By Heather Dubuisson
If you’re like me, when you’re planning those long summer days outdoors, the first thing you check your bag for is sunscreen.
Here are some key things to know to ensure you’re getting the most out of your protection and keeping your skin nice and healthy.
1. SPF IS NOT SPECIFICALLY THE AMOUNT OF PROTECTION A SUNSCREEN OFFERS.
Believe it or not, SPF, or sun protection factor, doesn’t indicate the base quality of protection you’re getting. What that magic number tells you is how much longer you can be out in the sun without burning if you’re protected. It’s a multiplication factor, so if you wear SPF 2, you can be out twice as long. If you wear SPF 15, 15 times as long, and so on. Reapplication is the key to getting a summer glow without damaging your skin.
2. NOT ALL SUNSCREENS ARE CREATED EQUAL.
Just because a company has good marketing doesn’t mean it’s the best. Some sunscreens can actually react with your skin to cause you to burn more. If you find you are burning more quickly, try a different brand. Just like a moisturizer or shampoo, everyone needs something different.
3. SUNSCREEN HAS A SHELF LIFE.
To get the most protection from your sunscreen, it must be used within six months of opening. So, ditch last summer’s leftovers, and keep your skin looking amazing.
4. EVERYTHING HAS A REFLECTION FACTOR.
Every surface magnifies the reflection by a certain percentage. Did you know that water has a 10 percent reflection rate versus sand’s 20 percent and snow’s 80 percent? So, whether you’re hitting the beach or the slopes, it’s important to take that into account.
Bottom line, the sun is great for giving us a glow and providing those needed doses of vitamin D. However, too much exposure can cause aging, wrinkles and cancer, so a daily sunscreen regimen is key to maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance.
DON’T KNOW WHICH PRODUCTS TO TRY? HERE ARE MY RECOMMENDATIONS:
For face: Kiehl’s Multi-corrective Cream SPF 30 Lightweight and great for daily use. $77.90, www.amazon.com
For body: Australian Gold Instant Bronzer SPF 15 sunscreen.
Delivers protection and an instant glow all in one. The light gel formula absorbs quickly and gives a gentle glow while you are catching some rays. $7.37, www.amazon.com
Pro tip: For a day at the pool or beach, I always use my moisturizer and then apply my foundation or BB/CC cream. It provides some extra protection and keeps you looking amazing. Add on some gel blush and waterproof mascara, and you will be good to go for whatever fun the day holds.