Have you been wearing sunscreen all winter and spring? Don’t be ashamed to say no – most people don’t apply actual sunscreen products until they’re out in the blazing summer sun. Moisturizers and cosmetics products may include an SPF, but it’s usually minimal. When it comeso applying sunscreen, people just don’t do it in the off-season.
Despite the rainy Maryland weather this spring, don’t forget to have sunscreen on hand — the sun will come out some time! Be prepared with sunscreen products that are right for you. First, look at the protection levels. Experts recommend an SPF of at least 30, but not more than 50. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, products with an SPF of 15 block 93 percent of UVB radiation, and products with an SPF of 30 block 97 percent. Any increase in protection above 30 is negligible. However, both UVB and UVA rays are damaging, so a sunscreen that is labeled, “broad spectrum” will include ingredients that also block UVA radiation. A broad-spectrum product will contain one or more of these ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium oxide, avobenzone, ecamsule and oxybenzone.
Use different products for your face than what you use on your entire body. The beauty of facial sun screen is that you can choose something that works for your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, look for products that are non-greasy and lighter weight. They’re less likely to clog your pores. Hats or visors that shade your face from the sun are also good solutions – hats can provide double-duty protection for both face and hair! Still, don’t forget the sun screen!