Sunscreen 101


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!

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE,, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. hi i love your blog! i was wondering what eyeshadow brands/shades you would reccomend for a nice smoky eye. i’m looking for something blackish, and slightly shimmery.
    thanks 😀

  2. You can also try MAC’s new mineralize eyeshadow duo in Persona/Screen Vinyl. I tested this out at the store today and it has a shimmery white and a shimmery black which are both great for a smoky eye.

  3. Hi Phyllis! I was wondering, because its starting to get pretty hot here in California and the hot season is approaching, if you could do a review of several kinds of sunscreen? thank you. =)

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