What You NEED To Know About Sunscreen

I have a couple of pet topics and one of them is no other than sunscreen. Every Summer since this blog has existed I’ve tried to post a reminder about the importance of SPF (‘sun protection factor’). Every year my knowledge has also broaden and while the older posts are still useful (there are some product reviews included), I think I’ve managed to gather some good and updated information for you.

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You NEED To Wear an SPF

If there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s this no-nonsense advice: wear your sunscreen. Every day of the year, even if it’s cloudy. On overcast days, only visible Sun rays are blocked, but you still are at the risk of getting sun damage, which causes about 80% of visible signs of ageing. It’s not only for aesthetic reasons, but by wearing sunscreen you also reduce the risk of getting skin cancer. No sunscreen provides 100% protection against UV radiation, there’s always some that will reach your skin, damaging the cells below. This damage builds up over time, which can increase your risk of skin cancers. Wear sunscreen every day!

How To Apply Sunscreen

What’s the best sunscreen for you? The kind you use. I’m repeating myself here, I know. Some people detest the physical sunscreens that might have a slight flashback or a white cast right when applied. If you’re hesitant then try several types: sprays, liquids and creams. The most important point is to apply and apply enough. SPF alone in makeup is not enough to protect you, as you won’t apply a sufficient amount.

As I’m not a dermatologist and sunscreen textures vary, I cannot say a certain amount for each sunscreen, but for the face and neck I’d aim to apply 1/2 teaspoon. I personally use a physical, very creamy type of a sunscreen: I dot it on my face and neck and massage gently until the product has absorbed and there is no white cast. Remember to reapply sunscreen every few hours if you’re in sunlight and immediately after swimming or sweating.

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Understand Sun Protection Factor

Studies over the years have shown that sun protection factors and actual protection percentage from ultraviolet rays don’t go hand in hand: SPF 60 is not double the protection of SPF 30. SPF15 means ~93% of UV rays are blocked, SPF30 blocks 97% and SPF50 98%. Above SPF50 the added protection is fairly miniscule, but the cosmetic properties of the sunscreen might be compromised (thicker, whiter texture).

You also need to check your sunscreen had both UVA and UVB rating. If your sunscreen says it’s “Broad Spectrum”, it means the product offers both UVA and UVB protection.

You might have seen that after the SPF and number there are products labeled with “PA” and plus ratings. PA grading system was established in Japan and is meant to inform about the level of protection from UVA rays. Always choose a product with PA+++ (or more) to get the best protection from UVA.

Susncreen and Vitamin D Absorbation

Vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is hit by UVB rays. Theoretically, sunscreen use may lower the Vitamin D, but according to Harvard Health Publishing very few people wear enough sunscreen to block all UVB light. Where your live, skin color, weight, age, etc. also affects on Vitamin D absorption, so it’s safer to get sufficient amount of Vitamin D from food or supplements.

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What To Know About Physical And ‘Chemical’ UV Filters

I use the term physical and ‘chemical’ to demonstrate the differences in these UV filters, but some people may refer it as “natural/organic/mineral” and “synthetic” and so on. Physical sunscreens protect your skin from the Sun by blocking or deflecting the UV rays while chemical sunscreen absorb them. Physical UV filters are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, which are generally stable and safe sunscreen filters that don’t cause free radicals.

The issue in chemical UV filters is that some may irritate the skin and they have to be applied 15-20 minutes before being exposed to sun. On the other hand chemical UV filters are often cosmetically elegant: runny, light, colorless and odorless. Physical UV filters are thick, opaque and in some cases harder to apply if they leave a white cast. Some people are prone for breaking out from physical or chemical filters, so always patch test if you’re unsure if the product is suitable for you.

I personally only aim to use physical sunscreens, but for everyone I encourage you to avoid using oxybenzone and octinoxate as they damage reefs and have adverse health risks to humans and environment.

Read More About SPF on The Blog

Best Sunscreens For Summer 2018
What You Need To Know About Sun Care (2016)
My Sunscreen Reminder (and Innisfree Review)

Do you wear sunscreen every day?

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 - Makeup, Skincare and Fragrance Loves!

You know it’s a favorite when you reach for it immediately - over shiny new things, over expensive treasures. When I started planing this post it only took me a minute or two to gather these products. Some of them I’ve already reviewed on the blog while the others deserve much more attention. I think I have a good mix of skincare, makeup and fragrance here - including new and older products. Enjoy!

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Makeup

I was kindly gifted Rouge Bunny Rouge Light Corrective Eye Primer*, but I didn’t do a separate review as it took me months to decide do I dislike or love it. I find out it’s the latter, but it took me several tries to get it work for me. This primer doesn’t blend too easily and sets immediately: if you don’t work fast it may look patchy. For me this creates a perfect canvas for eyeshadow and corrects any eyelid discoloration. For under the eyes I’ve been testing the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer*, which is worth its legendary status. You need a miniscule amount and the coverage is very good - for me this works also as a spot concealer.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

For eyes I’ve been loving Chanel’s Ombre Premier cream eyeshadows (814 Silver Pink and 838 Ultra Flesh (LE)). I do love the old formula as well (don’t see too much difference there), but I think they have discontinued Illusion d’Ombre line, sadly. Tweezerman Lash Curlers* for Round Eyes have been life-changing. I can use the regular ones as well, but Round Eyes seem more comfortable. The curl and hold they give is excellent! Trust me.

