Everything You Need to Know About Sun Protection
Okay, here’s the thing – we love the sun, but we’re not overly fond of the damage it can do to our skin. Sure, a lot of skincare products contain SPF, but is it enough for whole-day protection?
In this day and age, many of us are still clueless about the right way to protect ourselves from the sun. Did you know that we need to protect ourselves from harmful UVA/UVB rays all year long and not just during the summer? It’s true! Just because you don’t see the sun or feel its heat, doesn’t mean those pesky UV rays aren’t damaging your skin. Personally, I am guilty of applying SPF only on my face and neck, completely ignoring the fact that the sun doesn’t discriminate between body parts.
No matter what sun protection blunder you’ve committed in the past, what’s important is that you’re now looking for ways to amp up your SPF IQ. We’ve got the facts straight from the experts, plus a few of our favorite sun-protection tips for you today. Let’s begin with a few basic facts about SPF:
- Products with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) create a barrier between our skin and the sun’s harmful rays.
- UVA rays are less intense than UVB rays. They have the ability to tan, wrinkle and age the skin.
- UVB rays only reach the surface of the skin. They are the main cause of skin reddening and sunburn, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Prolonged, unprotected and cumulative exposure to both UVA and UVB rays can cause premature aging, eye damage and a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
- The number following SPF translates to how long it’ll take for UVB rays to penetrate your skin. For example, it’ll take the UVB rays 15 times longer to break through to your skin if you are wearing an SPF 15 product.
You can protect yourself from the sun using either physical or chemical barriers. If you are going to spend a day out in the sun, especially during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., be sure to wear wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, or sunglasses as necessary.
Another way you can protect your skin is by using chemical barriers such as lotions, sprays or make-up products with SPF. Look for products that say ‘Broad/Complete/Total UV Protection’ as these block both UVA and UVB rays. Active ingredients such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Avobenzone or Helioplex are best at protecting your skin without putting your health at risk. Most products also have pluses (+), which indicate the lowest (+) to the highest (+++) UVA protection.
For everyday use, experts recommend using anywhere from SPF 15 to SPF 30. However, if you plan to stay outdoors most of the day, such as when you’re by the pool or at the beach, you should up the SPF factor to SPF50 or SPF75. Apply the product 20–30 minutes before exposure to give it a chance to work its magic on your skin. Remember to reapply every two hours or after excessive sweating, swimming or toweling.
Having fun under the sun means exposure to sweat and water that might cause the SPF to disappear! Make sure you buy a waterproof sunscreen that will gladly accompany you all day no matter what you decide to do.
Doc Martin’s of Maui Original Sunscreen is made for anyone who wants to spend hours under the sun but doesn’t want the hassle of reapplying sunscreen every two hours. Dermatologist Dr. George Martin’s love for surfing has inspired him to search for the secret formula that gives all-day sun protection with just one application! He came up with a hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and paraben-free product that’s lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin. It is safe to use at any age and environmentally friendly as well.
Whatever means you choose to protect your skin, remember that sun protection is a must every day!