What should you look for when buying a sunscreen?
I was out at the park the other day enjoying the first official day of summer, when I asked my pals if they thought the sunscreen they were wearing was sufficient for their coverage goals. Half of them weren’t wearing sunscreen… the other half claimed they were invincible due to the simple fact taht they were even wearing sunscreen.
I checked the spf 130! that my one friend had in his man bag and noted that it wasn’t in fact decent coverage at all. In fact, it was laughable. Both because he was shirtless in short shorts and was rotating so every tender inch of skin was cooked to a crisp! When I asked him why he said… “It’s Pride!”
Well a gay celebration may be enough to get a tan (although I prefer mine from a bottle), you should still refrain from using the wrong sunscreen and thinking that you’re actually safe from harmfu UVA and UVB rays.
Truthfully, go for a SPF that is around 30. Anything over and you’re literally paying for the misleading branding. SPF 30 will give you a high 90% coverage assuming you apply enough evenly onto your skin. The 50, 70, 85 and 115+ sunscreens you see are basically a big marketing gimmick that drives buyers to “protect” themselves… more. This is obviously untrue.
Lastly, SPF protects against UVB but not all UVA light wavelengths and those cause cancer! The only way you can guarantee a sunscreen works is to look for:
1. “Broad Spectrum” on the bottle. This is legally binding and proves a certain amount of coverage agains UVA and UVB rays.
2. Avobenzone, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide somewhere in the ingredients. This is next level but assures you are protected against all levels of UVA rays.
Finally re-apply every two hours or so to make sure you haven’t sweat off your initial application. Of course humidity is a factor in the lifetime of sunscreen as well as Swimming. If you go for a swim… re-apply every time.
Also if you’re out during 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. double up as the suns rays are the strongest during these times.