It’s not news that the skin on your face has different needs than the rest of your body. This is especially the case when it comes to sun protection. It seems like a fantasy to have a sunscreen that’s a trusty one-for-all. Especially without any ugly consequences, but it’s totally within the realm of possibility. So, the short answer to this sometimes-puzzling sunscreen dilemma is: yes! But there are a few conditions to meet before you can safely select the elusive face and body sunblock.
Meet Your SPF Standards & Accommodate Sensitivity
Cheaper, chemical based sunscreens have a tendency to be less-than-friendly when they’re applied to more sensitive areas, like around the eyes where your skin is thinner. However, these are also the areas where UV rays can do some serious damage. The solution is to pick out a sunscreen that is labeled hypoallergenic, while still meeting the full protection standard of SPF 30.
Remember, broad band protection is key because UVA rays are harder to block, but can also do deep cancer-causing damage. It’s also really helpful to use a formula with moisturizers included in the sunscreen. These typically absorb into the skin more readily, without clogging pores and causing acne like some of the cheaper, more chemical heavy concoctions. Remember, oxybenzone is the enemy. It can cause dark spots to worsen and wrinkles to deepen. So, opt for alternatives that use more natural methods that won’t do damage as your face absorbs them. This leads us to our next piece of advice…
Let’s Get Physical!
Physical sunscreens, i.e. those zinc-oxide mineral ones we never shut up about. They are almost always hypoallergenic, are less likely to block up pores, and protect you from the whole spectrum of pesky UV rays. This natural, effective method can be a little trickier to find. But it’s so worth it to keep cheap chemicals out of your skin’s layers. Mineral sunscreens have much shorter ingredient-lists, and while almost always hypo-allergenic, this makes it way easier to pinpoint an ingredient you know your skin doesn’t like.
Most mineral sunscreens are already organic on their own too, which is a bonus, because of how readily the skin around your eyes absorbs all these different potions and lotions (especially the more concerning ones that decompose under sunny conditions). The skin on your face, specifically around your eyes makes up less than 3% of all of your skin, and yet 10% of skin cancers occur here (thanks to Dr. Woodward at Duke University for this tidbit). Yikes! Adequate protection, that’s fully broad band protectant is most readily found in mineral sunscreens that do this without potentially harmful chemicals. Plus, let’s face it, keeping our eyes looking young and awake is a total superficial bonus we can’t pass up. Remember to pair these products with a good pair of shades because even the best sunscreen can’t offer much help to your eyes themselves.
The bonus about following these tips is that they’re also better for the rest of your skin, neck down. Buying habits that avoid comedogenic products means fewer body breakouts, even protection, and softer skin all over. So remember: when you’re aiming for the all-in-one, be sure to meet SPF and broadband standards, go organic/hypoallergenic, and seek out those minerals!