There was a time, not that long ago when I would have called you crazy for bringing sunscreen to the office. The act of providing your skin with ample protection from the sun is a non-negotiable, but applying a fresh layer at the office sounds crazy. Until you’re out there, enjoying the first outside lunch with colleagues, soaking up the warmth and forgetting you spent the better part of the winter inside. Pale, borderline ghostly white skin is what you’re used to but burn quickly you will.
Man, do I feel silly now. Carrying around sunscreen in your coat or bag is an incredible investment in the long term youth of your skin. Why else would you apply masks, acids, serums, and actives to slow down the effects of time, to then bake bare-faced in the sun and undo all that hard work. Asian brands have been on this concept for years—lighter than air textures and high levels of protection, why settle for heavy creams that give you Casper the friendly ghost cast?
For me personally, I have a few important features a sunscreen needs to contain. High protection and suitable for sensitive skin, check. Preferably a dry touch formula that leaves no white marks and is sweat/water-resistant, check. Broad-spectrum, photostable, not damaging to the coral reefs and nifty packaging to travel with, check. Avène wasn’t playing when they created this SPF50+ (PA++++) version and added in some Pre-tocopheryl (vitamin E pre-cursor) for extra protection. I cleanse in the morning and layer a light HA serum first before going straight in with the sunscreen. That seems to be more than enough hydration for me. Any other exposed area of skin like my arms and the back of my neck gets a coating right before I go to lunch.