Now that summer is at its peak, it’s a great time to figure out how to stay on top of your sunscreen game. Unfortunately, sunscreen labels are full of confusing language and abbreviations but don’t fret, we’re here to help you pick out a sunscreen that will suit you best. Read on to find out more sunscreen facts you have to know to stay protected.
1. Get an SPF 30 or higher
Choosing a factor can be a hard task, but we are here to make it easy for you – get a factor which is 30 or higher! SPF 30 is said to protect us from 97 percent of harmful rays, whereas the lower factor of 15 protects us from a measly 93 percent. The best SPF sunscreen for beach would be the highest possible factor you can get. We even recommend factor 50, which will shield you from 98% of UV rays, especially if you will be spending an entire day in the sun.
2. Get a “broad spectrum” SPF
For the best possible protection, look out for words “broad spectrum” on the label. They indicate that the cream you’re getting will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are known to cause premature aging and wrinkles, whereas UVB rays cause sunburns.
3. Waterproof sunscreen doesn’t exist
You may have seen the words “water-resistant” printed on the labels of sunscreen. However, you will not find sunscreen which will stay on and protect you for more than 80 minutes of swimming or sweating. It is bound to be worn off after some time. In order to be as protected from skin cancer as possible, apply sunscreen before you go swimming and after you get out of the water.
4. Infants shouldn’t wear sunscreen
Kids younger than 6 months shouldn’t wear sunscreen, not even one which is made especially for kids. This is because their skin chemistry is quite special and shouldn’t be put in contact with chemicals that are in these creams. That being said, don’t leave your baby out in the sun. The best way to protect your infant from the UV rays is to have them chill in the shade.
5. Darker skin tones need SPF too
If you’re of darker complexion don’t be cheated into thinking that you don’t have to use sunscreen. Dark skin may sunburn harder than lighter one, but there’s still risk of faster aging and skin cancer.
6. Be careful with spray-on sunscreens
Spray-on sunscreen is much more convenient than the regular, bottled one. However, somehow, spray-on sunscreens don’t have to pass the same FDA regulations other SPFs do. If you like the convenience of spraying on your SPF, be careful to use enough of it to be effective and cover your exposed skin.
7. Reapply your sunscreen
There’s a common misconception that once you apply your sunscreen you’re fine and protected until you wash it off. This is unfortunately completely wrong. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours to account for possible rubbing off of the lotion and sweat.
8. Don’t buy low SPF
There are some sunscreens on the market which have their SPF as low as 2 or 4. These creams are essentially just overpriced lotions and will do virtually nothing when it comes to actual UV protection. They will not lower the risk of skin cancer nor will they protect you from the premature aging and wrinkling of your skin.
9. Other ways to be protected from UV rays
Sunscreen is not your only option when shielding yourself from UV rays. You can stay in the shade or wear clothing that will cover most of your body. If you have an option to stay inside when the rays are most intense, take advantage of it.