With so many different kinds of sunscreen on the market today, it can be difficult to navigate the waters of sun protection. Select a sunscreen with the proper sun protection factor (SPF) for your outdoor activity.
How to Select the Right SPF Sunscreen
1. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 or higher, no matter what your planned activity may be. Daily use of low SPF sunscreen is generally recommended for most individuals.
2. Select a sunscreen with a higher SPF if you are light or fair skinned or if you sunburn easily. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is preferred for those with higher risk factors for skin cancer.
3. Avoid sunscreen oils, as these typically have an SPF of two or lower, providing little or no protection while in the sun.
4. Select a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect your lips. Remember that the skin on your lips is just as vulnerable to the ravages of the sun's rays as the rest of your face.
5. Look for a sunscreen that also provides broad-spectrum coverage. This type of sunscreen protects against both Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. The SPF will determine the level of protection against UVB rays, the primary causes of sunburn and skin cancer, while UVA protection helps defend your skin against the rays of the sun that lead to signs of premature aging and wrinkles.
6. Apply sunscreen in the right way by using an ample amount to cover any exposed skin. You should also reapply sunscreen, no matter what its SPF, at least every 20 to 30 minutes.
7. Pick the right kind of sunscreen, either waterproof or water-resistant, depending on the activities you have planned. Waterproof sunscreen maintains its SPF after up to 80 minutes of exposure to water. Water-resistant sunscreen's SPF is only maintained for up to 60 minutes of exposure to water.