When should I wear sunscreen? Do I need it when it’s not sunny? What strength should I use? How often should I reapply?
There can be a lot to figure out when it comes to sunscreen. We’re here to assure proper use of this skin-saving and potentially life-saving product.
When should I use sunscreen?
If it’s daylight, you should be wearing sunscreen, so that means everyday! Cloudy day? Yep. In the winter? You bet. While many of us love the warmth of sunshine on our skin, those UV rays age us and are harmful to skin health.
With so many sunscreen options, how do I choose?
The first thing to know is that sunscreens are formulated either physically or chemically.
Physical sunscreens contain the active mineral ingredients titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, and are less likely to irritate sensitive skin. Physical sunscreens work by deflecting or scattering UV rays away from the skin. They offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays, and are therefore naturally broad spectrum. Physical sunscreens are also less likely to be pore clogging, making it ideal for blemish prone skin types. Physical sunscreens are recommended over chemical sunscreens during pregnancy.
The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are avobenzone, oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octisalate. This combination creates a chemical reaction and works by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing the heat from the skin. Many moisturizers that contain SPF tend to be chemical, as the ingredients mix better with the active ingredients of the moisturizer.
Dermalogica offers 15 sunscreen options including moisturizers with SPF, tinted moisturizers w/SPF, primers w/SPF, full body hydrating sunscreens and an eye treatment. Let our Professional Skin Therapists guide you towards your most effective product for your particular need.
What do all of those SPF numbers actually mean?
No sunscreen completely blocks all UV rays, but here’s a few guidelines on what those SPF numbers on the bottle really mean:
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV rays
- SPF 30 blocks 97% of UV rays
- SPF 50 blocks 98% of UV rays
On a sunny day you should use at least SPF30 and reapply consistently, especially if swimming or sweating. Lower SPF’s like 15-20 are adequate for a day of running around, but not necessarily time in the sun. Whichever SPF you choose, always opt for broad spectrum sunscreens, which offer protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Spray or Lotion?
While sunscreen sprays do the job, creams or lotions are better, as application tends to more complete.
How much should I use?
Always use 1 oz. (a shot glass size) of sunscreen on your body, and 1 tsp. on your face and neck. Reapply often!
Follow these simple guidelines, and you’ll enjoy your time outdoors in every season, all while protecting your skin’s appearance and health!