For most of us in the U.S. we’re looking forward to this long weekend for a break from work, cooking out, time with family and friends, and to celebrate July 4th. Those of us who are sun avoiders (or just aren’t the type to spend much time outside) will be outdoors more than usual. Whether you’ll be staying in town or taking a trip I thought this would be a good time to share some sunscreen tidbits. Nothing heavy, just some FYI.
I’m amazed sometimes by the number of women who tell me: I don’t need separate sunscreen because my foundation already has sunscreen in it. While your foundation may have sunscreen you probably don’t apply enough for adequate coverage.
The Right Amount…
When applying sunscreen to your face and neck (or a moisturizer that contains sunscreen) use the size of a quarter as a guide. If you’re applying sunscreen just to your face then nickel-size should be sufficient.
Make sure the sunscreen bottle states that it’s Broad Spectrum so it will protect you from the sun rays that cause burning, aging, discoloration, skin cancer, etc.
SPF 15 protects you from approximately 93% of UVB radiation, SPF 30 blocks about 97% and SPF 50 blocks about 98%. So any Broad Spectrum sunscreen with SPF between 30 and 50 is good – this also applies to the sunscreen contained in your moisturizer.
Difference between physical and chemical sunscreen: physical is just like it sounds – it sits on top of your skin and creates a barrier to reflect the sun’s rays. Physical sunscreens are sometimes referred to as mineral sunscreen and work well for sensitive skin. Ingredients to look for are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide and are listed under “Active Ingredients.” Chemical sunscreens are filters and absorb the sun’s rays. There are a lot of ingredients that are considered “chemical” but some that I see frequently are avobenzone, octocrylene, octisalate and octinoxate.
I can’t stress this enough: reapply your sunscreen. I apply mine first thing in the morning, if I go for a walk on my lunch break and before I drive home from work. I press the sunscreen onto my skin so it won’t mess up my makeup.
I keep a powder mineral sunscreen in my handbag when I need a quick application.
The sun’s rays don’t have to be shining on you directly to cause damage. Whether you’re in a car, near a window (near it not just next to it), or sitting in the shade you should still wear sunscreen. The sun reflects off just about everything which is why I apply sunscreen before I leave work at the end of the day.
Know that skin cancer is not biased by gender, race or age. If you think your skin tone is dark enough that you don’t need sunscreen or all the damage was done when you were a teenager you’re wrong. Enough said or I’ll go on a rant. 🙂
And, of course, don’t forget the UV sunglasses, a hat (the bigger the better!) and sun-protective clothing.
Do you have any sunscreen suggestions you’d like to share? Do you have a sunscreen preference? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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