It has been absolutely sizzling here in Chi-town for the past few days so I wanted to do an entry on sunscreens and clear up some of the misconceptions about them.
* SPF is short for Sun Protection Factor and it multiplies the amount of time before you burn by the SPF. For instance, if it takes 20 minutes for you to burn, an SPF of 4 will allow you to stay in the sun for 80 minutes before you burn.
* Always wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 15. I personally use one with SPF 30.
* Make sure your sunscreen is broad-spectrum, meaning it protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and cause tanning, premature aging and contribute to skin cancer. UVB rays cause burning and contribute to skin cancer as well.
* You need at least a shot glass of sunscreen to get sufficient protection. If you spread it thinly, the effect is less than the SPF factor listed on the bottle.
* Remember to slather on your sunblock at least 20 to 30 minutes before going out.
* Think you can apply sunscreen in the morning and be protected for the whole day? Wrong! Sunscreen needs to be reapplied after two hours and immediately after swimming or vigorous activity.
Looking for a sunblock? Check out my Sunscreen Reviews!