Get SPF Savvy

The sun is shining brighter and longer following the spring equinox (this occurred on March 20th, in case you missed it).  This means we need to do a check on our SPF practices.

Some SPF factoids, before we begin:

  • The protecting benefits of SPF (Sun Protection Factor) top out at 50.  A higher number will give a false sense of security.
  • UVA rays cause the skin to darken via ultraviolet radiation.   UVB rays cause the skin to burn through the same radiation.
  • 10am-2pm are the most dangerous hours to expose skin to sunlight.
  • Spray sunscreens are declining in popularity.  While it’s true that they are convenient and quick to apply, there is growing question as to whether or not they are effective.  There are claims that inhaling the spray can be detrimental.
  • Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.
  • To earn the coveted and recommended “broad spectrum” badge of honor, sunscreen must block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • The sun is six billion years old.

Finding the right SPF for your face and decolletage can be tricky.  Some can be too greasy, others too chalky or drying.  Others still feel so light, you wonder if the SPF is functional in blocking out UVA/UVB rays.

This basic UVA/UVB moisturizer from Aveeno won’t break the bank.  It’s not greasy,  contains natural light diffusers which work to naturally even skin tone and texture, and has an SPF of 30. Anything Jennifer Aniston speaks for, must be good, right?

 

 

Don’t forget to protect your hands.  Often forgotten, but always present.  This SPF 40 cream from Supergoop provides a brightening agent, which can reduce the appearance of sun spots and help reverse the look of veiny, crepe-y grandma-hands.

If you need an all-over sunscreen that will stay put, consider CeraVe Invisible Zinc Sunscreen.  Don’t let the zinc scare you off – this lotion glides on and leaves behind no chalky residue.  Good for sensitive skin.

 Want to go totally chemical free?  Minimize your skin’s exposure to the sun by covering it up with a sun-blocking fabric.  Coolibar offers amazing styles that will block 98% of UVA/UVB rays.  In comparison, cotton blocks only 5-9% of these same rays.

Now.  Let’s talk about eyes. Our eyes deserve the utmost respect when it comes to blocking the sun’s rays, and those cute gas station sunglasses likely won’t cut it.

Look for sunglasses that protect you from 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light. This includes those labeled as UV 400.  Also, you may want to consider wraparound sunglasses to prevent harmful UV rays from entering around the frame.  Polarized lenses are also a good idea, like the Ray-Ban Erika.

Take great care of your skin this summer, and be sure to regularly replenish your sunscreen supply – they do have expiration dates that should be heeded.

images via ulta, coolibar, ray-ban