Most likely, you already know about the importance of sunscreen and are hopefully using it, especially in the warmer months.
Are you using the correct kind of coverage and applying it the right way? To learn more, we spoke with a skin care specialist.
"My own personal sunscreen mantra is apply, reapply and check your supply," says Teresa Stenzel, director of education at Bioelements. The Bioelements skin care brand produces sun protection products for both the body and face, ensuring proper coverage from head to toe. "You should apply one full ounce of broad spectrum sunscreen to properly cover all exposed areas. That's about the amount of a shot glass."
Don't think you're done after the initial application. "You should reapply that same amount every two hours," says Stenzel. "People easily forget this important fact! You can't spend all day outside and not reapply."
An easy way to check if you're using enough coverage is to check your sunscreen stash. "If you apply enough SPF to protect your skin, one bottle won't cover an entire season. Stock up so you're always prepared," says Stenzel.
When choosing a product, keep these cues in mind.
1. "Read your label! The FDA has created clear guidelines for skin care companies that are there to help you make the right decision when faced with what seems like a million options. Many people think that as long as UVA/UVB protection is printed on the packaging, you're protected against rays," says Stenzel. According to her, that's not actually true unless it also has the words "broad spectrum protection."
"That's your insurance it will protect against burning UVB rays, aging UVA rays and skin cancer," Stenzel states.
2. Sunscreen in makeup is not enough as it's unlikely a person can wear enough to receive proper coverage. Instead, Stenzel recommends applying a moisturizing broad spectrum sunscreen prior to makeup to ensure total protection of the facial skin.
3. Finally, Stenzel says to choose broad spectrum sunscreens that also include other health benefits for the skin. "An advanced formula like Bioelements SPF 50 FaceScreen will do more than protect skin from the sun. It's packed with free radical-fighting antioxidants, skin-friendly essential oils and hydrators," says Stenzel, adding that it's formulated without synthetic fragrance, artificial dyes, parabens, sulfates or mineral oil. For the body, also try to use a formula that has multiple features, such as one that provides hydration along with sun protection. Palmer's Eventone Suncare products offer broad spectrum coverage along with moisturizing ingredients such as cocoa and Shea butters.