The effect of sun on your face – And how to protect your skin

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Our face, neck and décolleté are more exposed to the sun than almost any other part of our bodies. They benefit from daily sun protection that has been specially formulated for facial skin and that matches your skin type and condition. This article looks at how to protect your face, how to choose the right products for your skin and why you should make sun protection part of your morning skincare routine.

The skin on some parts of the body is also more sensitive to the sun, and more susceptible to sun damage, than skin in other areas. Facial skin is:

  • Thinner: the epidermis of facial skin is about 0.12mm thick while the body’s average is around 0.60mm)
  • More exposed: being mostly uncovered, it is exposed to the sun (and other elements) on a daily basis

It’s not just holiday sun that affects skin. UV rays (UVA in particular) and high- energy visible (HEVIS) light are present all day, every day – winter as well as summer and on cloudy days as well as sunny ones. Our faces are ofen one of the first parts of the body to show visible signs of sun-induced skin damage such as sunburn, photoaging (premature skin aging caused by the sun) and hyperpigmentation. And, being always on show, the signs of sun damage are particularly visible on our faces and necks.

How can I protect my face from the sun?

All the face products in Eucerin’s superior sun protection range include Eucerin’s innovative Advanced Spectral Technology which combines broadband and photostable UVA/UVB filters1 for reliable UV protection with antioxidant Licochalcone A, a powerful anti-oxidant that works to neutralize free radicals caused by UV and HEVIS light. The formulas also include Glycyrrhetinic Acid which supports skin’s own DNA repair mechanism. 

  1. Meeting the high standards for UVA and UVB protection defined by Cosmetics Europe. The levels of UVA protection are higher than the EU recommendation.

The appropriate level of protection for your facial skin

Sunscreens are available in four different levels of protection: low (factor 6 to 10), medium (15 to 25), high (30 to 50) and very high (50+). The higher the protection factor the better your skin is protected.

We recommend that:

  • you always use a high or very high SPF on facial skin
  • if you are taking medication that increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun (such as certain acne medication) or have recently had a chemical peel or laser treatment  on your face you try to avoid direct exposure to the sun and wear a very high SPF
  • you choose an SPF that suits your skin’s needs: for example, pale skin or skin that is particularly sensitive to the sun benefits from very high sun protection - you take into account the intensity of the sun and the amount of time you are going to be in it: sun is at its strongest during the summer months, at high altitudes and when you are closest to the equator.

The Eucerin sun protection range includes a comprehensive selection of face products that offer high and very high levels of sun protection. 

Skin benefits from sun protection products that are specially formulated to address its specific needs.

Oily and/or acne-prone skin

Look out for lighter textured products and ensure they’re ‘non-comedogenic’ (which means they don’t contain ingredients that might block pores and trigger blemishes). In addition to superior sun protection, Eucerin Sun Gel-Cream Oil Control SPF 50+ offer sebum-regulating Oil Control Technology with L-Carnitine to help improve your skin condition. The ultra-light gel-cream leaves skin with a dry matt texture and a longlasting (up to 8h) anti-shine effect. Find out more in oily and acne-prone skin: why does it need daily sun protection ?

Premature aging

The sun is responsible for 90% of premature skin aging2. You can find out more in What causes photoaging and how can I prevent it? All Eucerin Sun face products protect skin from photoaging but, if signs of aging are your primary skin concern, try Eucerin Sun Fluid Photoaging Control SPF 50+. The formula includes short- and long-chain Hyaluronic Acid to plump up winkles and visibly reduce signs of skin aging. If you prefer a tinted product try Eucerin Sun Creme Tinted Photoaging Control SPF 50 Medium which also contain color pigments to instantly unify the complexion.


The sun is the primary cause of sun spots (also known as age spots) and is also a key trigger for hyperpigmentation concerns such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Eucerin Even Pigment Perfector Sun Fluid SPF 50+ has been specially formulated to help prevent sun-induced hyperpigmentation. In addition to superior sun protection the formula contains the unique and patented active Thiamidol that acts at the root cause of hyperpigmentation. It is clinically proven to reduce dark spots and prevent their re-appearance. You can find out more in hyperpigmentation and the sun.

Dry and atopic skin

Skin with Atopic Dermatitis is very sensitive and benefits from sun protection clinically and dermatologically proven to be suitable for its needs. Eucerin Sun Creme Sensitive Protect SPF 50+ give dry and atopic skin the soothing protection it needs.

All Eucerin face products are clinically and dermatologically proven to be suitable for sensitive skin.

Find out about the Eucerin sun protection range for the body in How should I protect my body from the sun?

2 Ramos-e-Silva et al., ‘Anti-aging cosmetics: Facts and controversies’. Clin Dermatol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 31(6): 750-8

Apply sun protection in the morning after, or instead of, your regular day care product. Be sure not to miss your ears, the back of your neck and, if you’re bald or have thinning hair, your scalp. Take care to avoid your eyes.

With Eucerin sun protection products your skin will be instantly protected so no waiting time is required and you can follow with make-up straight away if desired.;

We recommend you apply daily sun protection to your neck and décolleté (if it is going to be exposed). If the weather is sunny, and you are also using a body sun protection product, then you can apply that to your décolleté if you prefer.

Your hands are also exposed to sun on a daily basis. Rather than applying a body product, you may find it easier to massage your face protection product into the back of your hands as part of your morning routine.

Facial sun protection can help to protect against cellular DNA damage, photoaging (premature aging caused by the sun) and hyperpigmentation and facial sun protection should be considered as much a part of a daily skin care routine as cleansing, toning and moisturizing. A superior sun protection product, combined with a sensible approach to how long you spend in the sun, will help you to keep your skin healthy and looking young for longer

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