Sunscreen 101

If you’re like me, you may be dreaming of summertime right about now—no more schedules and lots of beach time! When I was younger, and despite my mom’s warnings, I loved to bake in the sun. Baby oil, no SPF, and figuring out the sunniest time of day to be outside were the norm. Fast forward to years later when I was in aesthetic school and they had me look under a black light mirror to see my sun damage. I was shocked. My skin looked like an 80 year old woman! From then on, I quit the sun cold turkey. No more baking; no more beds. I have since been trying to rewind the clock by staying out of the sun and worshipping sunscreen instead! Sunscreen may seen straight forward, but I want to play a little game called “SPF true or false” to get you ready for the warm weather on the horizon!
1. No sunscreen is truly waterproof: TRUE! Reapply every time you come out of the water.
2. A simple, moderately severe sunburn damages the blood vessels to such an extent that it takes four to fifteen months for them to return to their normal condition: TRUE! The best way to avoid is to PREVENT.
3. One bottle of sunscreen should last two people about a day at the pool–not an entire summer: TRUE! You should use 4 ounces of sunscreen and re-apply every 2 hours. To put this into perspective, a normal bottle of sunblock ranges from 4-6 oz.
4. SPF 30 provides twice the protection of SPF 15: FALSE! SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, and SPF 30 blocks 97%. This is not me advocating that less is more for SPF numbers. It is me saying that more is more.
5. SPF 70 is the best because the number is highest: FALSE! Sunscreens usually cap out around SPF 50, so don’t rely on the higher numbers to protect you.
6. Most suncreens sold contain only CHEMICAL protectants: TRUE! The (small and simple explanation) difference between PHYSICAL and CHEMICAL sunscreens is that PHYSICAL blocks the rays and CHEMICAL allows the rays into your body but them breaks them up once they penetrate. It is really important to get PHYSICAL suncreens i.e.: Zinc and Titanuim Dioxide. Check the back of the suncreen bottle and it will list the most active ingredients. Stick with Zinc and Titaniym and stay away from harmful chemicals like Oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.
Here’s some of my favorite sunscreens to use on myself!

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