With the summer in full swing, we’re getting some fantastic days to spend time outside. The sun is hot and beautiful and we all can’t wait to get outside, but did you know the specifics about sunscreen? It might seem like a boring topic, but knowing what sunscreen can and cannot do is important to prevent skin disease, so here are some things you may not have known about sunscreen.
There’s a bit of math involved
SPF means Sun Protection Factor, and to figure out how long you’ll be protected, you need to do a simple calculation – try to think about how long it takes for your unprotected skin to burn (5 minutes? 15? 30?) and multiply that by the number on the bottle of sunblock that you have, to give you a rough estimate for how long you’re protected. For instance, if it usually takes you about fifteen minutes before you get burned and you’re wearing 30 SPF sunscreen, it will take about 450 minutes until you start getting burned. Very convenient!
The sad truth of the matter is that a lot of sunscreens aren’t as reliable as they advertise. Consumer Reports underwent a testing of more than 60 lotions, sprays and sticks and found that 48% (!) of them did not reach their advertised SPF levels. Knowing this, you can absolutely research the brands thoroughly and attempt to find the absolute best sunscreen, but most of us probably won’t. Instead, simply re-apply during the time you’re out. If you calculated that you can be outside for five hours or more, simply slap some more sunscreen on after two or three hours. It’s always better to underestimate your protection than get a serious burn!
I’ll take a shot straight up, please
The recommended amount of sunscreen to coat your body is one to two ounces of lotion, which is much, much more than most people will ever put on. The lesson here is simple: don’t be afraid to lather up more than you think you need! With the intense heat and beating sun-rays that have been around us lately, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Always protect yourself – who cares if you’re a bit greasy for a while.
It’s important to enjoy summer as much as possible, but it’s also important to save your skin from the unhealthy effects of the weather! Don’t forget your sunscreen while you