By: Angela Yeo
#StressFreeBeauty starts with prevention and during the summer months when the sun is extra strong, sunscreen should be your constant companion. Here are tips on what to look for when shopping for one.
When I was younger, I would recklessly bask under the sun for long hours just to get a tan. I have pale skin, and getting some color was something I looked forward to during summer beach trips. While other people used skin whiteners and papaya soap, I used a tanning oil—because we always want what we don’t have! Everything changed when I got older, and gained more knowledge on sun protection. Exposing yourself to the sun without any protection increases the risk of skin cancer. It also makes the skin age, causing more wrinkles, sagging, and age spots.
When buying sunscreen, look for a bottle with a “broad spectrum” label. This is the key in protecting your skin form both UVB and UVA rays. The UVB rays burn your skin, while the UVA rays prematurely age your skin and cause wrinkles, sagging, and age spots. Both also contribute to skin cancer. Yikes!
SPF = Sun Protection Factor, it is a gauge of how well the sunscreen will protect your skin from UVB rays. If you normally burn in 1 minute, SPF 30 multiplies that by a factor of 30, which means you could go 30 minutes without getting burnt under the sun. If you’ll be outdoors for long stretches, choose SPF 30 or 50, otherwise SPF 15 is fine. Remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours especially when outdoors.
Get a sunscreen that’s water resistant for it to stay effective while swimming or sweating. You wouldn’t want a sunscreen that rubs off easily. Also remember to reapply each time you take a dip in the water.
These are the most important factors when shopping for sunscreen. To add, choose one that suits your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, go for something that is hypoallergenic. I personally prefer sunscreen that doesn’t feel sticky, and is free of parabens. Enjoy your summer and remember to wear sunscreen!