How many times have you heard or read “don’t forget the sunscreen!” before heading out the door? For some people it still feels like a chore, but others religiously make it part of their skincare routine. You don’t have to become totally obsessed but we think it’s worth your while to invest in a little SPF.
Most sun damage is done before the age of 18 and it can’t be undone. Before you freak out - what you can do is prevent additional sun damage from happening. There’s no shortage of adorable sun hats or baseball caps, and those are a nice add-on, but what you really need to focus on is proactively protecting your biggest organ AKA your skin.
To give you the skinny on your skin, we talked to Gabrielle Garritano, board-certified, New York-licensed Physician Assistant. She has spent the past decade pursuing her dream of becoming a medical aesthetics authority to her generation, and is the Founder of JECT. JECT specializes in medical-grade skincare treatments for people who want to look their best, and who prioritize proper maintenance and a lot of self love.
Dana Rae: How long does sunscreen last on the skin before you need to reapply?
Gabby: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours when outdoors and after swimming or sweating. Most people only apply 25-50% percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. Make sure you use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. Most adults need about 1 ounce to fully cover their body. Don't forget to apply to the tops of your lips, feet, your neck, your ears and the top of your head. Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes before going outdoors.
Dana Rae: Does mixing two kinds of SPFs do harm, good, or neither?
Gabby: The best type of sunscreen is convenient and the one you will use again and again. Make sure it offers broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and has an SPF of 30 or higher. Mixing sunscreens is typically a personal decision and can be good if you find you like to use different types of sunscreens in different areas of the body. In my opinion, it is all about compliance! If you need to start the day with SPF in your lotion / makeup and then reapply with a cream later in the day then mixing SPFs can be good. Sunscreens may vary depending on the area of the body to be protected. Available sunscreen options include lotions, creams, gels, ointments, wax sticks and sprays. Some sunscreen products are also available in combination with moisturizers and cosmetics. While these products are convenient, they also need to be reapplied in order to achieve the best sun protection. Creams are generally best for dry skin and the face. Sprays are typically preferred on the body.
Dana Rae: Any other advice?
Gabby: Sunscreen helps to protect your skin from sunburn, early skin aging and skin cancer. Sunscreen should be worn every day, at all times of the year. The sun emits harmful UV rays year-round. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin. Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays that reach the earth — UVA rays and UVB rays. UVA rays (or aging rays) can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, and can pass through window glass. UVB rays (or burning rays) are the primary cause of sunburn and are blocked by window glass.
The good news is that there have never been more versatile and chic products on the market that make shielding your precious skin simple. There’s SPF in moisturizers, lip products, powders and even eyeshadow. Here’s a rundown our top 5 favorite sun-safety products: