So many bottles, creams, sprays and lotions to use this summer for sun protection! But what really counts when it comes to protecting your skin? Check out these tips and read about the foods you should be eating for sun protection too!
1. Higher SPF does not equal better sun protection.
Europe does not allow labeling sunscreens higher than 50 and Canada has a label that simply says 50+. There is little benefit in higher SPF sunscreens and is very confusing to the consumer.
2. Change your sunscreen every two months.
Many of the ingredients in sunscreens become stagnant after several months and may no longer offer the same level of protection that is labeled. For this reason, change your sunscreen every two months and throw away old bottles to avoid confusion.
KEY TIP: Buy smaller bottles so you don’t end up wasting product.
3. Apply sunscreen before heading outside and reapply every two-and-a-half hours.
Sunscreen loses its potency and wears off as we swim, play or just run errands. Reapply every two hours and remember to apply again after swimming or toweling off.
4. Add extra UV protection to your laundry detergent so your clothes can provide added sun guard.
For the summertime, you can look for laundry detergents containing tinosorb, which is a sunscreen that can add a layer of UV protection to your clothes. Also, some fabrics are made with colorless dyes that also filter UV light. These clothes are labeled with a UPF factor between 15-50 and indicate a level of sun protection.
5. Using a wide brimmed hat can protect your scalp and face, but don’t forget about your ears, mouth and neck.
Wide brimmed hats do protect against the sun but may not completely protect your mouth, lips, ears or neck. These are areas that need continuous application of sunscreen or zinc oxide to avoid skin damage and to help lower cancer risks.
6. Children under 6-months-old should not be in the sun AT ALL.
Children have the most delicate skin and most sun skin damage takes place before 20-years-old. Keep young children, especially babies, completely out of the sun.
7. Avoid any retinol products or derivatives in your sunscreen.
Retinol and Vitamin A products have been shown to be dangerous when exposed to sunlight. A few studies show more tumor progression and growth with the combination of vitamin A or retinol products. This means you should avoid anything with Vitamin A, Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate in the days before planned sun exposure and especially on days when you’re planning to be outside.