Let's Talk SPF: How To Properly Protect Your Skin This Summer
Health and Wellness

Let's Talk SPF: How To Properly Protect Your Skin This Summer

You don't want to get burned.

Alvin Balemesa

Sunscreen: Everyone tells us that we should be wearing it, or wearing more of it, or reapplying more often. Everyone, from our mothers to Vogue to the CDC, warn against the long-term consequences of sunbathing, or even stepping foot outside, without SPF. I am not so sorry to say that I am one of those people, but there are plenty of good reasons to put on (and then reapply throughout the day) sunscreen.

A lot of very scary things can happen when you don’t wear sunscreen: hyper-pigmentation, telangiectasia (the very scary name for broken blood vessels), wrinkles, sunburns with blisters, and potential scarring. This is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Not taking care of your skin could ruin your health: skin cancer, or melanoma, is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and in most cases is preventable.

Fun, right? If you're already not great about putting sunscreen on every day, an excuse is that there are just too many rules. How in the world are we supposed to remember the ‘right’ way to put on sunscreen?

Every few years, we learn that we are all ‘putting on sunscreen wrong’; really, we should just keep in mind the 'two hour rule.' Have you been in the sun for two hours? Reapply. If you're not sure if you should put more sunscreen, you should probably just put more on. That does not mean if you're stuck inside for work all day you HAVE to reapply; if you are inside all day, you probably only need to put on sunscreen once. If you are on the go and don’t have time to reapply, consider Supergoop sunscreen mist -- reapply over makeup on the go while maintaining sun coverage. Easy as pie!

Now, I know what you're thinking: but my acne-prone and/or sensitive skin just cannot handle sunscreen! Lucky for you, all-natural brands like 'Kiss My Face' and 'Alba Botanica' have sensitive, non-toxic formulas for you to try out for yourself! Have more high-fashion tastes? Try Glossier’s new 'Invisible Shield SPF 35,' which claims not only be great under makeup and super effective against UV rays, but also to have a clear water gel formula that absorbs into the skin without residue or a white cast.

But how much SPF is the right amount? Shouldn’t we be wearing SPF 100, or nothing at all? The CDC says you should be wearing at least SPF 15, while most dermatologists suggest SPF 30. If you are worried about how much protection you are getting from your sunscreen, consider how much you're using. If you think you are using half a teaspoon, you are set. If not, consider bumping up your coverage like Dermalogica 'Pure Light SPF 50.'

When in doubt, find an SPF product, whether that be a BB cream, SPF moisturizer, or sunscreen, that you love, and commit to wearing it every day. Once it’s a habit, you will forget that it was ever a chore. Trust me, future you will thank you for this little bit of self-care!

Go forth and frolic in the summer sun (safely, of course)!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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