It’s no secret that daily use of sunscreen helps protect our skin from premature aging, like wrinkles and dark spots, and even more importantly, skin cancer. The more we use sunscreen, the more we can keep our skin from aging. But there are plenty of misconceptions about how SPF works. Miami-based Clinique Derm Pro Dr. Adriane Pompa shares her do’s and don’ts for a sun-safe day.
Don’t skip a day without applying SPF.
“No matter what your skin tone is, how much time you spend outdoors, or what time of year it is, everyone needs to protect their skin from UV rays every day. UV rays penetrate clouds and windows, so even 10 or 15 minutes of sun exposure each day can add up to lines and wrinkles over time,” says Dr. Pompa.
Do use a moisturizer that protects and repairs.
Look for a day cream that contains broad-spectrum sunscreen as well as antioxidants to help defend your skin from sun damage. Dr. Pompa’s pick: Superdefense SPF25 Fatigue 1st Signs of Age Multi-Correcting Cream, which helps block UVA/UVB rays, as well as infrared and blue lights. For your body, try SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen. It'll absorb quickly and is virtually invisible on all skin tones.
Don’t apply SPF only once.
When exposed to direct sunlight, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours to achieve maximum protection. Also, make sure you reapply after sweating, swimming, or even toweling off.
Do use at least one teaspoon of sunscreen for your entire face.
“Make sure to apply sunscreen behind your ears and all the way down your neck,” explains Dr. Pompa. If applying to your body, a good rule of thumb is to use 1 oz. (like the size of a shot glass) with each use and apply evenly.
Don’t wait until you’re outside to apply SPF.
A big sun care secret: “Always apply sunscreen before you leave the house,” Dr. Pompa suggests. “It can take up to 15 minutes for the sun shielding ingredients to bond with your skin and become effective.”
Words By: Terry Tom Brown