Are you a sunscreen enthusiast?
If you answered yes, you’re rare, because, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, only 14 percent of women wear sunscreen daily. Although if the other 86 percent knew one simple fact—that using an SPF of 15 or higher can reduce the risks of developing skin cancer by 50 percent—I bet the number of daily sunscreen-wearing women would be much, much higher.
I belong to the 86% category as well. The word sunscreen only reminds me of a sticky white pasty thing that I would never want to include in my skincare routine (and I did not till now!) but yeah I had a horrible first-time usage experience dating years back with high repercussions.
We live in Doha where it rains maybe five days each year, sometimes less (although those are my favorite days). The other 360 days are either sunny or downright hot.
But it isn’t just about Doha honestly. The Sun ain’t got no chill anywhere, babe!
It’s no secret that the sun (in moderate doses) provides all sorts of health benefits, including helping our bodies manufacture vital vitamin D. But we also know that continuous contact with these potent UVA and UVB rays risk you of sun overexposure, sunburns and possibly skin cancer.
I have myself avoided sunscreens for long and visibly seen the damage being done. My face has dark melanin spots that now need color correctors and concealers to hide. Luckily, with advances in nanotechnology, sunscreens have now become much less pasty, having smaller pigments, which make them almost invisible helping them glide on to your skin like any other primer. And thanks to this, life changing technology, I can now use a sunscreen! 😀
In this article I highlight some of the best sunscreens available out there that are sorted as per your skin needs, which all bloggers do. But my effort here is to tailor this list to the Doha market.
Yes. You heard that right. Now, you need not go through the list and feel bad about not having the product readily available here and going through the ordeal of searching the product online and placing orders (my sad story).
As a matter of fact, all sunscreens are not created equally. In fact, a 2018 report from Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that out of the 650 sunscreens tested nearly 67 percent of the sunscreens didn’t work. That is to say, these sunscreens provide inadequate sun protection ick SPF applications. n the go. e is just meant for you. and/or they contained harmful ingredients.
Let’s go through the list and find which one suits your need best!
- Best for dry skin
Banana Boat SunComfort Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
This fragranced lotion is a winner. It neither makes the skin dry nor leave a sticky feeling behind. In fact, it just goes on your skin “like a moisturizer.”
Where in Doha: Hypermarkets
- Best Before Makeup
NARS Smooth & Protect Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen
If you forgot sunscreen because you don’t love how it layers under your foundation, this primer could be the answer for you. Its invisible, non-greasy finish makes it the perfect first step in your daily glam routine.
Where in Doha: Sephora
- Best for Acne
LaRoche Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60
This oil-free, noncomedogenic (aka it won’t clog pores) formula contains perlite and silica that can soak up 250 percent of their weight in sweat and oil, meaning fewer breakouts for you — all while protecting your skin.
Where in Doha: Boots Pharmacy
- Best for Sensitive Skin
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50
If you have sensitive skin, you need a sunscreen that’s free of fragrance, dyes, and oils, just like this mineral one from Neutrogena. The brand is a longtime favorite of dermatologists and was commended by the National Eczema Association for how gently it works with sensitive skin.
Where in Doha: Pharmacies or Hypermarkets
- Best Stick Formula / Travel friendly pack
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Eventone SPF 50 Suncare Stick
If you’re always on the go then this one is just meant for you. Even if you’re running around in a pair of micro-shorts, you can fit this teeny little sunscreen stick in your pocket for quick SPF applications. And though it’s tiny, it packs a major hydration punch, containing cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil, plus its clear application won’t leave your skin chalky and white.
Where in Doha: Boots Pharmacy
Types of Sunscreens you need to avoid (as per EWG guidelines):
Sprays and Aerosols
EWG recommends you avoid all sunscreen sprays and aersols containing SPF since it’s too easy to accidentally inhale them and/or miss a spot. “People can potentially inhale ingredients in sunscreen sprays and ingest some of the ingredients they apply to their lips, so ingredients must not be harmful to lungs or internal organs,” the report says. Some of the brands with sunscreen sprays that make it into their “Hall of Shame” in previous years include Banana Boat, Coppertone and CVS.
Super High SPF
You’ll also want to steer clear of products with SPFs above 50+. The reason is that a sunscreen’s SPF only refers to its ability to filter the UVB rays that cause sunburn, and it does not guarantee anything about its ability to block UVA rays, which can cause skin damage and/or cancer — especially if you stay outside all day.
In addition, their report states, “High-SPF products require higher concentrations of sun-filtering chemicals [like oxybenzone] than low-SPF sunscreens. Some of these ingredients may pose health risks when they penetrate the skin, and have been linked to tissue damage and potential hormone disruption.”
Chemical Sun Protection
Finally, EWG recommends that you skip the chemical sun protection. According to Matthew Miller, MD, a dermatologist in Greenville, SC, “Some chemical sunscreens could interfere with the normal function of hormones.” In fact, 80 percent of chemical sunscreens contain oxybenzone, which gets into the bloodstream, may cause allergic reactions and can mimic estrogen in the body.
Instead, put on a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt and pants, or opt for EWG’s top-rated products: sunscreens containing zinc and/or titanium. “These minerals are physical blocks that sit on the surface of the skin, preventing UV light from penetrating it,” says Dr. Miller.
As much important as it is to use a sunscreen, please ensure you choose the right one! You definitely don’t want to add misery to the already existent “Sun blues”. 😉
Article by: Jasmine Sharif