Do You Apply Sunscreen Properly?

A very relevant post regarding proper sunscreen application.  We loved it and wanted to share. "How Do I Apply Sunscreen for the Best Protection? [caption id="attachment_1427" align="alignnone" width="356"] Photo by Liz West[/caption] There are so many sunscreen products on the market and myths floating around about sun protection, it's a good time to make sure we're really covered when it comes to sun protection. Here are the basics—how, where, what—of sunscreen application. Most people buy sunscreen based on SPF alone, thinking the higher the SPF the better (you can get SPF upwards of 50+). But the SPF numbers only tell one part of the story, and can be pretty confusing. The SPF number indicates a relative level of protection from the sun's rays (rather than how much time you'd be protected). So a sunscreen with SPF 15 is higher than SPF 8. When it comes to effectiveness, though, doubling the SPF doesn't necessarily mean double the protection; WebMD writes that an SPF of 15 screens 93% of solar rays, while an SPF of 30 screens 97%. Dr. Christine Crowder, a family practitioner in Flagstaff, says SPFs higher than 30 don't really gain significant benefit—how you apply the sunscreen is most important. She recommends an SPF of 30, applied 30 minutes before you go outside so the sunscreen can be fully absorbed, and reapplied every 2 hours. Keeping those guidelines in mind, for the best sun protection, you should also: Look for sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection. Sunscreens with antioxidants can supplement the SPF protection. Apply 1 to 2 ounces (the size of a Ping-Pong ball) of sunscreen to your whole body, even under clothing, because your clothes may not have enough SPF. The average T-shirt has a SPF of 7. Use up the whole bottle: If you're applying enough sunscreen, you shouldn't have any or much left over next year, although you can reuse it. Apply sunscreen (about the size of a silver dollar) on your face every day, even if it's overcast. (Makeup with SPF is not enough unless you apply it in a really thick layer.) Even if you're using waterproof sunscreen, you should reapply on the two hour schedule, and every time you get out of the water. If you're concerned about vitamin D deficiency or the sunscreen blocking the vitamin D from the sun, don't worry. WebMD says you should still get enough sun to make enough vitamin D even with the sunscreen on."
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