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The Ultimate Guide to Sunscreen


It’s finally summer! Hands-down, this is our favorite season. There are so many opportunities to do outdoor activities while hanging out with your friends and family or on your own. Picnics in the park, reading on the beach, playing some of your favorite sports… options are endless, really. However, one important precaution you need to consider is using sunscreen! 

See, ideally, you would use sunscreen all year long (the sun is always out, after all, even if we can’t feel it that much during the colder months) but during the summer this step in your skincare routine should be remembered above all else!

There are many reasons to use sunscreen: avoiding painful sunburns, protecting your skin from harmful UV, preventing premature wrinkles and sunspots and even avoiding potential skin cancer. Honestly, these reasons should be enough to convince you of just how important it is to wear it! What’s more, you are never too young or old to wear it, and gender is irrelevant in terms of skincare routines, especially this one. So make sure to get your little siblings, parents, and friends into the knowledge you are about to get with our Guide to Sunscreen!

Buying Sunscreen Above SPF 45 is Useless

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block UVB rays that can cause sunburns, as well as UVA rays, that can cause deeper skin damage. You should know that SPF 15 products block about 94% of UVB rays, SPF 30 products block 97% of UVB rays and SPF 45 products block about 98% of rays. Any sunscreen above SPF 45 will actually just be more expensive while doing the same thing. The most important thing is to reapply sunscreen periodically as indicated in the bottle!

You Can Use Sunscreen for Up to 3 years

Sunscreens will keep being effective for up to 3 years according to FDA regulations, and it should always include an expiration date. When you are about to use a sunscreen, make sure to check the formula and smell it before you use it to ensure it is still good to use.

Speaking of FDA regulations, when you are shopping for sunscreen make sure to avoid oxybenzone, which is a synthetic estrogen that can cause hormone imbalances or trigger allergic skin reactions.

Using Sunscreen Just Once a Day is Not Enough

So this a common mistake: you go to the beach and put up some sunscreen as soon as you get there and leave it at that. When you leave 6 hours later, you are burned. What happened? Well, you need to reapply your sunscreen! Do it approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle. What’s more, SPF needs around 20 minutes to fully penetrate your body before you can be in direct contact with the sun. So you should apply the first round of sunscreen at home, let it sink in during the time it takes you to be on the beach, and then reapply accordingly during the day.

How Much Sunscreen is Enough Sunscreen

You would be surprised, but if you want to apply sunscreen to your whole body (say, if you go the beach or pool and most of your skin is exposed) then the proper amount of sunscreen for an adult full-body application is around 2 to 3 tablespoons, which is equivalent to a full shot glass.

Our final advice? Avoid direct sun exposure, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest and can cause the most damage.

Other than that, do you have other tips that we should add to our guide to sunscreen? Let us know what you think by tagging us on Instagram @glamandgowns, and Faviana’s Instagram @Faviana_NY and Twitter @FavianaNY.





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