Each year there are approximately 3.5 million cases of skin cancer.
That’s a scary little statistic!
We all know the importance of applying sunscreen, yet we still fail to do so. Perhaps we aren’t sure which is best suited for our skin, believe our SPF facial moisturizer will do the trick or employ pure negligence.
Whatever the reason, it’s time to take responsibility for our skin and ultimately, our health.
With the depletion of the ozone layer, the golden rules of sunscreen have changed so let me simplify them for you with these 6 sun protection tips. Because I’m nice like that. *wink*
SPF 30 is the New 15
It doesn’t seem too long ago that I habitually applied my SPF 15 and my skin remained milky white. Now, SPF 15 doesn’t seem to cut it. Turns out that is because SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays and doctors now recommend using a sunscreen with no less than SPF 30.
If you have a family history of skin cancer, you will likely want to choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or 70. Just remember that no sunscreen offers 100% protection from the sun’s rays.
Look For Broad-Spectrum
Choosing a sunscreen that is labeled “broad-spectrum” means you will be providing both UVA and UVB protection. This means we are protecting our skin from wrinkle and cancer-causing rays, as well as burning rays.
As of December 2012, brands are now required to label their product if they are broad spectrum, but the problem is, stores are still selling previous inventory.
To make shopping a little easier, look for products with zinc or avobenzone. These two ingredients will protect against UVA and by definition, make the sunscreen broad-spectrum.
Find a Brand You Love
When you love something, you are more likely to use it diligently – the same goes with sunscreen.
Personally, I chose a sunscreen that was broad-spectrum with an SPF 30 and smelled like coconuts and beach. Mmmm! The consistency was also appealing but the smell is what sold me on the product.
It may seem silly, but scent, thickness, weight and SPF are all important. Choose wisely!
Layer It On, Baby!
Studies found that most people only rub 1/4 of the amount of sunscreen required to actually protect their skin effectively. Experts recommend a double application to ensure adequate coverage. This goes for both spray and lotion sunscreens.
If you feel as though you’ve applied too much, don’t fret. Just rub it all in and it will eventually absorb.
Or you could always applying half the amount in one layer and apply the second after the sunscreen has fully absorbed into your skin. That way you won’t feel slimy or greasy.
Get Extra Protection with Antioxidants
It’s common knowledge that some rays will pass through your sunscreen, no matter how many layers you apply. This is why companies are now infusing their lotions with antioxidants like vitamin C, E and green tea.
These antioxidants protect against free radicals and reduce potential sun damage, like hyperpigmentation.
Be Sun Smart
Applying sunscreen isn’t the only way to be sun smart. To really take care of your skin and put these sun protection tips to good use, avoid as much unprotected exposure as possible. They made adorable sun hats for a reason!
Protective hats and clothing in combination with sunscreen make for a safer scenario. This trio of sun smarts doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the summer sun, it just means you are giving your skin the best chance possible of remaining healthy and burn-free.
After all, there’s nothing attractive about sun burned skin…or farmer’s tans…or peeling skin…or sun spots!
What are your sun protection tips to help you stay sun smart during the long summer days? Let a sistah know in the comment section below!