When it comes to sunscreen, there are a lot of misconceptions about what’s going to protect you and your skin.
One of the first myths of sunscreen use is that SPF 100 is going to be twice as good as SPF 50. In fact, once you go above SPF 45, sunscreen typically is no more effective since it still needs to be reapplied every 45-50 minutes, or less if swimming.
Sunscreen and tanning oil are often confused, but they are not the same at all. Tanning oil offers minimal to no sun protection and is intended to “enhance” a tan. Sunscreen is your best option if you’re spending all day at the beach.
Speaking of beaches, sunscreen isn’t just for when you plan to be lounging around in your bikini. You should wear sunscreen every day when you’re outside, even on cloudy days. SPF 15 to 30 is sufficient for everyday use. Look for a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and is free of parabens. Natural sunscreens work just fine, but for solid protection, zinc oxide is a good choice for sensitive areas like the nose, ears, and mouth.
When people wear sunscreen, they often tend to miss some pretty important places that could lead to skin cancer later in life. The nose, temples, and around the hairline are prime spots for getting sun damage if you’re not careful to cover those parts in sunscreen. If you drive a lot, your arm and neck may also be at risk from sun exposure.
Many people equate tans with health and sun burns with cancer, but tans can be dangerous too. Avoid sitting out in the sun for hours at a time and never use tanning beds. For a natural, healthy glow, try some natural bronzers. Physician’s Formula makes a wonderful bronzer that interacts with the pH in your skin to create a glow best suited to your skin tone. Sephora also has some high quality bronzers and moisturizers with UV protection.
Whether you’re out in the sun all the time or only go out for a few minutes every day, not all sun is bad. One of the best ways to get vitamin D is to get a little sun every day. Sun protection is all about balance and vigilance, so just carry a mini bottle of sunscreen in your bag wherever you go and you should be prepared for any sun-soaked situation.