Summer spotlight | SPF

Sunscreen. It’s a topic I can’t really get enough of, especially now that the weather is getting so good.

How should it be used

Sunscreen should be used daily. Slathering it on during the summer or just when you’re about to leave the house should not be the only times you use it. Winter calls for sunscreen, especially if you’re heading out to the slopes. Higher altitude increases UV exposure and snow reflects the sun’s rays.

Stay vigilant about sun protection in all seasons to stave off wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and other nasty stuff! Sunscreen might need some time to kick in and protect you from the sun’s rays.

If it’s a chemical sunscreen, aim to apply it a half hour before heading outside. If it’s a mineral (physical) sunblock, you are protected as soon as you slather it on. Mineral sunscreen is made up of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Each type of sun protection has its advantages and disadvantages. Some mineral sunblocks can break out skin and leave a whitish cast on skin. Chemical sunscreens can irritate skin. Experiment with both and see which one your skin prefers.

How much should you use

Apply about a shot’s worth of sunscreen. That should cover an average adult body. Apply everywhere, even where skin is covered and often. Two hours at a time and more often if you’re sweating or swimming. If your skin feels red or itchy, seek shade and reapply more often.

Kick it to the curb

Open bottles really should be tossed within a year. Don’t keep used bottles for next summer, as tempting as that is. Chances are the filters will deteriorate and your sunscreen won’t be as effective.

Keep it cool

Like time, high heat is sunscreen’s mortal enemy. Too hot temperatures can degrade a sunscreen’s efficacy.

Pro tip: Hide your sunscreen at the beach by burying it under the sand and covering it with your towel or beach read.

SPF is not enough!

Practice safe sun. Carry a parasol or seek shade under a tree, beach umbrella or a canopy/tent if you want to be really fancy about it. If you do overdo it, aloe is your best friend!

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