How frustrating for me when I hear “experts” say that you must wear sunscreen, leaving it there without educating people on exactly how to do that responsibly. Apart from shopping for a clean product that is preferably Zinc Oxide, there are also some very important points to consider before slathering your skin out of fear with any old product.
First, how about a lesson on the difference between a physical sunscreen like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and a Chemical Sunscreen like xybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone. A physical product, because it reflects UV rays off of the body, can be applied immediately when exposed to the sun whereas a chemical sunscreen, because it needs time to absorb, must be applied at least twenty minutes prior to exposure. It’s not because your product does not work that you are burning within minutes after applying your product, it’s because you are probably using a chemical sunscreen and applying it while exposed to the sun. Are you?
You probably don’t know, but now you will think about that moving forward. Progress.
And also, how about explaining when giving the sunscreen lecture that the number on your SPF is not the strength of your product but a gage so to speak for when to reapply it. So, SPF 50 is not stronger than SPF 25. Not even close. You have to reapply product for it to be effective if you’re out and about all day in the sun so yeah, the sunscreen that you applied in the morning is not going to be so effective mid-day.
So how do you use that number to know when to reapply?
Ask yourself the following question: “If I were to lay out during prime 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. sun exposure time without a drop of SPF, how long would it take for my shoulder or face to burn?” Well, you might say five minutes – so take that 5 minutes and multiply it by the number on your sunscreen – so if it’s an SPF 30, you have to reapply in about two and a half hours (150 minutes).
So does that mean it’s better to wear an SPF 50 or 90 for that matter and never reapply? Not exactly. The higher you go the more probability you are using a chemical sunscreen so one, you’re going to have to go inside for twenty minutes for the product to be effective and also KNOW THIS: The higher that number on your product, the more chemicals and toxins in it too. Be safe with a physical sunscreen with a 30 or 35 and reapply it every 2.5 hours.
I hope this helps. With so much information out there it’s amazing how little knowledge is shared to back it up. I got you though!