Are Sunscreen Oils Safe?

Sunscreen has come a long way from your mother's or grandmother’s thick white zinc oxide. Current product selections include sunscreen in loads of different forms, such as oils, but are they all safe?

Sunscreen has come a long way from your mother's or grandmother’s thick white zinc oxide. Current product selections include sunscreen in loads of different forms, such as oils, but are they all safe?


Are Sunscreen Oils Safe?


Why Sunscreen Oils Are Different


Face and body oils provide hydration that's similar to the natural oil, or sebum, that skin produces. Sebum protects against free radicals and environmental aggressors, so it offers a very effective form of protection.

A sunscreen oil is totally safe and definitely works just as effectively as other forms of sunscreen. However, there some tips and tricks will help you navigate this new form of sunscreen and help it work best for you.


Cleanse Before Using a Sunscreen Oil


It’s super-important to make sure you’ve removed all other products before applying an oil sunscreen. Oil doesn’t mix well with water or silicone. Any water-based or silicone-based products will inhibit absorption of a sunscreen oil and thus reduce the SPF's effectiveness.

This goes for the face as well as the body. If you’ve ever experienced your products rolling or pilling off the face while applying them, it was most likely a reaction between your products. The same reaction can happen with sunscreen oils, too.


Are Sunscreen Oils Safe?


Wait 5 to 10 Minutes After Application Before Getting Dressed


Oils are thicker and slicker than creams and lotions. This means you need to give your sunscreen oil time to absorb before pulling clothes over it.

If the oil rubs off, you won't be fully protected from the sun. To ensure the product sinks in and works as intended, give yourself between 5 and 10 minutes after application before putting your clothes on.


Apply 20 Minutes Before Sun Exposure


Due to the generally sheer quality of a sunscreen oil, the SPF present will most likely be a chemical SPF. A physical SPF creates an actual physical block between your skin and the rays. This type of sunscreen would not function well in an oil base.

Chemical SPFs absorb into the skin and travel beneath the epidermis to absorb the sun’s rays. These types of sunscreens require about 20 minutes to start working, so be sure to wait at least that long before sun exposure.

Some of our favourite sunscreen oils are La Roche–Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Nutritive Oil and Lancôme Soleil Bronzer Protective Oil SPF 15. Still not feeling the sunscreen oil concept? No worries! Check out all of our sunscreens to peruse the options we’ve got and stay protected in the way that works for you.

 

Are Sunscreen Oils Safe?