Sunscreen 101

Sunscreen will help save your skin!

Even though the weather has been unpredictable lately, one of the reasons we love California so much (and pay an arm and a leg to live here) is because of the beautiful weather we experience all year round.

But with great weather comes great responsibility – at least for our skin, that is. It seems the older we get, the worse the sun affects our skin. What many people fail to realize is that the cause behind our skin wrinkling, spotting, and becoming dehydrated is primarily because we don’t wear sunscreen on a daily basis. Sunscreen has the ability to protect our skin from harmful rays and decrease the chance of skin cancer, and essentially has the power to slow down the signs of aging.

Here are some common mistakes people make when it comes to sunscreen and how to avoid them:

1. Not Using Sun Screen. This is especially common during the winter and early spring seasons, when most people think it’s not sunny or warm enough to get sun damage. Sunscreen should be applied regardless of the season and weather condition.

2. Not Using Enough. The average person uses less than half the recommended amount of sunscreen. It’s suggested that you apply a thick layer to each section of your body, making it hard to work it all in.

3. Not Reapplying, Especially When in the Water or Sweating. Even waterproof sunscreen needs to be reapplied often. Sunscreen should be applied every few hours depending on your activities.

4. Waiting Too Long to Put It On. To be effective, sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside.

Also, it’s important to understand the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of your sunscreen. Let’s take SPF 15 for example: If your sunscreen has an SPF 15, it will filter 93% of damaging rays. In other words, it will delay the onset of a sunburn in a person who would otherwise burn in 10 minutes to burn in 150 minutes. The SPF 15 sunscreen allows a person to stay out in the sun 15 times longer.

And ladies, the SPF in your make-up is usually not enough to protect your skin. Be sure to apply sunscreen before applying your make-up.

For more information about sunscreen and its benefits, check out the Skin Care Foundation and their list of recommended sunscreens.

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