Are Tinted Sunscreens the Right Choice for You?

Tinted sunscreen is popular among individuals who want to simplify their skincare routine while achieving a natural, flawless look. It comes in various shades to suit different skin tones, allowing users to find the perfect match for their complexion while providing sun protection. Whether heading to the beach or running errands, tinted sunscreen offers a convenient solution for protecting and enhancing skin. Discover if tinted sunscreen is worth incorporating into your skincare regimen.

Key takeaways:

What is tinted sunscreen?

Tinted sunscreen is a cosmetic product that protects the skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause premature aging, cancers, and sunburns. Most sunscreens are known for their main ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, while tinted sunscreens have an iron oxide component. Iron oxide is a compound that gives tinted sunscreens their pigmentation, helps reduce the appearance of the white cast effect that is common in non-tinted sunscreens, and reflects away visible light.

Visible light is the wavelength the human eye can see. Examples are lightbulbs, candles, or fireworks. Furthermore, if you think you're safe from the sun by being home all day, think again. Research suggests blue light, which is a form of visible light emitted from smartphones and tablets, can negatively impact the skin as it can penetrate much deeper than UV radiation.

The effectiveness of tinted sunscreens

While non-tinted sunscreens effectively protect against sun rays, they may not be adequate in protecting the skin from visible light. Current literature shares that visible light may cause redness in light skin tones and hyperpigmentation in people with darker skin tones.

According to research, to protect the skin from visible light, there needs to be a sunscreen that is visible on the skin. Most non-tinted sunscreens use micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide particles, which are smaller in size and absorb easily into the skin. These smaller micronized particles make sunscreens less visible to avoid the white pasty look. In contrast, tinted sunscreens are visible on the skin but do not give the "ghostly" look because of their skin-colored pigmentation derived from iron oxide.

In addition, one clinical study claims tinted sunscreens are more effective in reducing melasma relapses than non-tinted sunscreens. Another study also suggests tinted sunscreens help to reduce hyperpigmentation.

The advantages and flaws of tinted sunscreen

While research does support the effectiveness of tinted sunscreens, here are additional factors to review on the pros and cons of this cosmetic product.

Tips when looking for a tinted sunscreen

When overwhelmed with the number of tinted sunscreens available at the drugstore, consider these tips to narrow your selection.

Sun protection factor

The sun protection factor, better known as your SPF, should be considered when looking into any sunscreen product. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should have an SPF of 30 or higher. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect the skin from damage from both types of UV rays.

Sunscreen formula

There are two types of sunscreens available — chemical and physical/mineral. Chemical sunscreens absorb better into the skin without leaving the white paste and work as a sponge to absorb UV rays into the skin and convert them to harmless heat. Mineral or physical sunscreens sit on the skin's surface as a shield to block the sun's rays from penetrating the skin.

Despite their differences, both are effective in sun protection. You can narrow your choices by considering your skin type. For instance, look for non-comedogenic sunscreens if you have oily or acne-prone skin. If you have sensitive skin, look into tinted mineral sunscreens because chemical sunscreens contain additional ingredients that can stress the skin. Dry skin types can find tinted sunscreens with other hydrating elements, such as hyaluronic acid.

How to apply tinted sunscreen

Once you've purchased your tinted sunscreen, follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to apply your sunscreen. You can also follow the guidance below on applying tinted sunscreen effectively:

  1. Start with a clean face. Complete your skincare regimen first.
  2. You can use a base sunscreen, followed by your tinted sunscreen, as an extra layer of protection.
  3. The recommended amount of sunscreen on the face would be about a nickel size. You can use your fingertips to apply your tinted sunscreen.
  4. You can also use a brush or blending sponge to even out the product for a smooth finish. There are tinted sunscreens that are buildable or even provide full coverage.
  5. Using a setting powder or spray can help to lock and keep your tinted sunscreen in place.

Tinted sunscreen provides the necessary SPF to shield the skin from harmful UV rays and acts as a foundation, giving the complexion a more even and natural appearance. Whether you decide to use tinted sunscreen or not, always use sunscreen in your everyday skincare routine.

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