It’s 4:00 p.m. at the waterpark and the sun beats down on your fun. But you ignore it because you’re in line for Splish Slash, and there’s no chance of giving your spot up. After the 40-second ride your skin is suddenly beat red and you look regretfully at the 10 SPF bottle of sunscreen in your bag. Sound familiar? We’ve been there too!
As wonderful as summertime activities are, a downside of spending all that time in the blazing sun is unwelcome sunburns. Ranging from barely pink to boiling red, these burns are painful, but can be avoided with the right preparation.
Your friends at Neighborly are here to help you learn all about sunscreen and pick the right kind for your needs this summer.
Amidst the sunscreen aisle are hundreds of bottles with numbers and acronyms that get confusing really fast. Basically there are two types of sunrays sunscreen protects: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are the culprit for prematurely aging your skin and are the type that can penetrate glass. UVB rays are the burning rays that cause sunscreen but cannot pass through glass.
SPF stands for sun protection factor, and it measures the ability of a sunscreen to block UVB rays but not UVA rays. SPF is also a measure of the time it would take you to burn if you weren’t wearing any protection.
Sunblock comes in a wide variety of SPF strength, some going all the way up 80 SPF. However, most dermatologists agree that any SPF above 30 or 40 doesn’t make much of a difference.
As you can see, although the SPF strengths get much higher than 45, the protection difference won’t be significant to make a substantial difference (especially since most people don’t apply enough to reach that strength).
Whichever SPF you choose, it’s most important to apply often and correctly. About thirty minutes prior to sun exposure, lather up and reapply every two hours, or after getting wet or sweaty. It’s recommended to use about an ounce for your entire body.
The type of sunscreen you use is just as important as its SPF, as not all sunscreen is best for all skintypes.
Sunscreen offers your skin a reprieve from the harshness of the sun’s rays. Sunburns are bad for skin because it’s burning the essential cells of your body’s largest organ.
Although sunburn may turn into a suntan, don’t seek them out and use this advice to save your skin from future damage.
For more summertime tips and tricks, check out more of our Neighborly blogs!