Practicing smart sun takes a well-rounded, nuanced approach. To start, it means you should be mindful of the time you do spend in the sun. Applying SPF is not an excuse to sunbathe for sport. While we believe spending time outdoors is important for your overall health, treating a tanning session like you’re training for a marathon isn’t the move. Use your outdoor time wisely: Avoid too much time during peak UV hours and use accessories like hats, sunglasses, and UFP shirts.
OK, now onto sunscreen. “The best sunscreen is the sunscreen that you’ll actually wear,” says holistic esthetician Lesley Thornton, founder of KLUR. “I don’t argue with people about sunscreen types. Do you wear it? Great.” We like these mineral options, but ultimately it’s just about finding products you enjoy.
I also recommend creating a sunscreen wardrobe, so you have products for many types of occasions: Water-resistant full body options for the beach, stick formulas for on the go, facial powders for reapplication, and several facial lotions depending on what you’re up-to that day (i.e. one for under makeup and one for bare face.) While this advice may have seemed silly a decade ago, now-a-days there are so many amazing and varied sunscreen options on the market to suit any need.
It also means caring for the skin apres sun as well: If you’ve just spent a day at the beach, be sure to hydrate and soothe skin, to minimize any potential inflammation in the skin. In this use case, aloe vera is a popular ingredient for a reason: This comes down to one of the compounds in the juice, aloesin.
Aloesin has brightening capabilities that can help speed up this fading process. In one study, when aloe was applied to skin four times per day for two weeks, aloesin was shown to effectively fade post-acne hyperpigmentation4. Another report showed that topical application of aloesin can directly inhibit hyperpigmented skin from producing more melanin.