Wearing sunscreen is essential for your skin care & sun protection, & you should use it basically every day, especially when you're spending time outdoors. To get most benefits from sunscreen, here's what Dee Anna Glaser, MD, associate professor of dermatology at St. Louis University School of Medicine.
Choose products with a high SPF. It stands for "sun protection factor," & it's a measure of how well sunscreen protects your skin.
SPF refers to length of time that sunscreen protects skin. Suppose your skin naturally starts to burn in 20 minutes. If you use sunscreen w. an SPF of 15, you won't begin to burn for 5 hours—15 times longer. Always use a sunscreen w. an SPF of 15 or higher, Glaser advises.
Apply it often. In a real life, sunscreens aren't always as effective as SPF would indicate, says Glaser. If you're swimming, sweating a lot, or rubbing your skin w. a towel, sunscreen is going to dissipate. Reapply this form of sun protection every 2 hours—more often if you're swimming or perspiring a lot.
Buy a broad-spectrum sunscreen. These sunscreens will help block UVB & UVA rays. UVB light is primary cause of sunburns, & protecting skin against UVA light plays an important role in preventing wrinkling & signs of aging. Choose a product that contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone, also known as Parsol 1789.
Apply it w. your makeup. If you use moisturizers or other skin care products in morning, it's fine to apply your sun protection sunscreen at same time. First, apply topical medications if you use them. Let them dry, then apply alpha hydroxy acid or other anti-aging creams if you use them. Be sure to follow w. a moisturizer, especially if you're using alpha hydroxy acids, which may have a drying effect on skin. Then apply sunscreen, followed by any makeup you're going to wear.
Use right amount. It takes about an ounce of sunscreen to cover average person's body. That's about amount that would fill a shot glass. "You should feel messy after putting it on.”
Sunscreens are very effective when used properly. Follow these guidelines to give yourself most protection:
· Apply sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before you go outdoors, whenever you will be exposed for 30 minutes or more.
· Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while you are outdoors, even if product is labeled “all-day.” If you get wet or perspire heavily, reapply sunscreen more frequently.