I’ve busted some SPF myths before, but since 90% of skin aging is caused by sun exposure, correct application is critical. According to the American Cancer Society, in the last 40 years, skin cancer is on the rise at over 200%. That means 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer in their lives. As someone who had pre-cancerous growths removed as a child, helping others avoid that kind of scare is important to me.
Whatever you’re doing probably isn’t enough!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the SPF in your moisturizer or foundation likely isn’t enough. In order to get the protection listed on the bottle, you need a half teaspoon of product. Have you ever tried to use a half teaspoon of foundation or moisturizer? It’s nearly impossible.
RELATED: 5 Common SPF Myths
I like to either have my SPF in my base layer as a primer – so that that the sunscreen is a close to my skin as possible.
My FAV Base Sunscreens
I like options such as Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen or the Glossier Invisible Shield. The drawback to these is that when it comes time to reapply if I have makeup on, they aren’t an option.
Timing is EVERYTHING!
Sunscreen isn’t instant protection. If your sunscreen is chemical, make sure that you apply it 30 minutes before going outside (if you’re unsure, apply early).
Once you’re out, make sure you reapply every 2 hours for normal use and after 40 minutes if you’re swimming or sweating significantly.
TECH TIP: If watching the clock isn’t your style, there are a few high tech solutions such as app-connected patches and UV-sensitive wearables that can remind you when to reapply.
To reapply (or simply make sun protection part of your setting routine) you can use a spray or powder option such as the SuperGoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist or setting powders from brands such as Tarte, Peter Thomas Roth, and SuperGoop.
Not just about saving face…
It’s easy to remember your face and shoulders, but don’t forget that all of your skin should be protected. When was the last time you thought about protecting your scalp? Your ears?.
TIP: When you’re applying sunscreen, choose a formula that you can put on the tops of your ears and the backs of your hands as well as making sure you have either sunscreen or other UV protection in your hair-care products to make sure your scalp is protected.
If you don’t want to buy a special product, a powder sunscreen used on your face can also be used on your scalp.
For the rest of your body, you need a shot glass worth of sunblock on an adult for adequate protection when using a lotion. If you are using a spray, you need to make sure that you spray liberally enough that your skin glistens before you rub it in to make sure you don’t miss anything.
The last way to stay protected all day is to make sure that you have an option for a physical block between you and the sun. That can be…
- UV blocking clothing
- A big floppy hat
- Under a tree
Making sure that you have the option for a physical block means you can escape from rays before they start to cause damage if you have overstayed your welcome in the sun. They are also a great option if you are someone who has sensitivities to ingredients in different sunscreens. Cotton garments can provide excellent protection from the sun while letting your skin breath.
It’s time for fun in the sun
This year, or summer season at least, make sure that you take the time to make sure that you are following these steps to keep in line with the Skin Cancer Foundation’s guidelines. It’s time to get outside and enjoy the season.
Mary Fran Wiley is a well known gluten-free and positive living blogger from Chicago where she writes Curiouser and Curiouser, maintains the Chronic Positivity Project, and has been featured in Allergic Living Magazine, Care2.com and Today.com.