It's May, and that means it's Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Over 5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, and the best way for you to protect yourself is to wear sunscreen. Every single day. Even when you're indoors! EVEN if there's SPF in your makeup!! No matter your skin tone. End of story. It's not only your first defense against skin cancer, but it also helps prevent dark spots and wrinkles from forming so you can look young forever. Who wouldn't want that?
Sunscreen is clearly very important. People have probably been telling you to slather on the SPF since the day you were born, but they don't tell you how to find the best SPF for your skin. If you don't know what SPF stands for or what the number after SPF means, keep reading to learn everything you need to know in order to find the right sunscreen for your skin and learn what product the Supergreat staff are loving right now.
What you need to know about sunscreen:
What does SPF stand for?
Sun Protection Factor.
What does the number after SPF mean?
Many people believe that number indicates the strength of protection (i.e. SPF 30 is 30 percent protection from the sun's rays), but it is actually and indication of how long you'll be protected before needing to reapply. To figure out what level of SPF you need, you first must calculate how long it takes your skin to burn without sun protection. If you typically burn within 10 minutes, multiply that by the SPF number you are using and that will tell you how long you'll be protected. For example, if you're using SPF 30 and you burn within 10 minutes, 30 x 10 minutes = 300 minutes, which means you'll be protected for about 5 hours.
How much SPF should you wear?
You should aim to apply about one shot glass full or two tablespoons full of sunscreen to the exposed parts of your entire body. A nickel-sized amount of that should be spread over your face alone.
What's the difference between UVA rays and UVB rays?
UVA rays only reach the skin's surface, causing sunburn. UVB rays penetrate deeper and damage DNA, causing skin cancer. While UVA rays are mostly present on sunny days, UVB rays can penetrate through clouds and windows so it is important to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects you from both.