You can wear the most expensive designer clothing, shoes, and jewelry, and have your hair done by a professional, but if your skin looks like leather or features marks caused by sun exposure, your appearance will suffer. Good looking skin requires protection from the sun’s harmful rays, which can cause freckles, sun spots, a dried out leathery look, and deadly skin cancer. So, if you generously apply a sunscreen product and wear protective clothing, you’ll not only aid your overall health, but you’ll help your skin look youthful and beautiful. Here are some tips to help keep your skin looking great:
Always check the SPF number (sun protection factor) on your sunscreen container: the higher the number, the greater the protection. Note that a SPF of 15 means the product provides 15 times the amount of protection from the sun than your skin naturally would provide and a SPF of 30 means the sunscreen provides 30 times your skin’s natural protection.
Always check the UPF rating (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) on your clothing’s label. A UPF rating of 15-24 provides good protection from the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays; a UPF rating of 25-39 provides very good protection; and a UPF rating of 40-50+ provides excellent protection.
Check your sunscreen’s expiration date and throw out the container if the “use by” date has come and gone.
Cheaper sunscreens from Target and Wal-Mart often beat pricier products in terms of quality and performance, according to a Consumer Reports study.
If you easily burn and never tan in the sun, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30+ and wear clothing with a UPF rating of 30+.
If you easily burn and rarely tan when it’s sunny, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ and that your clothing have a UPF rating of 30+, too.
If you sometimes burn and sometimes tan, the Skin Cancer Foundation suggests you wear sunscreen with a SPF of 15+ and don protective clothing.
If you tan easily and rarely burn, the Skin Cancer Foundation suggests you wear a sunscreen with a SPF of 15+ when you’re outside.
If you don’t burn at all, because you can still get skin cancer, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you wear a sunscreen with a SPF of 15+.
Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you’re in the sun. That’s how long it takes to be absorbed by your skin.
Always apply a generous amount of sunscreen to your skin, because a thin or uneven layer won’t provide much protection.
Wear waterproof sunscreen if you plan to be in the water or participating in sweat-producing vigorous activities outdoors. Note that UV rays penetrate water, so even if you’re snorkeling, you need protection.
Avoid being outside between 10am and 4pm, when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are strongest.
Higher altitudes require that you wear sunscreen with a higher SPF because the atmosphere is thinner.
Snowy conditions require that you wear sunscreen because the snow reflects the sun’s UV rays, thereby increasing your exposure to them.