Sunscreen Basics for the Summer and Beyond: A Guide to Your Most Essential Beauty Product

Slather it on all summer long but don’t forget to save some for a rainy day.

Some call it sunscreen; we call it the fountain of youth. It is never too late to enjoy the benefits of this most essential beauty product.  Most people appreciate its power to prevent uncomfortable burns but sunscreen has the unique ability to protect the skin from damaging ultra violet radiation which are responsible for causing a host of disfiguring and aging skin conditions including skin cancer, premature aging, sun damage and dark spots.

Although nearly everyone owns a tube of sunscreen, its use and how it works remain a mystery.  Here are some basics to help you get the best results from this most essential beauty product.  We’ve also included some additional ideas to keep your skin looking great throughout the summer and beyond.

UVA and UVB Explained:  The warm, gorgeous sun radiates UVA and UVB rays.  UVA rays are present all day at all times, all seasons and even pierce untreated glass.  According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVA rays will not burn but they penetrate deeply and contribute to skin cancers and wrinkling.  UVB rays are strongest Spring to Fall and between 10 am and 4 pm. They reflect off ice and snow and can cause burning. They are also responsible for causing cancer and skin damage. Sunscreen should be worn year round and every day regardless of the weather.

The Sunscreen Alphabet: There are two types of sunscreen, chemical and physical.  Chemical sunscreen uses active chemical ingredient to absorb UVA rays so that your skin doesn’t. Physical sunscreen which contains zinc and titanium dioxide, blocks both UVA and UVB Rays. Many sunscreens offer a combination of chemicals and minerals.  Always look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that shields against both UVA and UVB rays.

When it Comes to SPF Less is More: SPF or Sun Protection Factor measures how much UVB radiation is blocked by the product.  The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a minimum SPF of 30.  There is little or no value to applying a sunscreen with an SPF value higher than 30. One ounce of sunscreen is the recommended amount to be applied.  Then reapply, reapply, reapply!

Foundation with SPF is Nice but Not Good Enough: Always use a sunscreen under your foundation even if your foundation has SPF.  Sunscreen offers better coverage and the capability to defend against UVA and UVB rays.  Don’t like the feel of sunscreen under your foundation?  Try an SFP infused moisturizer.

Bring in the Reserves: Make sure all your make up contains SPF.  It is really important to protect the lips as they lack melanin.  An opaque lipstick guards better than a gloss.   Is shine an absolute must? Then swipe it over your lipstick.

Your Skin Doesn’t Stop at Your Chin:  Make sure you apply sunscreen to all the exposed parts of the body.  Your neck, arms, legs, chest and your hands. These areas are prime for wrinkling and spotting.

Keep it in the Bag: Carry a small tube of sunscreen in your purse to reapply when needed.

Be a Shady Lady:  As in large sunglasses which guard the eyes from sun damage.

The Beautiful and the Bald: Sunscreen? Definitely. Hat? Absolutely.

A consultation with Dr. Key can help you select the very best products to protect your body and the best recommendations for a sunscreen to use on facial skin. Sun damage?  Ask us how we can help you restore your skin’s texture and natural luster.

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