Sunscreen, Your New Best Friend!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ok, so today I'm going to share something that's a bit embarrassing....

Don't judge.... ok maybe judge a little cause I kinda deserve it...

Let me start by saying I grew up in Southern California... so I've been to the beach a time or 2, used to being in the sun, right!?

Well I thought so too until last weekend. (cue dramatic music!)

My husband and I went to the beach with some friends for the day..... perfect beach day. Sun shining, water packed with kids and surfers... amazing.

Until I got home and looked in the mirror only to see a lobster looking back at me. I got so incredibly sun burned, its not even funny.

Well didn't you put sunscreen on, one might ask. Oh yea, I sure did. However, the sunscreen I grabbed had probably been sitting in my cabinet for a long time.... we have this random collection of half empty sunscreens ranging from all SPF's that have ended up at our house some way or another. Anyways my point being, yes I put sunscreen on ( go me!) but made the HUGE mistake of not looking at the expiration or reapplying as much as I should have. Yea, that's right, sunscreen expires and one application is not going to cut it for the whole day! 

The up side? I was wearing a hat (a beach must in my opinion) and a solid slather of sunscreen on my face so it was spared from this disaster! Thank goodness... Can you imagine the damage that kind of UV exposure would do to your face!? Holy wrinkles at 28.

So after this painful experience, I thought I would share a few common sunscreen "mistakes" you might be making.

  • You have been using the same bottle for the last 3 summers. I touched on this before but expiration does matter when it comes to your sunscreen. The longer it sits, the more time the active ingredient has to deteriorate, which makes the protection you think you are getting less and less effective. Also, how you store it matters. Shoving it in your glove compartment or leaving it in your hot car can dull the effectiveness. While it may seem convenient to have it in your car at all times, the high temperatures may be messing with your coverage.
  • You only use a small dab. This is probably something most everyone is guilty of at some point. Make sure you are using enough to evenly cover your entire body. Simple as that.
  • You put your sunscreen on at the beginning of the day, but then forget to do it again. A general rule for re-applying is every 2 hours if your in the sun. That time can be cut down if swimming and/or sweating. So be sure to reapply more often if swimming or sweating, giving the sunscreen several minutes to soak in before going back into the water. 
  • You count on the word "waterproof" when swimming.  So really, there is no such thing as a "waterproof" sunscreen. Its actually water resistant.... for up to 40 to 80 minutes. After that, REAPPLY!
  • The higher the SPF, the longer the wear and higher the coverage. So you think SPF 60 will be twice as protective and last twice as long? Not so much. Experts recommend an SPF of at least 30. When applied correctly, 30 will block about 96% of UVB rays. From there, the higher the SPF, the blocked rays percentage only goes up very slightly. It won't change the amount of time between when you will need to reapply. 
  • The SPF in your makeup is enough. A lot of women think, "Awesome, my foundation has SPF in it, I'm all set!". Not the case ladies, Think about the amount of foundation you apply compared to the amount of sunscreen you would slather on your face. Chances are, those 2 amounts are very different. Plus makeup tends to wear off throughout the day so putting on an extra layer of actual sunscreen on before the rest of your makeup is always a good idea!
So, enjoy the sun but be smart about it. You want to take care of that beautiful skin of yours right? I mean who wants to look like the lady from Something about Mary!?


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