Though most people know to slather on sunscreen when heading outdoors during warm spring and summer, many don’t know we’re supposed to be wearing SPF (sun protection factor) year-round. While you can forego bodily SPF during fall and winter, you should wear moisturizers or makeup containing SPF on your facial skin each time you step outside. It can be confusing all the rules around SPF, when to apply, how and where, and how often. If you want to get your SPF knowledge up to snuff before the dog days of summer, keep reading for all the SPF rules we should follow to stay healthy and happy.
Sunscreen in Skincare
One of the easiest ways to apply sunscreen during the summer is through your skincare routine. These days, entire Youtube channels, TikTok tutorials, and blogs are dedicated to mastering the perfect morning and evening skincare routines for your skin type. No matter if you have sensitive skin, are oil-prone, or have a mature skin type, chances are, you include a moisturizer in your routine. If you’re not already using a facial moisturizer with SPF, start today at a minimum of SPF 30.
Know When to Apply
When to apply sunscreen is more complex than you may think. You may put on sunscreen through a spray or cream on your kids before a day at the pool or before you lay out on the beach, but the truth is, you need to apply sunscreen before you even head outside. Thirty minutes before sun exposure is ideal because it needs time to soak into your skin to be truly effective. You also want to apply your second coat of SPF after one hour of being in direct sunlight to reap maximum protective benefits. If you need help remembering, set a time on your smartphone to remind you your skin health is worth it.
Hydrating Mists are Game-Changers
Like everything else in the skincare and beauty industry, times are changing, and convenience is on everyone’s minds; that’s why a hydration mist formulated with SPF is the way to go if you spend extended amounts of time outdoors in the summer. This is one SPF rule you want to pay attention to. Hydrating mists are not only refreshing in the blazing sun, and they continually reapply SPF when you need it most. They’re easy to pack into a pool or beach bag, even a fanny pack if you’re hiking, and protect you from sunburns and more insidious sun damage like melasma or even potential skin cancers. Stay on trend and protected with hydrating mists for your entire family.
How Much You Apply Matters
Whether you’re reading a tube of toothpaste, a bottle of conditioner, or any other toiletry product, chances are you’ve seen the phrase “dime size amount” or sometimes “quarter size.” Our brains become trained to phrases like this, but when it comes to sunscreen, go big or go home. The recommended amount and best rule of thumb for how much sunscreen an adult needs is 1 ounce – if you’re a visual learner, that’s roughly enough to fill a shot gloss. So, don’t skimp on the sunscreen this summer, and apply at least one ounce before leaving home and again one hour after sun exposure begins.
Face and Body Are Not Equal
The skin on our faces is much more delicate than the rest of our bodies, so applying a stand-alone sunscreen specially formulated for facial skin and another one for your body is important. Sunny weather can damage your complexion – causing fine lines and wrinkles, freckles, melasma, and even skin cancer – so protect your face the way dermatologists and doctors recommend. Facial SPFs come with a higher price tag, but your skin is worth it.
On a closing note, it’s worth considering the differences in children’s sunscreen. Like the hydrating mists mentioned above, spray sunscreens are the easiest to apply to your kiddos, but it can be hard to gauge if you’ve applied enough, so give them a thorough spray down from six to eight inches away from their bodies. You also want to use a minimum of SPF 50 on children and adults alike.
It may feel overwhelming to remember sunscreen, but it can be a lifesaving thing for some, so be sure you have the products mentioned above on hand and the above-mentioned rules on application times and quantities so you can enjoy your sunny summer with peace of mind.