|At Urban Sanctuary our skincare experts have advice on sun protection fitting to your complexion and lifestyle.|
Can we just forego the sunscreen toward summer’s end and in the fall? Which is more important, UVB or UVA protection? Do those of us with darker skin really need to bother with sun protection? We’ll provide answers to commonly asked questions here and recommend best practices.
- DON’T— skimp on sunscreen or sun protection once the temperature falls below 80 degrees. Protection from the sun’s damaging rays is important all year round.
- DO— choose a broad spectrum sunscreen. Broad spectrum protects you from all of the harsh rays of the sun, both UVA and UVB. The bottle should say if the sunscreen you are considering has UVA protection. The SPF (sun protection factor) only applies to it’s protection of UVB rays.
- DON’T— use less than SPF 15. Dermatologists recommend that you use at least an SPF 15.
- DO— protect yourself from the sun, even if you have a darker complexion and love that sun-kissed look. Protecting yourself against the damaging effects of the sun is vital for each one of us.
- DON’T— wait until you are in the sun already to apply. Applying your sunscreen 15-30 minutes before exposure ensures the lotion has had enough time to bind to your skin for effectiveness.
- DO— make sure to re-apply your sunscreen every two hours or more depending on your activity. Hiking or running around and getting sweaty? Apply more often! Swimming or jumping through the sprinkler with your kids? Apply more often.
- DON’T— be confused by water-resistant vs. waterproof. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but their differences are important! Water-resistant sunscreens maintain their SPF levels following 40 minutes of water exposure, whereas waterproof guarantees it’s SPF level for 80!
- DO— use enough. Are you using enough? Dermatologists urge that you use at least 1 oz of lotion to cover your whole body. Not sure how much that is? It is roughly enough to fill a shot glass.
- DON’T— use expired sunscreen and sunblock. Found an old bottle in the back of a drawer? Toss it! The shelf life of a sunscreen is less than three years. It’s safe to say if you can’t remember when you bought it it’s time to buy a replacement.