It’s always a beautiful day when the sun is out in all of its glory, making everything look brighter and prettier.
Being outdoors on days like this can be quite enjoyable. But as much as we all enjoy some time in the sun, being outdoors in the sun without appropriate protection can be damaging to the skin.
The sun emits harmful rays such as UVB and UVA that can cause skin damage such as hyperpigmentation, sunburns, and wrinkles. This is where sunscreen comes to the rescue.
Many people are uncertain about using sunscreen because they don’t know how to use it effectively. We want to help you help your keep your skin safe with this guide. Here. we’ll be highlighting the dos and don’ts of wearing SPF.
As you may know, there are different levels of SPF (the number on the sunscreen bottle).
That number indicates how much protection the sunscreen can provide. A lot of people think that the higher the SPF level, like SPF 100, the less they are required to use. This is not true. You must use the recommended dosage regardless of the SPF level.
Erum N Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist, says that it is important to use the right amount of sunscreen to minimize the risk of sun damage to your skin. She recommends an ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill one shot glass) for your whole body. For your face, a nickel-sized dollop amount is recommended.
Don’t forget the area behind your ear, your hairlines, and your temples.
Take note of this; if you will be outdoors throughout the day, remember to reapply the sunscreen. This is because it breaks down after some time. Experts advise you to reapply the sunscreen every two hours, and after swimming or sweating.
Choose the right SPF level
When you shop for sunscreens, you will find different sunscreens with various SPF levels. SPF means Sun Protection Factor, and it measures how much protection you get from the sunscreen against harmful rays from the sun.
Experts recommend using an SPF of at least 30. SPF 30 when used right offers protection of around 96.7% of UVB rays, while SPF 50 offers around 98%. No sunscreen can protect you up to 100%.
Choose the right sunscreen
It’s quite common to think that the best things are those that are pricier, without doing any research on the product. Well, the more expensive sunscreens are not always the best. In choosing the right sunscreen, you must consider your needs and how much exposure to sunlight you get.
Again, there are two categories of sunscreen. On one hand, we have the chemical sunscreen which contains ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate. On the other hand, there are the physical ones (in the sense that they protect your skin physically) containing ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
A person may be allergic to any of these ingredients. So, to ensure the sunscreen is safe for you, apply a little to your wrist and check for allergic reactions.
Sunscreens are also known to clog pores. So, if your skin is acne-prone, ensure you use only oil-free sunscreen formulas.
Don’t assume sunscreens are only for light skin
This is a misconception, mostly among dark-skinned people, that must be corrected. Melanin provides an SPF of just 13
. This is not sufficient to protect you against the harmful UV rays from the sun.
Don’t rely on just sunscreen for protection against the sun
Although sunscreen can help protect your skin from UV rays, it should not be your sole line of defense. According to research
, persons who use sunscreen alone get greater sunburns than those who don't.
In addition to sunscreen, David Andrews, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, recommends seeking shade and wearing protective clothing like hats.
Don’t rely on makeup as the sole source of protection from harmful sun rays
Granted, makeup with SPF counts as sun protection but there is a specified amount of SPF you need and most times, we don’t wear enough makeup to enjoy the full benefits of the SPF it contains. Also, you will only find SPF 15 or SPF 20 in most makeup products, but SPF 30 is the least recommended by experts.
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen beneath your foundation or concealer to improve UV protection, then reapply with an SPF powder throughout the day.
Don’t use an expired sunscreen
Sunscreens expire. When they do, they lose the ability to protect your skin from UV rays. You might have been tempted to hoard sunscreens at some point, probably because of a discount sale. You must be aware that sunscreens expire, even faster than you think. So, always check the expiry date before buying more than one.
Again, when you're keeping the extras and even the ones you use, don’t keep them in a warm area. The higher temperature weakens the ingredients and makes the sunscreen less effective.
Don’t rush out into the sunlight immediately after applying the sunscreen
It’s advisable to wait for about 20 - 30 minutes before heading out after applying your sunscreen, This is to give your skin time to let it sink and form the protective layer that will block the UV rays.
We love to help you enjoy your outdoor adventures without fear of getting your skin damaged by UV rays. This comprehensive will guide you on what you should and shouldn't do when it comes to using SPF.
If you already have some skin issues due to harmful sun rays, feel free to browse our collection of products
that can help you revive your skin.