Summer for me means that I go through tons of sunscreen. I have super sensitive skin when it comes to the sun, which I have touched on before. I typically have to use either 100SPF (applied 2 or 3 times a day) or 60SPF (which is applied liberally and very often). But I have found that there are more things that everyone should know about SPF. I have compiled a list 5 what I am considering the top 5 tips that everyone should know.
1) Always opt for a sunscreen that provides UVA & UVB protection.
Always opt for a sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection. This way, you’ll protect your skin from ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburns and skin damage, as well as ultraviolet-A (UVA) rays that increase your risk for skin cancer. Also, make sure the sunscreen you choose contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients help to block both UVA and UVB rays.
2) SPF 30 or higher at all times.
Always use sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or higher. The SPF in your sunscreen absorbs and reflects the sun’s rays so they don’t burn or damage your skin. Keep in mind, though, that higher isn’t that much better when it comes to SPF numbers. Here’s why: SPF protection doesn’t increase proportionately with the designated SPF number. So while SPF 30 absorbs 97% of the sun’s burning rays, SPF 50 absorbs just slightly more — 98%.
3) Apply sunscreen early and liberally.
Your skin can take up to a half-hour to absorb sunscreen. So, plan ahead and apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. And, don’t skimp on the sunscreen. For sunscreen to do its job effectively, you should apply 1 ounce of sunscreen — the size of a golf ball — to every part of your body exposed to the sun. That includes your ears, feet, and back of the neck.
I find that the back of the neck, ears, and back of the knees are the places that burn the fastest (at least for me).
4) Reapply every 60-90 mins.
Forget all-day protection. Sunscreen wears off after just a couple of hours. So, make sure you lather on another golf ball-sized amount every two hours. In some cases, you should reapply sunscreen every 60 to 90 minutes. Do this if you’re:
Using a spray sunscreen. It needs to be reapplied more often because it washes off more easily.
Swimming or sweating. Water, snow, and sand can intensify the sun’s rays and cause a greater burn.
5) Don't rely on sunscreen alone.
Unfortunately, sunscreen can’t completely prevent sunburns, blisters, and skin cancer. But you can give your skin some added protection by wearing:
lip balm with SPF 30 or higher
a tightly woven hat with a wide brim
wrap-around sunglasses with UV protection
a tightly woven, dark long-sleeved shirt or special sun-protective clothing
You also can protect your skin by seeking shade from the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. That’s when the sun’s harmful UV rays are strongest.
These are obviously not the only tips that are out there about SPF, but I found that these ones are the most important. I hope that these tips help you take care of your skin this summer.