Wearing sunscreen should be part of every woman’s daily health regimen, regardless of the weather. Sunscreen protects against the sun’s rays that increase signs of aging (UVA rays) and those that cause burns and skin cancer (UVB rays).
Shield Skin by Using Sunscreen the Right Way
Here’s a quick guide to protect your skin and keep you looking your best, no matter how hard the sun is shining.
- Buy sunscreen for your face & body: Oil-free sunscreen for the face will prevent breakouts while protecting your skin. Sun block for the body generally has oil in it, comes in larger containers, and is less expensive. Spring for both to keep yourself protected and acne-free.
- Choose “broad spectrum” protection: When browsing for the right lotion, be sure to choose one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. The label should mention both types of rays or indicate that the lotion offers “broad spectrum” coverage.
- Select an SPF of 15 or higher: The sun protection factor (SPF) measures how much longer you can stay in the sun without burning, compared to wearing no sunscreen at all. SPF 15 lotion, for example, will let you stay in the sun without burning 15 times longer than you could with bare skin.
- Apply 20 – 30 minutes before going outside: To give your skin time to absorb the sunscreen (and thus enjoy its protection), be sure to apply about half an hour before leaving the house. To cover your whole body, you should use about an ounce, or enough to fill a shot glass. Be sure to remember the most-ignored areas (the backs of your legs, your feet, and behind your ears).
- Reapply as needed: Sunscreen is only as effective as the person wearing it. To keep your skin protected, be sure to reapply every two hours, or every time you swim or engage in vigorous (i.e. sweat-inducing) exercise .
- Replace sunscreen every year: Don’t dig up an old bottle of sun block for your first pool trip of the season. The active ingredients become less effective over time, so you’re much better off buying new lotion every season.
- Wear it every day: Every time you leave the house, you should wear sun block on all exposed skin. For most of the year, that might just mean your face and hands, but it’s still important to protect those areas to prevent cancer and skin damage.
These days, it’s easier than ever to stay safe from the sun’s damage. If you loathe the thought of lathering up, opt for sunscreen that comes as a spray, in a stick, or in non-traditional scents that make the process of applying downright decadent!