The Art and Science of Sunscreen

How to choose and apply this summer skin saver.

You’re heading out for a day at the beach or park or even just the back yard, but that sun is shining bright. You need some protection, so you just grab any old sunscreen and slather it on, right?

Think again.

First things first, you need to find a sunscreen that provides all the protection you’re seeking. Really dig into those labels, all the info is on there. Here’s what to look for:

Broad spectrum
The sun has two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB. Broad spectrum sunscreens help with both.

SPF 30+
The higher the SPF, or sun protection factor, the more protection from harmful rays and the longer that protection will last. Always err on the side of more defense.

Water resistance
This is crucial, and not just poolside. Even sweat can make sunscreen drip off leaving you exposed, so don’t overlook this crucial factor.

Now that you’ve picked the perfect sunscreen, it’s onto the artistry of application. This step is just as important as the lotion you choose, so try these tips to make sure you’re protected:

Apply early
It takes some time for sunscreen to sink in, so apply 20 minutes before you plan to be in the sun.

Apply Liberally
Many people apply too little sunscreen, but to get the full protection don’t skimp. It takes about an ounce (that’s about a palm-full) to coat your exposed areas.

Buddy up and get it everywhere
Don’t forget your neck, face, ears, feet, knees, elbows, shoulders, armpits… you get the point. And for those hard-to-reach areas, find a friend!

Reapply often
This is key. Apply every couple of hours while you’re out in the sun, or immediately after sweating or swimming.

There you have it, some simple steps to keep your skin protected. And remember, sun exposure isn’t just a summertime sport; the sun is up year-round, and proper protection is always a must.

Woman applying sunscreen.

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