5 Things You Didn't Know About Sunscreen
I consider myself to be fairly sun savvy. Six years working in the beauty industry have ensured I always apply a facial lotion with SPF in the mornings and keep a stash of wide brimmed hats by the door. You will never catch me sunbathing. Yet somehow, I get burned every summer. I've also noticed a fair amount of pigmentation around my hairline and on my cheeks that is increasing year over year. Something in my routine is clearly not working and it may not be working for you either.
The following tips were compiled from my discussions with the sun experts at Johnson & Johnson, makers of Aveeno and Neutrogena. I think you may be surprised by some of them:
1. According to sunsafetyalliance.org, 80% of sun exposure is incidental. Walking to the car from your house, picking up a carton of milk from the corner grocery store, going outside on a cloudy or even a rainy day - all of these activities result in unintentional sun exposure that ads up to 80 percent over your lifetime. That day at the beach is nothing compared to a lifetime of daily incidental exposure without protection.
2. Even if you apply sun protection every day, it might not be making much of a difference because you're probably not wearing enough. Johnson & Johnson advises that the proper dosage is a full 2 Tablespoons for your body, and a good 1/2 Teaspoon for your face. I don't know about you, but I probably do less than half of that.
3. Sunscreen needs to be applied every 2 hours. This applies whether you are spending the day outside or just protecting yourself from incidental exposure. Oops.
4. Not all sunscreens are created equally. So you've applied two tablespoons of tanning oil with UVB protection. You're covered, right? Wrong. UVB rays are the ones that cause burns, but UVA protection is for the aging rays, which are the ones that can lead to discolouration, wrinkles and fine lines. This is why it's so important to read the label and ensure there is broad spectrum protection with UVA and UVB protection.
5. The SPF in your makeup or facial moisturizer might not be enough protection. According to Health Canada, those types of products are considered secondary sunscreens, in that consumers use them primarily for cosmetic benefit (moisturizing, evening skin tone) rather than sun protection. Chances are, you aren't reapplying every 2 hours.
If you're looking for optimal sun protection throughout the entire day, you need to use these products as you would use a primary sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours.
I guess this explains those unsightly blobs on my face. I'm definitely going to take my sun protection even more seriously now. What about you?
With all of this in mind our staff has been busily testing a whole slew of sunscreen products. Stay tuned for a roundup of our favourites coming soon!
More by Ali
More on Health
It's also worth mentioning that many popular brands of sunscreen contain ingredients that cause skin cancer, and constantly applying sunscreen prevents the absorption of vitamin d, which can also lead to skin cancer. I'm not saying not to apply sunscreen but be aware of the consequences of wearing the wrong sunscreen or too much of it.
Love this article, Ali. Totally true... and needed to be said. I learned about sun the hard way by developing a sun-induced eczema at 24. What?? I' shop very carefully for sunscreens (UVA/ UVB/ photo-stable) The sun is stronger than we think...
wow, did not know you need to reapply every 2 hours! Thanks for the valuable tip!
I wish I had been more diligent when I was a teenager! Now in my late twenties I really want to maintain my health and youthful skin. I've been making more effort to wear hats and sunglasses, but this was a good reminder about the sunscreen.
Yikes! *buys sunscreen in bulk O.o*
What an eye opener! I am definitely not applying enough everyday. I'm going to start keeping sunscreen in my bag!
Not to be flippant in any way about the real dangers of sun exposure, but does this all sound like a stupid amount of effort, y'all? Sadly, I don't think many people will really go to the effort of reapplying sunscreen during the day, especially with a full face of makeup.
Daaaang. Summer sun, why do you have to be so harming? I guess it's time to pack on the sun screen this summer!
I don't use sun protection. Sad but true.
Join Our Newsletter
Best of Beauty (65)
Blogs We Love (61)
Career & Finance (65)
ChickAdvisor Events (103)
ChickAdvisor Newsletters (17)
ChickChat TV (8)
Eating Out (73)
Eyes, Lips, Face (472)
Fan Mail (14)
Gadgets, Media (37)
Gift Guide (69)
Hands & Feet (96)
Makeup Tutorials (52)
New Features (27)
News & Issues (119)
Parties & People (80)
Posing Wall (120)
Product Review Club (74)
Runway Fashion (195)
Shop ChickAdvisor (6)
Skin Care (157)
Street Style (44)
Style Guide (352)
Videos We Love (58)
Weekly Roundup (79)
Would You Wear This? (51)