Now that the warm weather is here, it’s time to get serious about sunscreen. Sunscreen should be a daily part of your life no matter the season, so getting the facts straight will help make sure your skin is properly protected against the sun.
Here are 6 things you might not already know about sunscreen that will help you keep your skin protected this summer.
There isn’t much of a difference after SPF 30. Did you know that SPF 30 blocks 97% of the sun’s rays and SPF 50 only blocks 1% more? The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends anything over SPF 15, but I personally stick with SPF 30. There’s not much need to go any higher than that. Completely pass over the ones that are less than SPF 15.
Going to the pool and think you’re safe to swim for hours with your water resistant sunscreen? Think again. Water resistant only means it continues to protect against the sun for 40 minutes. You must reapply often when you’re in the water or sweating.
And when you’re just hanging out outside, sunscreen really only lasts about 90 minutes or less. Reapply every hour to hour and a half for the best protection. Don’t forget the tops of your feet and your ears, which are easy to forget and quick to burn.
Vitamin D is no excuse to not wear sunscreen. Sunscreen takes up to 30 minutes to fully activate. Our bodies get enough Vitamin D in only 5-30 minutes. Applying sunscreen and then going outside will give your body the Vitamin D it needs and will start to protect your skin as it activates. The best time to do this is in the morning or late afternoon when you’re less likely to get sunburned. continue to reapply as needed.
You’re probably not applying enough sunscreen. In fact, the typical sunscreen user applies less than half of what’s needed to fully protect skin. One ounce is the amount needed for your entire body, head-to-toe. Imagine a shot glass full. It’s harder to measure now that there are so many spray sunscreens, but chances are good you’re not getting enough.
Your lips need protecting, too! Don’t forget to apply and reapply a lip balm with SPF to your lips daily. Lip cancer is the most common form of oral cancer your risk of getting it is greatly reduced by protecting your lips against the sun on a daily basis. Look for a lip balm with SPF30.