You should be wearing sunscreen every. single. day. to prevent damage of your skin - everybody knows that. But here are some more tips and recommendations that you may not have heard and to keep in mind every time you are exposing your skin to the sun.
Here are 11 tips to help you stay safe in the sun:
1. Apply sunscreen before getting dressed
This will prevent you from missing areas that were semi-covered by your clothing or undergarments, and also gives the sunscreen time to sink in - most sunscreens needs 30 minutes or more to sink in to give you optimal coverage.
2. Sunscreen spray should be sprayed a maximum of 4-6 inches from your skin
You want to make sure you are getting concentrated sunscreen on your skin, spraying from farther distances means less sunscreen on your skin and more lost in the air.
3. Rub in sunscreen after spraying
Your skin should have an even sheen after spraying and you need to make sure to rub this in to ensure coverage - don't miss this crucial last step!
4. Wear sunscreen of at least 15 SPF and no more than 50 SPF
Don't worry, you will still get some color even if you are wearing sunscreen at this level. Studies have shown that SPF above 50 really doesn't give you much more protection - but will cost your more money - so no need to go above this.
5. Wear clothes
Clothing is your first line of defense. Clothing does not give you 100% protection but it still definitely helps protect your skin from damaging sun rays.
6. Wear a hat
The best would be a wide-brimmed (3-inch or greater) hat to give your face complete coverage, but even a baseball cap will help, just be sure to always apply sunscreen to your ears and nose.
7. Wear sunglasses
Sun rays can damage the eyes, eyelids, and the thin skin directly surrounding your eyes. It is important to protect your eyes year-round because even overcast sky can be harmful and cause damage to the eyes. Your best choice includes large frames that wrap around to prevent light penetrating from all angles.
8. Zinc oxide
This is the safest and most effective sunscreen agent because it sits on top of the skin and provides full spectrum coverage by reflecting UVA and UVB rays away from the skin. Another great thing about zinc oxide is that it starts working immediately once applied - no need to wait for it to sink in like chemical sunscreens. Look for the zinc oxide percentage to be over 10%, the greater percentage means greater the coverage.
9. Reapply sunscreen
This means after getting out of the ocean or pool, toweling off, after exercise where you are breaking a sweat, and/or every 1.5 to 2 hours. This is especially true of chemical sunscreens, zinc oxide will give you a little more leeway, but regardless you need to make sure you reapply if you are directly in the sun.
10. Aim for shade 10am-4pm
The suns rays are the strongest between 10am and 4pm, so good idea to stay in the shade during this time - along with wearing your protective garments and sunscreen :)
11. Your body needs a shot-glass full of sunscreen
Most individuals do not apply enough sunscreen to fully protect their body and face. At least a shot-glass, or two tablespoons, of sunscreen is needed for adequate coverage.
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner in California. Blogging about health, fitness and mindfulness.