Sunscreen must be part of your family’s daily routine, just like eating well and getting enough sleep. Yes, it is more work, but since skin cancer and 90% of aging are caused by the sun, it’s worth it. I cannot stress enough how the daily application of sunscreen is the most essential step to protect and preserve your and your loved ones’ skin!
I always recommend that you figure out some sunscreen hacks to make it easy to integrate the step into your routine and each of your family members. Once you do, sun protection becomes so much easier. I have at least six types of sun protection in my family sunscreen wardrobe and pick and pull from these depending on the day’s activity and who is with me!
My Family's Sun Protection Wardrobe
I use a daily body sunscreen for my neck, chest, and arms during summer days, even when heading to work. I opt for non – tinted so that it does not stain my clothes. This sunscreen also doubles for my husband and kids’ daily face sunscreen. Right now, we’re all loving Supergoop!’s Sheerscreen SPF 30.
I swear by a powder sunscreen for easy reapplication over my makeup throughout the day. It is also ideal for everyone’s scalps, ears, and hands, mainly when doing sports like tennis, and they need a solid grip. I use Colorscience and Brush-on-Block and stash them in my purse and glove box so that we are never without.
Don’t forget about sunglasses, hats, and sun-protective clothing. Kids understanding at a young age makes reapplying sunscreen much easier!
On the subject of whether a high SPF protects your skin better, all you and your family need is an SPF (sun protective factor) of 30. An SPF30 means you can stay in the sun 30 times longer than you could without it before burning. However, this does not consider the fact that sunscreen starts to break down as soon as it is applied to the skin. No matter the SPF you use, you still need to reapply it every 2 hours when outside enjoying the sun.
Further, SPF only describes the protection from UVB rays which are the sunburn rays that damage your skin’s DNA. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply, causing wrinkles and brown spots. Instead of looking for a product with the highest SPF, I tell my patients to look for a product with t least an SPF30 that is also labeled broad – spectrum protection.
In the world of sunscreens, we talk about chemical vs. mineral protection. Minerals sunscreens, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are natural and non – toxic. They sit on top of your skin and block the sun like reflectors.
Chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone protect the skin by absorbing the sun’s rays then converting them into heat that is released from the skin. These are not natural and likely non – toxic, but they accumulate in our blood and waterways. We are studying what this means, but I would like to minimize the accumulation of any unneeded chemicals in my body or our world whenever possible. Further, avobenzone is a common cause of sunscreen allergy, and oxybenzone contributes to the death of coral reefs.
Taking all of this into account, I only use mineral sunscreens. Zinc oxide protects against UVB rays that cause burns and UVA rays that break down collagen and activate brown spots. It used to have a reputation for being thick and white, but these days, many of the sunscreens with zinc are cosmetically elegant. Titanium dioxide is another good physical sunscreen, but it only protects from UVB rays, so products need to have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to provide broad – spectrum protection. Zinc oxide is safe for the entire family. It is what we use in diaper creams.
If you get sunburned, take an anti – inflammatory like ibuprofen as soon as possible to help with the redness and pain. Coat the sunburned areas with Doctor Rogers RESTORE® Healing Balm to protect and heal the skin and drink plenty of water.
Sunscreen is only as good as the job done applying it! Use a lot, reapply often and wear a hat and sunglasses. Use two full ounces on your bikini – clad body for each application.