Okay, I get it….at first, the title of this blog may seem a tad exaggerated. Maybe I went too far in using the word “deadly” to describe sunblock mistakes….or maybe “sins” took it over the top for you?
But, as an aesthetician, there is nothing I more strongly recommend to my clients than wearing sunblock every day. You can get all of the lasers, peels, treatments, and products you want, but skipping sunblock is like throwing your hard earned cash right out the window!
On second thought, “deadly” seems perfectly appropriate… Not only do UVA/UVB rays destroy your precious, limited supply of collagen, but ultraviolet radiation from the sun also plays a significant role in the development of skin cancer! Might “deadly” be too strong a word to describe sunblock usage? I think not. Read on to find how you should be protecting yourself from committing these most common sunblock sins.
1. You don’t know the basics.
If you’ve read any of my other sunblock blogs, you know that you need to be applying sunblock every day, all year round. You don’t need an SPF any higher than 30, but you do need to be using a sunblock that contains the most protective, most effective ingredients- titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. For an average sized person, correct full body sunblock application requires about a shot glass full of product. For your face, you’ll need a healthy pea size to do the job.
2. You don’t know your options.
Protecting your skin from the sun is THE best way to protect against skin cancer, wrinkles, sunspots, and premature aging…but just because sunblock is the most common method of protection, doesn’t mean it’s the best…or only. Skip the poolside chaise and duck under a nearby umbrella for some serious shade. Or, if you’re really serious about sun protection (as you should be!), wearing clothing with UPF protection is an easy and effective way to keep your skin looking young. Keep a pair of driving gloves in your car, protect your face with a heavy duty beach hat, or wear a cute cover up for a day by the pool!
3. You don’t know the facts.
While cloudy days might mean cooler temperatures, clouds- contrary to popular belief- do not provide any sun protection factor whatsoever. Worse yet, cooler days give people a false sense of security which can translate to dangerous sun exposure risks. Even the cloudiest day isn’t an excuse to skip the sunblock! No matter what the weather forecast says, stick to your routine to protect your skin, safeguard your health, and slow down the aging process.
4. You don’t reapply.
Unless you’re going to be inside all day with almost zero sun exposure, a single, morning application isn’t enough. Even then…if you wake up at 8 am, you’re going on eight full hours by the time 5 o’clock rolls around! Take heed to avoid those nasty rays on your commute, and, if you’re planning for a day outdoors….you’ll need to reapply every two hours. Products like Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen by Colorscience make it simple to sweep on a protective layer without destroying your makeup application. Keep it in your purse and dust it on just like you would with your setting powder! Easy-peasy.
5. You trust the packaging.
Don’t be fooled. Claims that a sunblock is “waterproof” is so misleading that the FDA no longer allows that word to be used on packaging or in advertisements. If you plan on swimming or sweating, you’ll need to reapply every 40-80 minutes. After 80 minutes, even the best brands lose their potency. And.. always be sure to give the product time to sink in before diving back into your activity!
7. You don’t keep it current.
If you just stumbled upon your bottle of sunblock in last summer’s beach bag, it’s time to toss it in the trash. Just like other perishable products, sunblock doesn’t last forever. Check out the expiration date listed on the label to know when it’s time for a replacement, and, to keep your bottle from expiring early, keep it out of the sun. Long hours on the beach or in your car will lead to a major decrease in effectiveness.
7. You skip the sunblock altogether.
Now, I know no one reading my blog isn’t actually NOT applying sunblock (gasp!)…but saying you have SPF in your foundation is like saying you have caffeine in your fountain soda. While it may be true, there are much better, much healthier methods that will do the job without the risk. (Don’t forget: sugar is one of healthy skin’s worst enemies!)
Let your foundation do what it does best. Foundation is meant to even out your skin tone, give you a smooth base, and cover up minor imperfections. It’s not a substitute for sunblock! Most sunblocks only contain SPF 15 and can only be applied once a day in the morning. (If you’re following my guidelines, you will look awfully cakey after bi-hourly foundation applications…) Multitasking is great but only in theory…. the more things you try to do, the thinner you spread your resources. Apply a separate sunblock every day as the final layer of your skincare regimen.
Science. Truth. Results.