Choosing Your Perfect Sunscreen (and why you should wear one)

This blog is going to help you in choosing your perfect year-round sunscreen. Yup I said it, year round! Whether you live in a sunny hot climate or have winter 6 months of the year you should still be applying sunscreen daily! Yes, even if you work in the office. It’s incredibly easy for the UVB rays to damage our skin underneath the surface layer. That damage results in dark spots which appear as we age.

You probably don’t need me to tell you how important it is to lather yourself in SPF, it is 2021 and I think most people have picked up on that fact that tanning beds are out and sunscreen is in.  But if you still need a quick reminder, listen up: wear your sunscreen. Please. At least SPF 30. Without SPF, you’re exposing your skin to an array of preventable and potentially dangerous effects, including fine lines & wrinkles, dark spots, and, most importantly, skin cancer.  

A few years ago after I had my son Enzo, I went through a period of terrible post pregnancy pigmentation. I was at the point where I didn’t even want to leave my house without makeup on.  I made it my mission to correct my skin with sun avoidance (hats & SUNSCREEN!), medical grade products to lighten sun damage & hormonal pigment, and in-office laser treatment and chemical peels to even my skin tone. It didn’t happen overnight, but with lots of patience and hard work on my skin I was able to get it to the point where I feel 100% confident and comfortable leaving my house completely bare-faced. Okay, not totally bare-faced because of course I still have my sunscreen. 

MY TOP RECOMMENDED SUNSCREEN

 

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll go ahead and hop off my soapbox to tell you about my personal favorite which is also the top recommended sunscreen in my practice, Elta MD.

ELTA MD UV Clear Broad-Sprectrum 46 (for oily skin)

There are two versions of the every-day use sunscreen, one for dry skin and one for more oily skin. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is for oily and sensitive/acne prone skin. This SPF is oil-free and helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea, and discoloration. It contains niacinamide (vitamin B3), hyaluronic acid and lactic acid ingredients that promote the appearance of health-looking skin. Very lightweight and silky, it may be worn with makeup or alone.

  • 9.0% transparent zinc oxide
  • Antioxidants help absorb free radicals
  • Calms and protects acne-prone skin
  • Leaves no residue
  • UVA/UVB sun protection
  • Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic

I love that this sunscreen comes in both tinted and non-tinted. The tint is a universal tint that literally looks good on EVERY skin type – yes, even the palest of the pale! I personally love the tint and love that I can throw it on so effortlessly and leave the house with a radiant glow.

Glow aside, for my patients with sensitive skin finding an SPF formula that won’t mess with their complexion or cause a breakout is super important. This silky white or tinted cream seeps into skin seamlessly, without creating more sensitivity (great for redness-prone skin) and doesn’t have a scent, which is good for people who suffer from eczema or dermatitis.  It’s truly a great sunscreen.

ELTA MD Daily 40 (for dry skin)

Elta UV Daily 40 is for normal-to-dry skin. This sunscreen is lightweight, oil-free, & made with zinc oxide, which protects skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. It’s also spiked with good-for-your-skin ingredients including texture-and tone-smoothing niacinamide, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and gentle exfoliating lactic acid.

Serious UV protection and superior hydration join forces in this sheer facial sunscreen. EltaMD UV Daily has hyaluronic acid to boost moisture retention and diminish fine lines. This lightweight moisturizer with UV protection can be worn alone or under makeup. Choose from tinted and untinted formulas for use every day.

  • 9.0% transparent zinc oxide
  • Antioxidants help absorb free radicals
  • Hyaluronic Acid increases skin smoothness, softness and decrease wrinkles
  • Glides on easily and absorbs quickly into the skin
  • UVA/UVB sun protection
  • Fragrance-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic

ELTA UV Sheer Broad Spectrum 50+ (for normal, combo, dry, oily skin)

This SPF is our newest addition to the Elta family. UV Sheer has a super lightweight, hydrating formula that feels so silky to the touch. It is light and airy on the skin. It absorbs super quickly into the skin and helps to even out your skin tone. This SPF offers 80 minutes of sweat and water resistance making it the ideal choice for an active lifestyle, hot and humid weather, and for anyone looking for a lightweight and hydrating sunscreen to live freely under the skin. UV Sheer is formulated to be compatible on all skin tones without leaving a white cast. If you are someone who does not like a heavy sunscreen – this one is especially for you!

When To Apply SPF

First apply it in the morning, after my cleanser and moisturizer, as a last step right before my makeup. Think clear to cloudy when applying and layering your products. Then I always toss it in my bag for re-application in the afternoon. If you are spending the majority of the day outside you should reapply every 2-3 hours. Also as a bonus feature, I find that this product even holds up during the sweatiest of workouts (hello, EMOMS). I make sure I lather all 3 of my babies before we leave the house. Between these three products my swim bag stays fully stocked with my sunscreen arsenal.

Do your skin a favor and protect it from the sun….your older self with thank you later!

Here is a great tool to see which version is right for you:

how to choose the perfect sunscreen

Shop all the Elta MD products here. Use Code ROCKYNP at checkout and save 10%

XO

Racquel

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2 thoughts on “Choosing Your Perfect Sunscreen (and why you should wear one)”

  1. Pingback: A Top Product for Reducing Pigmentation| Racquel Frisella

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Racquel Frisella

Board Certified Nurse Practitioner & Aesthetic Specialist based in Saint Louis, Missouri

I work as a cosmetic injector and skincare specialist with 12 years of experience in the Aesthetic Industry. I see patients both in-office at Nayak Plastic Surgery & Avani Derm Spa for treatments as well as online for customized, complimentary skincare plans. I focus heavily on preventative and corrective injections, treatments, and skincare.  My career is my passion and I love to help people feel like the very best version of themselves. I am a wife and a mother of 3 beautiful children under the age of 3. I love all things beauty, fashion, and fitness. I am creating this site as a place to share my expertise on beauty, anti-aging, and skin while also giving a glimpse into my lifestyle as a mom, wife and lover of fitness!  

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