I burn like it’s nobody’s business. When the sun is at it’s strongest (10am-3pm) in the summer, I can burn within minutes of being outside. I’ve taken to slathering myself with sunscreen before placing a toe outdoors. For the longest time, I relegated myself to the super thick SPF 80 variety. And to be honest, when I know I’m going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, I stick with the high SPF. But saying that, I’ve also gotten a little bit more savvy about my sun protection.
Let’s start with some of the science…
Some Important Points To Note About Sunscreen
In the USA, the FDA only allows for two types of “water resistant” claims – 40 min or 80 min. That means that the sunscreen will maintain it’s SPF value for those times, in water or while sweating. This means you will have to reapply to maintain the SPF value.
Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen to cover their entire body. It takes about an ounce to be fully covered for most people. Over time the ingredients lose their efficacy and can be washed away with sweat and water. As a rule, you should reapply every 2 hours at a minimum.
You may never think of putting on sunscreen if your planning on staying indoors, but it’s actually necessary. UV rays can pass through the windows of homes and cars to damage your skin. Likewise, the rays can pass through most clothing too. So it’s always important to apply the sunscreen under clothing, even while inside.
Never disregard the expiration date on sunscreen! Over time, the efficacy of the UV blocking ingredients deteriorates over time; especially if the bottle is opened or if it’s been in direct sunlight.
Don’t forget the unexpected places. Your eyelids, lips, scalp, and ears are exposed and need to be protected just like the rest of you.
One of the most difficult problems I have with sunscreen, is on my face. I want something that works well with my makeup, but also doesn’t irritate my skin or make me break out. It’s a tall order but there are options.
Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35. It’s a weightless, anti-aging sunscreen with Japanese Wild Rose, Loquat Leaf, Licorice and Silk extracts to minimize pores like some of their other priming products.
ByTerry UV-BASE Sunscreen Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Invisible Sunscreen Primer. Non greasy with a matte finish means that it never effects my makeup, but provides a high level of SPF protection.
Shiseido 42 Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42. This sunscreen is 40 min water resistant; it controls excess oils and sebum production, while guarding against environmental aggressors.
So what did we learn kids? Protect your skin! Where a hat, apply your sunscreen, and try to avoid the sun at it’s peak so we can all stay cancer and wrinkly free.
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