Why You Should Wear Sunscreen & How to Use It

June 21, 2016

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Lauren
Lead Copywriter

 

Summer is here, which means it is hot and sunny as all heck (especially here in our HQ city of Austin, Texas–it’s hot as Satan’s armpit here, y’all). It’s often easy to forget to put on sunscreen, and we know we’re going to sound like your mom here, but it’s really, really important to put it on.

(We’re saying this not only to remind you, but to also remind ourselves.)

You see, not only can the sun make you look like a leather purse, but a bad burn can also increase your chances of developing skin cancer. A study found that five or more blistering burns in youth can increase your likelihood of developing skin cancer by 80%. Not to scare you and all, but the sun is no joke.

WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN.

But we’re also writing this to let you know that not all sunscreen is created equal. Just because you wear sunscreen doesn’t mean you’re protecting yourself. A recent study found that 4 in 10 sunscreens do not meet the SPF claimed on the bottle, and some reports suggest that chemicals in sunscreen can do more harm than good (though SkinCancer.org says those reports are false).

So while it’s important to wear sunscreen, it’s more important to wear the right kind. Here are some tips for finding the best sunscreen and how to use it:

-If you’re planning on spending a lot of time outside, make sure to use sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, water-resistant and with an SPF of 15 or higher. Here is a recommended list of products with sunscreen from SkinCancer.org.

UV rays are at their peak from 10AM to 4PM, so try to find shade or avoid spending time in the sun during this time.

-Make sure to apply one ounce–or one shot glass–of sunscreen to your body, and then reapply every two hours.

Sunscreen should be reapplied after swimming or sweating.

-If you work inside near a window or it’s cloudy outside, you should still wear sunscreen.

-If you’re unable to wear sunscreen, clothing that covers your body and a hat can help. However, know that you can still get a burn through your clothing, depending on what type of clothing you’re wearing. Here is a list of recommended outdoor clothing that protects against the sun.

-And, it should go without saying, but avoid tanning booths and make sure to check your body for suspicious moles or skin discolorations.