Here we are a few weeks into the summer season and there is one thing on everyone's mind, what SPF is the right protection for me to keep my skin glowing and youthful, but also protected from the harsh summer sun?
It can be a joy to be out at the beach tanning and getting a glow that is hard to achieve outside of the summer, but it can also be dangerous if you're not careful to use the proper SPF sunscreen and keep your skin protected from the harsh realities that summer sun brings with it. So, what is the right SPF for your skin?
The simple answer from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) is that you should always use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30, when properly applied, will block 97% of the sun's damaging UV rays. There is no sunscreen that can block 100% of the sun's UV rays and therefore it is not tremendously impactful to use a sunscreen that has an SPF of higher than 30 in most cases.
One of the things that will make a difference for you is the correct application of sunscreen. Often what happens is that people do not apply sunscreen properly and therefore are not getting the protection that is noted on the side of the bottle of the sunscreen. Proper application includes the following;
1.) Apply thoroughly to your skin. One of the most damaging things that can happen to your skin is incorrect application and not covering all of your skin with sunscreen. It can be challenging when you're out at the beach or poolside to make sure you are getting full coverage of your skin, but it is critical. According to the AAD most people only achieve 20-50% coverage of their skin when applying sunscreen and this can lead to devastating affects for your skin.
2.) Reapply regularly. According to the AAD sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours while you're in direct sunlight. You may hear old wives tales about not needing to apply after being in the water or only needing it when you're feeling hot, these are false. You should consistently reapply your sunscreen every two hours so you can keep yourself and your skin protected.
3.) Regardless of how long it has been, if you've been sweating or swimming you should reapply your sunscreen immediately after that activity. The moisture from these activities can reduce the effectiveness of the sunscreen that you have already applied and cause you to not be as protected as you might think you are. Apply after any activity that increases your skin's moisture so you can maintain safe levels of sunscreen.
If you are using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and are applying it regularly while you're out in the sun you are doing everything you can to keep your skin well protected during the harsh summer months. Along with keeping your skin protected while you're in the sun you should also be continuing a quality skincare routine that includes moisturizing and exfoliation during the summer so you can keep you skin refreshed for every time you go out into the sun.