Summer is here.  Swimming is here.  Beach time is here.  SUNSCREEN time is here.  I have always been confused about sunscreen.  I know that it is necessary for stopping sun burns and sun damage to our skin but finding the right product can be challenging.  I am always questioning how much is enough to apply, how often to reapply, which one is better, and is moisturizer with sunscreen enough?  I am sure I am not alone in all this confusion. 

What’s the Difference between UVA versus UVB?

UV is the ultraviolet rays that the sun emits and that can cause skin damage. As for UV protection, UVA is for protection from (skin) aging while UVB protects you from burning.

Sunscreen versus sunblock?

When you go to buy sunscreen, you are faced with many products, many strengths, and different types.  Two types that I have had a hard time understanding is the difference between sunscreen and sunblock.  I am sure most of you are confused by these 2 products as well.

Sunscreen is absorbed by the skin and absorbs the UVA rays before they can damage your skin.  You cannot see sunscreen on your skin when it is rubbed in.

Sunblock is so named because it literally creates a shield that blocks UV rays.  Sunblock stays white on your skin. 

In order to fully protect your skin, you should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Luckily these days, formulas often contain a mixture of both sunblock and sunscreen.

What does SPF mean?

Many think SPF, which is always a number on the label of virtually every sunscreen or sunblock, is the measure of the product’s protective strength. SPF really stands for Sun Protection Factor and is used to estimate the amount of time the product can protect your skin from UV radiation before you sunburn. 

To figure out this amount of time, use this formula: SPF Number x Time to Burn without Protection (10 minutes) = Time to Burn with Protection.

For example: SPF 30 x 10 minutes = 300 minutes of protection = 5 hours.

It’s also important to remember that if you are in the water, this time will decrease, and rubbing your skin with your towel will also decrease the time.

Moisturizer application before sunscreen or after?

This subject is a debate that has being going on for a while.  After doing some research, the majority are opting for moisturizing and then applying sunscreen. 

It seems that if you apply your moisturizer after your sunscreen, there is a chemical change that can occur and it makes changes in the way UV rays makes contact with your skin. Applying your moisturizer before the sunscreen allows the sunscreen to protect you.

Also, you ladies do not mix your foundation with your sunscreen. Mixing these products together will dilute the SPF in the sunscreen.

How much did I need to apply to be protected?

The simple answer is that it takes about 2 teaspoons to cover your head, face, neck, and arms.

How often do I need to reapply sunscreen?

You have applied your sunscreen and are enjoying the beach or swimming pool.  You are having so much fun that you forget to reapply the sunscreen and you end up with a nasty burn.

It is recommended that you reapply every 2 hours for your safety. If you went for a swim, reapply as soon as you leave the water.  Do the same if you were engaged in sweaty activities. Even waterproof sunscreen needs to be reapplied for the best protection.

What about sunscreen and self-tanning aids?

We all want that golden glow of a suntan.  Some like to speed up the process by using self-tanning aids. The problem with using self-tanning aids is that they do not have a sunscreen in them.  Not only that, they have an ingredient that makes your sunscreen ineffective.  Therefore, it is really useless to apply sunscreen with a self-tanning aid.

What are the places that people miss the most?

On the face, people generally miss the area around the eyes and the eyelids.  This is the most sensitive skin on your body and the most vulnerable to sun damage. 

The other areas that are missed the most often are the feet, ears, lips, hands, and neck.  Also, the scalp is usually missed and it is in the most direct contact with the sun.

Now you have the answers to the 8 most asked questions about sunscreen. I also want to remind you that even if you are not going to the beach or the swimming, you may still need to wear sunscreen when out of doors.  You can still damage your skin without direct sun exposure.

Go out and enjoy the summer with all the outdoor activities, but remember to take you sunscreen along.

Please leave a comment below on your thoughts.  I love to hear from you.

See Ya Makin’ Memories.

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I am Wease, and my traveling days started early with a father that loved to travel. As a family, a large one, we always traveled and always by car. No matter how far we went, we made the famous road trip. My father’s mantra on these trips was “we are making memories”. No matter what happened on those trips, whether good or bad, we always made memories. These memories are very precious to me. My husband and I have continued this tradition in our family, with our children, of traveling and making memories. I have learned some valuable lessons and tricks and I plan to share these with you here. Here is what I live by: “The best things in life are the people we love, the places we have been, and the memories we have made along the way”. Anonymous

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