Hello sunshine, hello blue skies! It’s officially spring, which means it’s time to shed those winter layers and soak up some much-needed vitamin D. Before you don this season’s hottest fashion trends, there is one daily must-have you can’t (and shouldn’t) live without: broad spectrum SPF. That’s right, protecting your skin from aging UVA rays and burning UVB rays should be your top priority!
If applying SPF every morning seems like an unnecessary step in your daily skincare routine, consider this: according to The Skin Cancer Foundation, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. If that wasn’t alarming enough, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70*
Did that capture your attention? In addition to overall skin health, it’s also natural to be concerned about the youthful look and vitality of your skin. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that an estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.* To prevent premature aging of your skin and maintain its health, follow these sunscreen best practices:
- Find a broad spectrum SPF that’s right for you
Not all SPFs are created equal, which means it’s imperative you find a broad spectrum SPF that’s best for your skin type. Oily or breakout-prone skin types should choose a lightweight SPF, while drier skin types should opt for a more hydrating formula. Look for an SPF that contains antioxidants for increased protection against free radical damage such as discoloration and dullness.
- Learn to read the labels
First, check the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). For optimal protection, use a daily SPF of 30 or more. Don’t fall for higher numbers, though. The difference in protection between an SPF of 30 and 50 is only 1%.
Next, look for the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation. The Seal is granted to sun protection products that have been reviewed by and meet the specific criteria of the Foundation’s volunteer Photobiology Committee. Sunscreens in the program are designated “Daily Use” or “Active.” If you plan on participating in vigorous activity, sweating, or going swimming, choose a sunscreen recommended for active use.
- Reapply SPF often
Reapply, reapply, reapply! This “best practice” is too often ignored, but it is vital that you reapply your sunscreen every two hours. Why? Because the active ingredients in broad spectrum SPFs breakdown over time once exposed to the sun, rendering them ineffective after about 2 hours. Moreover, sweating, rubbing, and other elements can remove the active ingredients from the skin’s surface. So, reapply, reapply, reapply!
*As stated by the Skin Cancer Foundation: https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts.