Summer is here and it's the perfect time to get some serious sunscreen education.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Sara Dudley, the Executive Director for The Sunscreen Company. We talked about how the company started, the secret to staying beautiful forever, and everything sunscreen. 

The Sunscreen Company released their first products 10 years ago. Their focus on sunscreen started when Dr. Denis Dudley had a patient ask if sunscreen was safe for her to use while she was pregnant. This caused Dr. Dudley and dermatologist Dr. Sharyn Laughlin to look at how the products we put on our skin affects our internal health. What they found made them dive in deep to sunscreen research.

Now, their team of co-founders, Dr. Sharyn, Dr. Denis, Sara, and their chemist have been creating high quality, research-focused products.

I'm sure since I mentioned it earlier you're dying to know what the secret to staying beautiful forever is. But you probably already guessed it: wear sunscreen. Wear sunscreen every day, especially on your face, neck, chest and hands. And make sure it's a sunscreen that works. Sara's amazing skin can vouch for this beauty secret.

Okay, but why should you wear sunscreen? UVA and UVB rays from the sun cause cancer, rapid ageing, hyperpigmentation, and overall skin cell damage. The sun can also break down other products that you use on your skin so you aren't getting the full benefits from them.

Are all sunscreens safe to use? Historically, sunscreen in the 90s focused on protecting us from UVB sun rays and recently there has been a huge increase in young women getting skin cancer and dying from it. As research has progressed they are seeing that there hasn't been enough protection from UVA rays. Another issue with sunscreens has been the ingredients they use. Oxybenzone is a common ingredient which has small particles that enter through our skin and are proven to be endocrine disrupters (endocrines are the things in our bodies which make hormones), and we definitely don't want to mess with those.

Some sunscreens have been banned from being worn in the ocean because of reef bleaching which is from the Oxybenzone in the sunscreen.

How do you know what sunscreen to choose? Look for these things:

  • It uses zinc oxide as the main ingredient
  • Contains 15-25% zinc oxide concentration
  • Has an SPF of 25-50

The Sunscreen Company is concerned with the safety and efficacy of sunscreen. If you have a sunscreen that has all these great organic and clean ingredients but doesn't have a high enough zinc percentage then it is harming you more. You'll think you're protected so you stay out in the sun a little longer but you're actually not protected at all.

Be wary of sunscreens that contain:

  • Bisabolol
  • Vitamin E

These ingredients are often used as anti-inflammatories that increase the SPF of the sunscreen without increasing the actual protection.

Do not buy sunscreens that contain:

  • Oxybenzone

It is also not recommended to use spray sunscreens. Yes, they are convenient but rubbing in your sunscreen is much more effective and you'll get the best protection. Also, only use powder sunscreens in combination with another sunscreen because It is not guaranteed that you will get even coverage with just the powder.

The Sunscreen Company has three product lines:

  • Cyberderm
  • Ava Isa (just launched this week)
  • Natrèceutique

Cyberderm has hands-down the best sunscreens I have ever used. I use the Every Morning Sun Whip every single day. It wears well under my makeup, it's not greasy, I can't feel it on my skin, it is THE best (it's the reason I reached out and wrote this blog post). It has 15% zinc concentration and if you're looking for more their Simply Zinc Ultra has 25%. 

Ava Isa is their newest line, these products are beautiful and are targeted at women who want a sunscreen and a makeup primer in one. There is a tinted and a non-tinted version and both have a matte finish.

Natrèceutique is their dermatologist-made luxury skincare line. All the products are clean and have a simple but effective ingredient list.

I love that The Sunscreen Company combines the best of the dermatology world and the green beauty world. They never use fragrance or essential oils in their products. Each ingredient is fully thought out and is there for a reason, they are so invested in the science of sunscreen and making a product that will actually protect our skin! They are also made in Canada!

Check out their website www.thesunscreencompany.com to see the full product line up.

Two of my favourite spots in Calgary also carry some of the line: XO Treatment Room and Distilled Beauty Bar.