With summer just around the corner, you may be wondering about the best ways to give
your skin enough sun protection. Do you need to apply SPF 30? SPF 50? Is a moisturizer with SPF enough by itself?
First, let’s address what sunscreen does — it works to prevent UV rays from damaging your skin. Chemicals like avobenzone do this by absorbing these rays, and minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide do this by blocking and scattering the rays. Broad-spectrum sunscreens work to protect skin from two types of UV rays: UVA, which cause premature aging, and UVB, which cause sunburn.
While there have been some changing guidelines around the SPF values, generally an SPF 30 or over will block a significant portion of harmful rays. If you know you’ll be spending a significant amount of time outdoors, definitely reach for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or over. Be sure to cover those areas that can sometimes get overlooked, like the ears, nose, delicate under-eye area, scalp, and the back of the neck.
And, don’t forget to reapply! Reapplying every two hours is generally advised, with additional application if you’re sweating or swimming.
If you’re not spending large amounts of time outdoors, it’s still important to keep skin protected from the summer rays. You can integrate a sunscreen into your daily makeup routine, by adding it after your daily moisturizer and before your foundation. You may wait a little bit for it to absorb before applying foundation or liquid makeup. And, it’s still important to reapply. If you are reapplying over makeup, opt for a spray or mist, or a dry sunscreen powder.
What if your daily moisturizer or foundation already contains an SPF? For instance, MultiV6 Multivitamin Day Cream contains zinc oxide, which provides some protection. On days you’re largely indoors with little sun exposure, a moisturizer or foundation by itself can do the job, but this won’t fully replace a sunscreen, especially if you’re outdoors for an extended period of time.
If you’re hitting that backyard barbeque, playing at the beach, or doing some afternoon gardening, make sure you’re getting adequate sunscreen coverage, paying attention to those key areas (don’t forget the scalp!) and reapplying as needed.