Finally I gotta mention Kora Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer* and Clear Luminizer* for highlight. I’ve done two posts on Kora’s Luminizers: Rose Quartz is reviewed here and new shades here. So easy to use, perfect consistency. To finish my makeup I’m liking the Kicks Setting Spray* (matte). Kicks’ house brand is pretty good and I find I prefer this setting spray to Urban Decay All-Nighter.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skincare

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum* is like a better, less expensive version of the Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. It’s packed with sodium hyaluronate and natto gum to hydrate, plump and quenches thirsty skin. The formula has some floral and fruit peel oils, so if you’re very sensitive you might check the INCI or patch test before applying.

Summer is coming (hopefully soon) in Finland and I’m testing body products for reviews. So far my favorites have been quite inexpensive finds, which is great. Skin Treat is a KICKS exclusive brand and they have expanded from their body scubs to Bright Renewal AHA & PHA Exfoliating Treatment*, which is a light mousse that you can apply your acne-prone body areas, such as back, tights etc. Skin Treat Instant Firming Body Serum* is a very light moisturizer that supposedly firms, but I like it as a décolleté and arm moisturizer as it sinks in so quickly and I can dress right away. Before I go to bed I slather on some Flow Cosmetics Refreshing Peppermint Food Butter* on my feet, give them a little massage and put on wooly socks. The peppermint scent is so fresh and invigorating, but doesn’t disturb my evening routine.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Fragrance

I’ve been a fan of Jo Malone’s scents for a good couple of years and she finally launched in Finland last Autumn. English Pear and Freesia cologne is my original favorite from her. This bottle of mine is rather old and almost empty, but since it hasn’t turned I’m trying to use it up. Spring weather and English Pear and Freesia go well together, even on cloudy days it brightens up my mood without being sickly sweet. I find colognes very subtle on me, but I’ve still received compliments while wearing this perfume.

What have you been loving lately?

*Products marked with asterisk(*) have been gifted for consideration.
My opinions are honest and my own. This page utilizes ad links to support this blog.

How To Use Powder Face Masks

I recently popped to TwistBe’s* store in Kamppi district, Helsinki, and had a long chat with Kati, one of the wonderful founders. We chatted lengthy about the store concept and how curated their product lines are, and one brand that I kept seeing in the shop was BYBI*. I’m a fan of this “Instagram chic” British eco brand, but Kati mentioned that some customers shy away from the powder masks, such as BYBI’s Detox Mask. I thought how to powder face masks would be a great idea for a blog post, so here it comes!

How To Use Powder Face Masks | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
How To Use Powder Face Masks | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What Are Powder Face Masks And How To Use Them?

I like to categorize face masks in five main types

1. Balm/oil-based masks: like Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask (review here)
2. Exfoliating or enzymatic masks, for example the Evolve or Tata Harper ones
3. Hydrating masks; wash-off (read more here) and sheet masks (reviews)
4. PRE-MIXED masks that use clays, such as Mahalo The Petal mask (review here and here)
5. MIX-IT-YOURSELF masks, which we’re talking about today!

These masks that come in powder forms are often clay, charcoal, seed powders or some flour-based concoctions that you mix (‘activate’) with a liquid, such as water, aloe vera or honey. This might sound complicated, too much effort or messy, but trust me on this – it’s not. You’re not baking a complex cake here, you’re just mixing a ~2 teaspoons of powder with 3-4 drops of liquid. If it’s too thick - add more liquid. If it’s too runny - add more powder! Simple as that.

How To Use Powder Face Masks | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Why Should I Choose A Powder Mask?

I think there are two main benefits: you get to customize your mask and it’s very cost-effective. Sometimes you might want to use your clay-based mask with water for drawing out impurities or exfoliate, on another occasion you might want to choose honey or aloe for a more gentle, hydrating mask session.

Powder masks stay good for a very long periods of time as they have no water or other ingredients that tend to go off quickly. If you’re concerned of preservatives, there usually is none. You can easily travel with a small amount of the powder, no cabin restrictions on an airplane. Beauty brands also tend to be very generous with the amount of mask powder you get: luxury brands like May Lindstrom or de Mamiel tend to be very pricey, but you get a ton of product when you choose a powder mask over pre-mixed one. Get one to share!

Thirdly, I personally enjoy it a lot. I put my hair up and feel like I’m doing something kind yet beneficial for myself and my skin. If you want to make this a full self-care ritual, maybe pour the powder in a special dish, such as a ceramic cup or even a beautiful soy sauce plate and use a face mask brush to mix and apply the mask. You don’t even need to purchase a special brush if you have an old paddle foundation brush.

How To Use Powder Face Masks | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Some Powder Masks to Try:

I haven’t tried all of these as I still have plenty of de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse and Exfoliate left and I am definitely going to repurchase. It’s amazing, but pretty strong and intense, so I listed alternatives. BYBI is a safe bet for your first powder mask if you’re unsure, but I’ve heard wonderful things about Leahlani! (Note: some of these websites have marked the product as ml vs g, but they are all powder)

BYBI the Detox Dust 60ml / €28.9 on TwistBe (FI)*
May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt Cleansing Clay 200ml / €74 on Jolie (FI)*
May Lindstrom The Problem Solver Correcting Masque 250ml / €105 on Jolie (FI)*
Isla Apothecary Skin Purifying Mud 85g / €38 on Jolie (FI)*
Leahlani Kokoleka Detox Face Mask 100ml / €72 on Jolie (FI)*
Leahlani Kalima Cleansing Powder 100ml / €53 on Jolie (FI)*
de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse and Exfoliate 70g / £45 on Cult Beauty*

Have you tried powder masks? What’s your favorite?

*This site utilizes ad links marked with (*) to support this blog.