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What to Look for in a Sunscreen

What to Look for in a Sunscreen


Summer is finally here! The rising temperatures and sunshine call for extra time spent outside.  You might be eager to head out for a long hike or bike ride this weekend, but make sure you don’t forget your SPF! Check out these tips for finding the best sunscreen to keep your skin healthy and burn-free this summer! 


SPF Amount

SPF is a measure of how much UVB light sunscreen can filter out. It is a good idea to use an SPF of at least 30 to ensure that you are getting the right amount of protection.  After you choose your SPF, you will want to look into ingredients, if it is waterproof, or any other features you want to get out of your lotion! 



Sunscreen Application is just as important as picking the right sunscreen! It is important to apply enough sunscreen to any exposed area of skin every day. On days you're going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, say playing golf or at the beach or pool you will want to spend extra time applying your sunscreen.  Start with a base coat of SPF 30 all over the body a half-hour before leaving the house and then reapplying every two hours. If you're swimming, it's a good rule of thumb to grab the sunscreen every time you get out of the water.  You will also want to make sure to wait until the sunscreen dries before going in the water again.  


Activity Level

When you are looking for a sunscreen, you will want to take your activity level into account.  If you're going to be exercising or in the water, it's worth getting a sunscreen resistant to water and sweat. You will also want to make sure that you are reapplying more than you would be if you were at a picnic.  


Stock Up

You won’t be able to get all the protection your sunscreen can offer if you don’t apply enough, or re-apply at the right time. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours, at a minimum.  You will also want to apply a decent amount to get enough coverage.


This season you will also want to make sure to check the labels of your sunscreen before heading out. Sunscreen expires after two to three years, so when buying, try to plan out how much you might use. If you spend a lot of time outside, you might need to buy a larger supply.


Choose Something You Like

Choose a sunscreen that you like to wear, because it increases your chances of actually using it to protect your skin. Having a sunscreen that checks all the boxes but is unpleasant to wear isn’t worth it. Some sunscreens may have some nice perks like shimmer, tint or fruit extracts that could make you excited about reapplying. Sometimes, that might make all the difference.  You will also want to pay extra attention to your face and lips! Getting a moisturizer or chapstick with SPF can be really helpful!


Applying sunscreen this summer is just as important as putting on your running shoes before you head out on the trails for a hike! Be sure to get an SPF that suits what your activity is and re-apply! If you do get a little burnt, cut a piece of aloe off a fresh plant if you have it on hand to soothe the burn and shorten your recovery time!