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Your SPF cheat sheet to help to keep your skin protected this summer

We all know the importance of using SPF on a daily basis. And as we head into summer, there is no excuse when it comes to making sure that your skin, from head to toe, is protected from harsh UV rays. Navigating the sunscreen aisle can be daunting, as is sifting through the barrage of conflicting information on how to correctly apply your SPF products to ensure that your epidermis is well-and-truly protected. We clear up the confusion so that you can enjoy catching some rays. Safely, of course!

 

Save your skin

We should all be wearing sunscreen every day — even in winter — to make sure that our skin is protected from UVA/UVB rays (which, despite what you might think, don’t go into seasonal hibernation!). The consequences if we don’t vary from painful sunburns to premature aging, pigmentation and, in some extreme cases, even the development of melanoma.

But, contrary to popular belief, slapping on a layer of SPF before you leave the house in the morning isn’t enough to guarantee day-long protection, and nor is relying on the SPF in your makeup products. In fact, the shielding effects of sunscreen only last around two hours, after which you should be reapplying to exposed areas, especially if you are spending time outdoors.

 

Same, but different

Another thing to decide before purchasing SPF is whether you want to use physical or chemical sunscreen. Physical sunscreen — often referred to as sunblock — uses mineral-based ingredients that create a UV-ray-deflecting layer on your skin. And while they are generally safe to use and offer immediate protection, they can rub off and feel uncomfortable on the skin. Chemical formulations, on the other hand, work by absorbing and dispersing UV rays. These need to be applied 20 minutes before going outside, but requires less product to be effective and the lotion-like consistency makes it easy to wear and apply.

Choose your ideal formula and apply it regularly, and your skin will reward you with a gorgeous, healthy glow.

 

Derm-approved SPF recommendations:

 

Face

SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50+

SkinMedica SPF

Body

Zo Skin Health Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

ZoSkin SPF

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