Five Things to Know about Sunscreen

Did you know that you can get a 50 percent decrease in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, when sunscreen is applied daily? (Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology) Since May is National is National Melanoma Month, this is great information you need to know. We all know how important it is in preventing premature wrinkles but for the sake of your health, wearing sunscreen is a must.

Here’s five things you need to know about sunscreen to ensure you’re getting the best protection for your skin.

1. Sunscreen must be applied generously. In order for SPF to truly protect the skin and prevent the harmful UV rays from damaging the skin, the formula has to be applied generously or it will not provide adequate protection. If you have a sunscreen that feels too heavy on your skin (which so many can), you’ll probably only apply a small amount and you’re not doing your skin any good. The goal is to find a sunscreen that doesn’t use heavy emollients so as not to leave a greasy residue. That way, you can be heavy-handed when using it (as you should be) but you’re not left feeling oily. This is why our broad-spectrum Daily Protection SPF 30 is one of our best-selling products. It actually dries to a matte finish and never, ever leaves residue. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, this one is for you. If you have normal to dry skin, then you’ll love our Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 30.

Read: How to Apply Sunscreen to the Face and Neck 

2. Don’t get overly confident with a high SPF number.
 With so many companies launching high SPF number sunscreens, it creates a lot of confusion as to which number is the best in protecting the skin. Did you know that an SPF 30 offers only 4% more protection than an SPF 15 and an SPF 45 offers just 2% more? High SPF number sunscreens like an SPF 50 or 100 can give people a false sense of protection and therefore may not be applied generously enough to do its job. While I do suggest using a minimum of SPF 30, it has far more to do with how generously you apply it than the number. (By the way, the FDA is proposing to limit the maximum SPF on labels to 50.)

Read: Make Sure to Wear Sunscreen in an Airplane

3. Sunscreen built into your foundation makeup is not enough. If you apply a regular non-SPF moisturizer to the face and then apply a foundation with an SPF over it, the sunscreen in the makeup has a difficult time penetrating through the moisturizer to effectively coat and protect the skin cells. I highly suggest using a sunscreen moisturizer directly on the skin first to adequately deliver the specified SPF (as long as you apply it generously) and then apply foundation makeup with sunscreen, then finished off with SPF-infused mineral powder. I love the ColoreScience line here.

Read: Slathering on Sunscreen but Still Seeing Brown Spots?

4. Sunscreens degrade from sunlight and your skin’s natural oil. Many sunscreen formulas degrade with exposure to UV light. The daily oil produced on the skin (especially on the nose which is the oiliest area of the face) can also cause sunscreen to breakdown. This is why reapplying sunscreen every few hours is so necessary. However, reapplying often is not always practical. Are you supposed to wash your face, reapply sunscreen, reapply makeup and repeat this every two hours during the day? Not so easy. The fastest, easiest, and most effective way to ensure that your skin is protected all day is to dust the skin every few hours with a good mineral powder formulated with sunscreen. They are considered “dry” sunscreens and make reapplying very simple. My personal favorite (and the one I use faithfully) is ColoreScience, because it’s endorsed by The Skin Cancer Foundation and contains SPF 50. I don’t use it as my makeup, even though it has a light tint, but rather as a light powder over my regular makeup to give a good physical block of protection to my skin.

Read: The Best Sunscreen Mineral Powder to Prevent Wrinkles and Sun Damage

5. If you’re prone to sensitivity or breakouts, choose a sunscreen formula with Zinc Oxide. Of all the categories of skin care products, sunscreens are the most likely to cause negative skin reactions on the skin. And mostly, it’s rashes or acne breakouts from the use of sunscreen. The good news is there have been a lot of advancements in sun protecting ingredients, so if you still shy away from sunscreens because of past bad experiences, you just haven’t found the right one yet—but they are out there. My skin is oily in the t-zone, and even at 42, my oil production hasn’t slowed down too much yet. I have my own built-in moisturizer (the oil) which is considered to be a good thing, but I also have to be very careful because I’m definitely very sensitive, prone to acne breakouts and clogged pores. So using a lightweight, gentle sunscreen is an absolute must for me and the best ingredient to offer that is Zinc Oxide. It’s chemical-free, won’t clog the pores, offers excellent UV protection and never leaves the skin feeling greasy. So if you’re like me and have to be very careful about what you put on your skin, look for formulas with at least 5% Zinc Oxide as they won’t clog the pores, feel heavy on the skin or cause irritation or rashes. Try my very, very favorite sunscreen in the world—Daily Protection SPF 30 with 7% Zinc Oxide. Trust me, your skin will love it. If you have normal to dry skin, then you’ll love our Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 30.

Here’s what top beauty editors are saying about our best-selling Daily Protection SPF 30:

“Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30 is a sunscreen that WON’T cause acne” – Cosmopolitan Magazine

“Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30: The Best SPF Product” Elle Magazine

Read: My Five Favorite Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

Read: Five Essentials to Stay Tan-Free at the Beach

Read: How Do Renée Rouleau Products Compare to Other Skin Care Lines?

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  1. Avatar

    I must say I’m new to your product line, and your blog. But I find the articles you post to be most helpful! I was excited to see your most recent post here about sunscreen. I am in my 30’s, and have already beaten cancer once. I have very dry and very sensitive skin. I’ve never found a sunscreen that doesn’t give me a rash or a severely red face. As I said I’m new to your line, and I haven’t tried your sunscreens yet, but I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that yours might be “the one” as you say in your blog post, it is out there!

    Yesterday I came upon an article ( that talked about a recent study of zinc oxide specifically. The article states that this particular important sunscreen ingredient could have a negative effect to the skin. And coincidentally I read your blog post about sunscreen this morning. And with the summer quickly coming upon us, I was wondering what your thoughts on this might be?

    It seems that the world we live in today, anything they study will cause some sort of cancer or negative effect. You just can’t escape it! So short of becoming a scientist myself, it’s very frustrating as a consumer to try and make good decisions of “what not to do”.

    Posted By: Meagan  | 

    • Avatar

      Hi Meagan,
      Zinc Oxide does not concern me at all. It’s used on babies and is the most recommended sunscreen for sensitive skin. I have not seen any research that Zinc Oxide in sunscreens should not be used and is dangerous to one’s health. In fact, more and more companies are switching to Zinc Oxide as a sunscreen ingredient since it’s chemical-free. I’m actually coming out with a 20% Zinc Oxide sunscreen for dry skin in a few months. For your sensitive skin, I would highly recommend the one we have now–Daily Protection SPF 30. It is “the one.” 🙂 Renee

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  2. Avatar

    Found a little typo under “2.”. “Did you know that an SPF 30 offers only 4% more protection than an SPF 30”, this left me confused 🙂 Hehe.

    The hardest part about sun protection is reapplying it since it just gets greasier on the face, other parts are usually fine. I always apply it in the morning and I do use alot but not too much (dries matte) and I’m type #2 which means after 8h in school, I got a “glow” and tzone feels oily to touch (plus how do you reapply sunscreen when you got makeup on?).

    Posted By: Anni  | 


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