6 Things You May Not Know About Applying Sunscreen

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

It’s summer! I hope you had an opportunity to take advantage of the Memorial Day Weekend. With the unofficial start of summer comes the opening of pools and beaches and exposure to sun. No one likes sunburn! Today I wanted to share a few tips on buying and applying sunscreen to keep you and your families safe.

  1. Purchase The Right Product – The FDA has changed the guidelines and requirements of how sunscreens are labeled. Choose a sunscreen labeled “Broad Spectrum”. This means that it protects from the sunburning UVB rays and the skin cancer, wrinkle causing UVA rays. The SPF indicates the level of protection from UV rays choose a higher number for optimal protection (d0n’t use anything lower than SPF 15). I like to use an SPF 50 on my face and SPF 30 on my body. You may also notice that bottles will no longer say “waterproof”, instead they will say water resistant with a time period. No sunscreen is water or sweat proof. Read the labels carefully.
  2. Apply 20 Minutes Before – Apply a generous amount of cream to your body twenty minutes before sun exposure. How many of us walk to the beach, set up our umbrella, chairs, and blankets before we apply sunscreen? I know I have been guilty of this. Apply the lotion before leaving. By doing so you will be able to cover your body, be ready as you walk out the door, and allow the lotion to absorb and protect properly.
  3. Apply An Ounce of Cream – Most people are applying 25-50% less sunscreen than they should!  One ounce is the size of a shot glass and that’s how much you should apply to your body (average body size). Don’t be shy. Wouldn’t you rather slather on sunscreen than aloe the following day?
  4. Be Aware from 10 AM to 2 PM – These are the sun’s peak hours, you will encounter strong rays from the sun. Take breaks to stand in the shade, go indoors, set up an umbrella, or wear long sleeves to get out of the sun. This will help you cool off and stay out of the harmful rays for a beat.
  5. Reapply, reapply, reapply – Yep you read that right.  The bottle will tell you how long your lotion lasts but try to apply every hour and a half to two hours. Reapply after spending time in the pool or ocean (or if you’re sweating). Several years ago we were on a trip to the shore with friends (who are fair skinned), they were red as lobsters after a nap in the sun… It was then that we realized, reapplying is key!
  6. Wear sunscreen year round – The sun’s rays are harmful in the winter as well as the summer. So if you’re going for a walk, to watch a ball game, or going skiing. Bring your sunscreen with you and apply. Using a moisturizer with a built in sunscreen is also very helpful.

Want to learn more? Watch this video by the FDA.

I hope this post has helped you to make some decisions when choosing sunscreen and applying it! You will stay healthy and keep your youthful skin by applying sunscreen in the right ways. That said, go out and have fun in the sun!

Image Copyright Lindsay Ann Loft.

Sources:

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/ucm258468.htm

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/ucm239463.htm

http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens

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