Dr. Baumann’s Top 30 Sunscreen Tips
Wearing sunscreen is one of the best things you can do to protect the health and beauty of your skin, but there is a lot of misinformation out there about what kind of sunscreen to use and when and how to use it. To help you separate fact from fiction, Dr. Baumann shares her top 30 sunscreen tips here.
1. Do not towel dry after water immersion.
This will remove the sunscreen. Instead, pat dry if you need do. Of course, you should reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating a lot.
2. Apply enough sunscreen.
Many people do not apply enough sunscreen to get maximum UV protection. Apply ½ teaspoon to your face, and 1 shot glass (1 ounce) to your body.
3. Apply sunscreen after topical medications, treatment products, or moisturizers.
You want your sunscreen to be the top layer directly under your foundation.
4. Never use foundations or powders with SPF as your primary SPF.
These can be layered over a separate SPF.
5. Avoid SPF/insect repellent combinations when possible.
Products that combine SPF and bug spray do not work as well as products that contain SPF alone. When you can, use two separate products.
6.Use SPF eyeshadow to protect your lids.
This can also help to prevent eyelid sagging or dropping. I like Bare Essentials 5 in 1. You can find it at Sephora. According to a recent study, the eyelid area is one of the most-missed areas when applying sunscreen.
7. Don’t forget your lips.
Unlike other parts of your skin, your lips do not produce UV-protecting sebum, so they are even more susceptible to sun damage. Don’t forget to use lip products to keep them protected from the sun, such as Coola SPF.
8. Take an oral supplement called Heliocare.
Heliocare contains fern extract and other powerful antioxidants that protect skin from sun damage.
9. Choose a physical SPF when you can.
Physical SPF ingredients do not get absorbed into skin. If you need increased SPF because of prolonged sun exposure, use a chemical SPF on your face and a physical SPF on your body.
10. Use a physical SPF on anyone under 10 or when you plan to cover large areas.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid chemical SPFs.
11. Reapply sunscreen every hour when in the sun.
Even if you are using a high SPF, you still need to reapply it frequently if you are in the sun or after swimming or sweating.
12. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going in the sun.
This is especially important if you are using a chemical sunscreen, as it can take 15 minutes for the SPF ingredients to absorb into the skin and become effective.
13. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if getting wet or sweating a lot.
The label on the sunscreen bottle should say “water-resistant.” If it does not, do not use this product when swimming or sweating.
14. If your eyes burn from SPF, avoid avobenzone.
Avobenzone is a common ingredient in some chemical sunscreens and is also a common allergen.
15. If you have a skin allergy from SPF, it is probably from oxybenzone or octylmethoxycinnamate.
Oxybenzone and octylmethoxycinnamate are also common ingredients in chemical sunscreens. They can cause a skin allergy, as well as hormone effects.
16. Oily types should choose a gel or light lotion.
EltaMD Physical can work well for oily types and acne-prone types.
17. Dry types can use a cream sunscreen.
I like Obagi Sun Shield Tint.
18. A photoallergy can occur from sunscreen.
You will know if you are developing a photoallergy because you’ll only get an allergic reaction when you are wearing the SPF in the sun. It does not cause an allergy when not in the sun.
19. Avoid sunscreens with isopropyl myristate and other acne-causing ingredients.
Other acne-causing ingredients include coconut oil, SD or denatured alcohol, and red dyes.
20. Putting enough SPF on is as important as the SPF number.
If you plan to be out in the sun for 30 minutes or less, you can use SPF 15 for daily use. When out in the sun for longer than 30 minutes, use a higher SPF.
21. Don’t miss your nose!
Your nose projects outward from your face, so it can be more susceptible to UV damage than some other areas. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen here.
22. UVA rays are strong, even in the morning.
They can penetrate glass, too.
23. Wear sunscreen even on a cloudy day.
UV rays can penetrate clouds.
24. UV light can reflect off your phone.
Be careful about using your cellphone outside in the sun, because it can increase UV exposure to your face and accelerate aging.
25. UV rays can reflect off snow.
Even in snowy climates in winter months, you should wear sunscreen. UV rays can reflect off bright white snow and become stronger.
26. UV rays can reflect off the water or ground and get under your hat.
UV rays can also reflect off shiny surfaces like the ocean or pool, so don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
27. A wide-brimmed hat is better than a baseball cap.
The wide brim is better at protecting your nose and ears, which are often missed when applying sunscreen.
28. It’s never too late to start wearing SPF.
The older we get, the less our damaged DNA can repair itself, so the more we need sunscreen.
29. Eat foods high in antioxidants to boost sun protection.
Your skin needs antioxidants to keep it protected from free radical damage, which is caused by the sun and other factors.
30. Wear sun protective clothing.
There are many cute options out there, so wear them! Coolibar has some really cute sun-protecting scarves for women and men, and Cabana Lift has great UV-protecting swimsuit styles.