10 Things You Need to Know About Sunscreen in Honor of UV Safety Awareness Month  

July is UV Safety Awareness Month!  If you’re looking for summer skincare tips and tricks to protect your radiant summer skin, then this blog is perfect for you! Here are the top 10 things you need to know right now:

Photo credit: SkinMedica

Why do I need sunscreen?

Daily sunscreen usage is essential for reducing the risk of skin cancer, sunburn, premature aging, and hyperpigmentation. I can’t stress enough how important it is to not only wear sunscreen but also to reapply it regularly. Let’s dive in for more details!

How do I choose the right sunscreen?

With so many options on the market, I feel selecting the perfect sunscreen is such a  personal choice. As a professional, I rely on trusted sources like the American Cancer Society and FDA for information. Look for broad spectrum coverage, which fights UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of 30 or higher. Follow the label instructions for reapplication guidelines.

What’s the difference between physical and chemical sunscreen?

Physical sunscreen sits on top of the skin and reflects UV rays. It can be applied immediately and is ideal for all skin types. Chemical sunscreens absorb and transform UV rays into heat. They should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and are suitable for most skin types. 

Personally, I prefer and recommend mineral sunscreens because the one I’ve chosen is oil-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, feels sheer and lightweight, and even my most sensitive and acneic clients love it. For these reasons, I use SkinMedica’s Essential Defense Everyday Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 47 Sunscreen. We carry the 32 and 47 SPF’s in-house and via our online shop. I love it, my clients love it, it’s a game-changer. However, it’s important to experiment and find the one that suits you best.

Is the SPF in my makeup enough?

When it comes to makeup with SPF, people often don’t apply enough to achieve the intended level of protection. Additionally, not all makeup with SPF provides broad spectrum protection, which means they may only protect you from UVB rays, not UVA rays.

To get the full SPF value stated on the product, you need to apply a generous amount of makeup, which is usually not the case for regular makeup usage. Furthermore, makeup tends to get rubbed off, smudged, or sweated off throughout the day, reducing its effectiveness.

What are some sunscreen myths?

Sadly, there is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. Eventually, all sunscreens will be removed or dissipate with sweat, water contact, or towel drying. So, it’s important to reapply after any of the above, even if it’s not technically time to reapply.

No sunscreen completely blocks UV radiation. That’s why it’s important to employ additional forms of protection, such as wearing protective clothing, wraparound sunglasses that block 100% UVA/UVB rays, a wide-brim hat, and seeking shade whenever possible.

How much sunscreen should I use?

Now that you have your favorite sunscreen, let’s discuss proper application. Remember to check the expiration date each season, as sunscreen does expire. 

Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside to allow enough time for it to provide maximum benefits. A simple guideline for the amount to apply is two fingers’ length worth for the face, one finger length for the neck, and one finger length for the décolleté. 

Don’t forget to protect your hands too! While it’s worth investing in sunscreen for your face, neck, and décolleté, you can use a more affordable version for your hands and arms unless you have specific skin conditions. On average, an adult or child needs at least one ounce of sunscreen (about the amount it takes to fill a shot glass) to evenly cover the body from head to toe.

What are the most commonly forgotten areas?

In addition to the commonly missed areas like ears, neck, hairline, and bald spots, it’s important to apply sunscreen on microbladed areas, such as directly on the eyebrows, every day.

Don’t overlook your hands either! I always keep an extra sunscreen in my car and bag and apply a generous amount to my hands and arms before driving and reapply as necessary.

How can I remember to reapply sunscreen? Sometimes I even forget what day of the week it is!

Haha, I can totally relate. I’m often juggling multiple tasks and even during enjoyable moments, I tend to forget when it’s time to reapply sunscreen. So, I’ve learned (the hard way, of course) to simply set a timer for the entire time I’m outdoors. 

Set it on your phone or watch before you leave the house, and you won’t have to worry about remembering it!

Do dogs need sunscreen?

For this one, I recommend speaking to your pet’s veterinarian for recommendations and specific instructions on where and how often to apply it.

What do I need to know about the sun and how it relates to my furry friend?

I treat my 11-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Hershey, more like a family member than just that three letter word “dog” lol. So here’s what you should keep in mind. 

The sun is at its strongest from 10 AM to 4 PM, so be mindful of the sun’s intensity not only for yourself but also during walks with your furry friend. If the ground feels hot to the touch, your dog’s paws will feel it too. Keep walks as short as possible and find shaded areas. 

It breaks my heart to see stressed dogs being walked while their owners are preoccupied with their cell phones, unaware of their beloved pets trailing behind. 

Avoid using your phone and give your dog the attention they deserve to ensure their safety. Excessive panting or refusal to walk may indicate stress, so always bring a couple of cold water bottles for them during walks and car rides. Pay attention to any signs indicating that it’s time to take them back inside.

Want to learn more?

Have some fun with it! I highly recommend you take the super quick and easy “Sun Safety Quiz” on cancer.org. I promise you will learn something new! 

If you found this blog informative, please like, comment, and share with someone that could benefit from it!


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