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Cosmeceutical untinted sunscreens in Canada

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When it comes to sun protection, it’s important to be sure you are wearing a broad-spectrum, high-SPF sunscreen daily (even if it’s not sunny outside, or you are indoors). However, sunscreens come in many varieties. Tinted sunscreen offers sheer, foundation-like coverage, in addition to blue (HEV) light protection. However, untinted sunscreen has its advantages, too.

Some people prefer the ‘invisible’ effects of an untinted sunscreen, since they can apply their correct foundation colour on top of it. Most tinted sunscreens are limited in their shade options even though they can dry in an almost ‘invisible’ tone. They may leave very light skin looking ‘orange,’ or very dark skin looking not-quite-right.

Plus, sunscreen should, ideally, be applied anywhere the skin is exposed. When it comes to the neck and décolleté (chest area), tinted sunscreens may leave colour on clothing and necklaces (temporarily, of course). To avoid this problem, an untinted sunscreen is ideal in those areas. It would not be unusual to have both types on hand; a tinted sunscreen for the face, and an untinted sunscreen for the neck, décolleté, ears and other areas.

Then, there are those who simply don’t want any colour on their face. They will prefer an untinted sunscreen, just for that reason.

Untinted sunscreen has built a reputation for leaving a white cast on the skin. Some people don’t mind this, and prefer it. Plus, it does go away after a while. However, many modern formulas don’t come with this problem at all.

The main sunscreens that leave a white cast are those made with minerals. Mineral sunscreen acts as a physical block between the sun’s rays and the skin. This method of sun protection uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which have a white colour to them. But today, they can be made with nano-sized particles to avoid leaving a white cast.

To avoid a white cast, one can also use a chemical UV filter, or a combination sunscreen that uses both chemical filters and a mineral sunblock. Chemical UV filters are designed to ‘sink’ into the skin much more easily than mineral sunscreens. They appear invisible almost immediately after being applied to the skin. Some sunscreens contain both chemical and mineral ingredients, to offer a smoother application, with long-term, broad-spectrum coverage.

If you’re not sure what to pick, you can learn more about this topic at the following link on our website:

Or, feel free to give us a call, and we’d be happy to make a custom recommendation for your needs.

Below are some general guidelines for picking an untinted sunscreen:

  • Use at least an SPF 30, with both UVA and UVB (broad-spectrum) coverage.
  • Remember that true sun protection requires sunscreen reapplication every 2 hours. If washing your face every 2 hours is not practical, consider a light-weight sunscreen that can go over makeup or base layers, without feeling ‘sticky’ or heavy. A powder-based sunscreen can also do the trick. Try the Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-on Shield SPF 50. It does have a tint, but it is very faint. A powder sunscreen should not be your base layer of sun protection.
  • Especially with chemical-based UV filters, be sure to apply sunscreen 10 - 20 minutes before sun exposure.
  • If you have sensitive skin, opt for a mineral-based sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are less likely to irritate the skin.
  • Be sure to apply antioxidant protection to your skin, to help further prevent damage by other environmental factors that can cause free radical damage. Remember, untinted sunscreens won’t come with iron oxides, which protect against blue light from our modern devices (to give one example). Some sunscreen products come with antioxidants ‘built in’ to their formulas. These further boost the skin’s resiliency. Specially-made serums can also help, if they are layered underneath sunscreen, and used at night.
  • If you will be sweating or getting wet, be sure to opt for a water-resistant sunscreen. Reapply on dry skin, and per the product’s instructions, to maintain sun protection.
  • For normal to oily skin, a moisturizing sunscreen can help to combine steps in your morning routine. However, a humectant, such as a hyaluronic acid serum, is still helpful to prevent dryness and creasing throughout the day. Use HA5™ Rejuvenating Hydrator by SkinMedica®, for example, underneath sunscreen.
  • Dry skin should use a dedicated serum and moisturizer underneath sunscreen.
  • Chemical sunscreens may not always ‘play nice’ with makeup (it depends on the circumstances and products being combined). Give them time to absorb into your skin before applying foundation.

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