Health & Wellness

Exactly What Kind of Sun Protection Should We Be Applying This Summer?

Mylène Nine, Spa Director of Timonium’s About Faces Day Spa & Salon, breaks down all of the sunscreen options for us.

Back in the day, we used to frolic in the sun without any protection for our skin. If we’ve learned anything over the last few decades, it’s that sunscreen is an absolute must. That said, skin care best practices are ever evolving. And with so many options—makeup with SPF, sunscreen just for your face, clear serums versus creamy white lotions—what exactly are we supposed to be applying? And how often? Mylène Nine, Spa Director of Timonium’s About Faces Day Spa & Salon, broke it all down for us.

Why is sunscreen necessary to incorporate into your skin care routine?
The most important reason is protection against the sun to prevent cell mutation that causes skin cancer. [Additionally], having our skin in contact with UV light gives us premature aging: fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and loss of elasticity.

How often is it necessary to wear SPF on your face?
We should have SPF on our skin every day, even on cloudy days. We’re exposed to UV rays even sitting in front of a computer all day. Most of the damage comes up to the surface as we get older, as dark spots originate in a deeper layer. A lot of our sun damage occurs before we are 18 years old. We also see a lot of gentlemen, for example, who have a lot of skin cancer on their ears or the back of the neck because people forget those areas. So any skin exposed to the sun or UV light should be protected at all times.

What type of sunscreen should we use on our faces?
There are two different types of sun protection. There is mineral sun protection, which is more like physical sun protection, best for sensitive skin. And then you have the classic sun protection that is more of a chemical mix of ingredients protecting you. Both of them are very efficient. Vitamin C is also important to use all year long.

What level of SPF should we use?
For a daily routine, SPF 30 would be great. If you’re going to the beach or doing sports on a sunny day, I would say SPF 50 is better, but the only reason is you don’t have to reapply as quickly. SPF above 50 isn’t necessary. But nothing below SPF 15.

Is makeup with SPF included just as effective?
Yes, you can do one or the other, just make sure that it has at least SPF 30. However, if you’re going to the beach, you want to wear an SPF 50 cream. You apply your skin care lightest to thickest: serums, creams, and SPF on top before makeup.

How often should we come in for facials?
Ideally, monthly! But at a minimum, four times a year. It’s best to maintain a regular skin care routine at home. If you do your routine every day and then come to us six times a year, by working together we can really achieve a great result.


SPF: Whether in your makeup or an added step in your skin care routine, you should always be wearing an SPF 30 product.

FACIAL: Working with an aesthetician for regular facials can help keep your skin refreshed and healthy.

VITAMIN C: For an extra boost of complexion rejuvenation, use a vitamin C serum daily.