The Right Way to Use Sunscreen

August 1, 2015

This season, you are probably spending every moment you possibly can outside (remember winter? let’s not). Our skin is exposed and vulnerable more often than we realize—driving around with the windows down, having lunch on a restaurant patio, enjoying a stroll in the park—and exposure to damaging rays is no joke. Putting on sunscreen should be as normal a part of your beauty routine as your favorite mascara.

Now is the time to make sure you’re using the right kind sunscreen and that you’re also using it correctly. Remember, the sun doesn’t have your back, it burns it. 

Beware of high numbers.
Cast a wary glance at sunscreens that boast an SPF higher than 50. SPF (or sun protection factor) is basically a number that translates to how long you can stay exposed to the sun without burning. For example, SPF of 15 means that it will take 15 times as long for your skin to burn. When the number gets to over 50, that’s where the rule doesn’t apply. An SPF of 30 to 50 is adequate enough. 

Look for “broad spectrum” formulas.
Did you know that there are two types of rays that the sun emits? They are UVA and UVB. UVA can damage skin on a more deeper level, while UVB is the ray that causes sunburns. Broad spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Try: Eve Lom Daily Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen. 

How much to use.
You know how it’s recommended to use a quarter-sized amount of shampoo when washing your hair? With sunscreen it’s the opposite. You’ll want to use an ounce, which equals out to about the size of a shot glass.

When to put it on.
Your skin needs to soak up the sunscreen in order to give proper protection. You can’t just slap some on and immediately run outside! Apply the lotion about 15 to 30 minutes prior to stepping out in the world.

Put in on everywhere.
You’ll want to make sure you get all of your body’s exposed areas. Watch out for the back of your neck, shoulders, chest, ears and even your hands! 

Don’t forget to reapply.
Even if a sunscreen is waterproof, it can still be wiped off with a towel or come off when sweating. Make sure to reapply every couple of hours. If you’re in the pool, reapply as soon as you get out.

Your pucker needs protection too.
News flash: lips can fall victim to sun damage too, and sunburned lips are a hell all its own. Protect them with a lip balm that contains SPF. Try: Anna Sui Protective Lip Balm.

Image: Image Source / Getty Images

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