The Questions Everyone’s Asking About Sunscreen…Answered.

It’s mid-July, a heat wave is spreading across the northeast, and every weekend the beach seems to be calling your name.  The summer bug has officially hit you, most likely your family, and most definitely your friends.  Time to throw beach chairs in the trunk, fill a cooler with some drinks, and head to the beach for the weekend!  Wait, don’t leave yet..you need your sunscreen!

An even tan covering your body may look nice but if you really think about it, it’s literally there because your skin has burned in the sun.  Ouch?  That can’t be good.  During the summer months a lot of people ask dermatologists which sunscreen they should use.  We decided to play the role of dermatologist and answer that question, and many more, for you.

Which sunscreen should you use?
Brand wise, the choice is really up to you.  Your wallet may want you to lean towards one more than the other but everyone has different preferences.  Go with your instinct but we suggest purchasing a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB ray protection, an SPF above 30, and one which is water resistant.  Great ingredients to look out for are avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide.  All of these will protect your skin against harmful rays.  The American Academy of Dermatology suggests the following:

  • Creams are best for dry skin and the face.
  • Gels are good for hairy areas, such as the scalp or male chest.
  • Sticks are good to use around the eyes.
  • Sprays are sometimes preferred by parents since they are easy to apply to children. Make sure to use enough of these products to cover the entire surface area thoroughly, and do not inhale these products.
  • There also are sunscreens made for specific purposes, such as for sensitive skin and babies.

Just because you have all of those suggestions above in one bottle doesn’t mean you are fully protected.  A little tip is to pay attention to your shadow; if your shadow becomes shorter than you are, Amber Blue suggests you find some shade to hang out in.  Don’t forget to wear some sunglasses, a hat, or even a cover-up to protect your skin!  Of course the best way to protect it would be to layer on clothes but with this heat wave we don’t think that is much of an option.

Do I need sunscreen?
YES!  Everyone does.  Cancer doesn’t discriminate against height, sex, weight, or skin color so make sure you lather up, no matter what.

Fine, how often should I use it?
If you are going to be outside all day we definitely suggest lathering up every hour or two.  If you are in and out of the water, do it more!  We may have mentioned to use sunscreen which is water resistant but you don’t really know how true that is until you swim for the day.  Don’t forget to wear it in the winter too-did you know snow reflects 80% of the sun rays?  That means when your kids are spending hours sledding, their skin is still getting hit with rays.  Basically, use it every day if you are going to be outside for long periods of time.

You mentioned UVA and UVB rays earlier…what’s the harm in those?
UVA rays can actually lead to premature aging (wrinkles and age spots).  You know those pictures you have in your house facing a window that are faded?  Yeah, UVA rays do that to them.

UVB rays aren’t any better.  They are the primary cause of sunburn.

Lotion or spray?
This is solely our own opinion but here at Amber Blue we hate spray sunscreen.  We don’t like the residue it leaves on your skin and we definitely don’t like how applying it outside can be a trip in itself if it’s windy.  However, we know a lot of people who hate lotion!  So the choice is really up to you.

Did we answer all of your questions?  You probably have more so don’t be scared, ask them below!  We will get back to you in true Amber Blue fashion 🙂

Lather up until next time,

Amber Blue Skincare

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