through versus only 2%). This then builds up cumulatively over time.3
Additionally, many people tend to underapply the amount of sunscreen they really need. A high SPF can help to combat the underapplication.
COOLA has many high SPF offerings for different needs. For daily use, our organic Refreshing Water Cream SPF 50 offers high protection in a water-light SPF moisturizer. For more active days in the sun, our COOLA Classic Face Lotion SPF 50 and COOLA Classic Face Mist SPF 50 offer broad-spectrum water-resistant protection, while our COOLA Classic Spray SPF 70 offers our highest protection level yet.
How often do you need to apply sunscreen?
Okay, so now that you know that you need to apply sunscreen every day, how often do you need to reapply it? Our rule of thumb is to reapply your sunscreen or SPF-packed product every 2 hours when you're outside, or immediately after swimming or sweating. Over time, consistent use of SPF can help slow down the aging process by preventing further damage to your healthy skin.
If you’re incorporating SPF into your daily skincare routine, you may be wondering: Should I apply sunscreen before or after my moisturizer? The order in which you apply sunscreen is important in order to get the best results from your products. Some argue that applying a moisturizer or serum before can create a barrier and reduce the effectiveness of your sunscreen while others believe the opposite. If you’re looking to simplify your routine and get the best results, we recommend our Refreshing Water Cream or Hydration Stick, which combines the steps of SPF for sun exposure and moisturization.
How to pick the right sunscreen?
Selecting a sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage is essential for protection against UVA and UVB rays. Aim for an SPF rating of at least 30, as this indicates the product's capability of shielding against UVB rays.
For daily protection that does more, try our Dew Good Illuminating Serum Sunscreen SPF 30. Our silky serum goes on sheer to instantly illuminate for a dewy, hydrated look with weightless SPF 30 protection. But that’s just the beginning of its beautiful benefits. The organic formula goes beyond SPF to help mitigate the effects of blue light, pollution, and other environmental stressors with our BlueScreen™ Digital De-Stress™ technology. Plus, you can experience the benefits of probiotic technology in this skin care product, which improves moisture retention and supports your skin’s natural, youthful glow.
For protection when you’re in the mood for makeup, try our Makeup Setting Spray Sunscreen SPF 30. Our organic SPF 30 sunscreen spray provides sheer sun protection and keeps your morning makeup fresh until you hit the hay. Talk about a multi-tasker! Infused with soothing Aloe Vera and cooling Cucumber, this matte-finish sunscreen mist also hydrates. Spritz on the SPF mist for weightless, no-shine protection anytime, anywhere.
For protection for sensitive skin, try our Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30. Our organic, mineral formula provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection while our proprietary plant-derived BlueScreen™ Digital De-Stress™ technology helps mitigate the effects of HEV light (including blue light), IR, and pollution. This airy, antioxidant-rich formula also helps minimize free radical damage while Plant Stem Cells and Niacinamide help promote radiant, youthful skin. Bonus: our non-nano Zinc Oxide forms an airy-light veil that layers perfectly under makeup.
For protection for those long active days in the sun, try our Classic Face Lotion and Mist SPF 50 and Classic Spray 70 and Body Lotion 70. Our organic face and body lotions and sprays offer sun protection and moisture in one—providing sheer broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection while hydrating skin. They are perfect for those long active days in the sun but still light enough for everyday use. Infused with antioxidant-rich Peach Flower extract, these Farm to Face® formulas feature powerful protection that’s unbelievably light and sheer. Plus, they are packed with our proprietary Plant Protection® complex to help fight free radicals.
- Sander M, Sander M, Burbidge T, Beecker J. The efficacy and safety of sunscreen use for the prevention of skin cancer. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2020;192(50):E1802-E1808. doi:https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.201085
- Sun protection. Aad.org. Published 2023. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection
- Center. Sun Protection Factor (SPF). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Published 2018. Accessed May 8, 2023. https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/center-drug-evaluation-and-research-cder/sun-protection-factor-spf