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SPF Tips to Ensure Maximum Protection This Summer

Adarsh Soni

3 min read

When it comes to sunscreens, it’s important to stay covered—we tell you how

Sunscreen should be worn daily, no matter the weather outside

It’s a common misconception that you only need protection from the sun when it’s actually sunny outside; but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. Which is exactly why you should never skip sunscreen, even when it’s raining outside.

Don’t just stop at the face

Most people apply a layer of SPF on their face and think that’s enough. Well, what about your neck? And your arms? It’s a no-brainer that any area that’s exposed to the sun needs proper protection. And when you combine that with sun-protective clothing like full sleeved shirts, gloves and hats, it significantly decreases your chance of getting a sunburn or skin cancer in the long run.

But what about your lips?

Lips have extremely delicate skin and can be equally if not more prone to developing skin cancer as the rest of your body, yet most people neglect this area. However, this can be easily solved by opting for lip-balms that contain an adequate amount of SPF. Bonus tip: look for products with vitamin E for extra nourishment

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Anything above SPF 50 is unnecessary

According to a report by Dr Stephen Q. Wang, director of dermatologic surgery and dermatology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New Jersey, USA, products with very high SPF often create a false sense of security. “People who use them tend to stay out in the sun much longer. They may skip reapplying,” he says. If that’s not enough, the American Cancer Society says that SPF 30 filters out 97% of UVB, SPF 50 filters out 98%, and SPF 100 filters out 99%, so the difference in protection levels is very minuscule.

Mineral or Chemical, which is better?

Mineral sunscreens are generally recommended by dermatologists because they contain natural ingredients like zinc and titanium. Not to mention the fact that mineral-based sunscreens are better suited for sensitive skin as they form a barrier between your skin and the sun, and cause minimum irritation. In comparison, their chemical-based counterparts usually include oxybenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate or OMC that penetrate into your skin instead of creating a physical barrier.

The trick is to keep reapplying

The golden rule of SPF is to keep reapplying it after every two hours or more frequently when you’re swimming or sweating heavily. Instead of slathering on a thick layer for the entire day, apply a small spoonful or two finger lengths of sunscreen at regular intervals to ensure maximum protection. After all, it’s a temporary layer of cream/lotion that is bound to come off because of factors like sweat, rain or even your face-mask. Also make sure it’s the last step of your skincare routine before applying makeup.

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Edible SPF?

You can’t ingest your sunscreen of course, but there are certain foods that can definitely help protect your skin from sun damage. An antioxidant named lycopene is known to absorb both UVA and UVB radiation, though it may take several weeks before you can notice visible results. Both tomatoes and watermelons contain a lot of lycopene so don’t forget to toss them into your summer salads this season.

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