We all want healthy, radiant-looking skin, but achieving it is often easier said than done. Getting perfect skin is an ongoing process, and there is not one formula for everyone. However, there is one step we all should take to improve our skin health—use sun protection! To get us started on the right path, jane iredale’s Global Makeup Educator Hannah Hatcher shared what we really need to know about sunscreen and healthy skin.
DO understand the meaning of SPF.
First, let’s talk about sunscreen basics. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation—UVA and UVB rays. They work together to damage your skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer.
You will know a product contains sunscreen because it is marked with an SPF number. “SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor,” says Hannah. “It will help protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet radiation that the sun produces, specifically the UVB rays. Those are also known as the ‘burning’ rays.” The SPF number gives you some idea of how long you can stay in the sun without burning. For example, if you normally burn in 10 minutes without sunscreen and you’ve applied a liberal amount of a sunscreen with an SPF number of 15, you should be protected from sunburn for 150 minutes.
DON’T use a sunscreen without “Broad Spectrum” protection.
An SPF rating does not measure the protection from UVA rays, also known as the “aging” rays. So, it is important to use a sunscreen that has broad spectrum protection so you know it will protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. “Keep in mind that no sunscreen can block 100% of the rays,” says Hannah, “but a broad spectrum is the closest to it.”
DO wear the right SPF number.
A good rule of thumb is that you should wear products with at least SPF 15 on your face and SPF 30 on your body. “SPF 30 is ideal for prolonged sun exposure to the body,” Say Hannah. “It will help block about 97% of UVB rays.” jane iredale has four multitasking foundations with broad spectrum SPF 15 and above to protect your face on a daily basis, but for full-body protection Powder-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen is the way to go. It contains broad spectrum SPF 30 and can be applied on your face, your body and even your scalp!
DO apply the right amount.
It is suggested that you apply two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. “This equates to about a shot glass amount for the body and about a quarter teaspoon for the face,” says Hannah.
DON’T wait until your arrive to apply.
If you are wearing a chemical sunscreen, it takes between 15 to 30 minutes for the UV-protecting properties to absorb into your skin, so be sure to apply before you go outside. “Waiting until you get to where you’re going exposes your skin to an incredible amount of damage,” warns Hannah. “Research has shown that sun damage begins the first minute your unprotected skin sees daylight—not sunlight, but daylight.”
Your other option is to wear a physical sunscreen like those created by jane iredale. Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that act as physical sunblockers. These minerals remain on the surface of your skin and act like tiny mirrors that reflect, refract and absorb UV rays before they get to your skin.
DO apply sunscreen before you get dressed.
Whether you wear a physical sunscreen or a chemical sunscreen, make sure you apply it before you get dressed because fabric can still allow UV rays to penetrate and reach your skin. If you choose a chemical sunscreen, Hannah recommends waiting a few minutes to dress or “it will rub off on your clothing instead of absorbing into your skin.”
DON’T forget these important body parts.
These are the body parts people forget to protect most often, so make sure to check them off your list when you apply your SPF.
- Your head and scalp: “No matter how thick or thin your hair is, your scalp is skin too!!” says Hannah. Pour Powder-Me SPF into the jane iredale Refill-Me Refillable Loose Powder Brush to help you apply sunscreen on the hard-to-reach places. You can also wear a wide brim hat to help further protect you from the harmful rays.
- The sides of your face (temples and in front of your ears): These are common areas to see extreme sun damage, especially on your driving side.
- Your lips: You don’t have to sacrifice bold lip color for sun protection. Use LipDrink SPF 15 Lip Balm to protect and nourish your lips, then apply for favorite lipstick or lip gloss on top.
- Tops of your feet: It’s sandal season, don’t neglect your feet!
- Your hands: Make sure to have hand lotion with SPF like HandDrink Hand Cream. It’s especially great to use when flying because the UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes.
- Back of the neck: This is especially important for those with shorter haircuts or if you plan on pulling your hair up.
- Neck and chest area: Treat this delicate skin the same as you would your face.
Some say reapply every 2 hours, some say every hour. So, how often should you wait to reapply? Here’s Hannah’s simple solution: “If you are actively swimming and sweating, reapply every hour. If you are just lounging in the sun, every 2 hours is sufficient.”
DON’T skip a day.
“Sunscreen should be applied every day, rain or shine,” says Hannah. “The cloudier it is outside the harder the rays have to work to penetrate through the clouds. So, if you’re at the beach on a cloudy day, it’s just as bad for sun damage as on a sunny day, if not worse.”
DO wear sunscreen even if you have previous sun damage.
It’s never too late to start protecting your skin from the sun. If you are already seeing signs of sun damage, Hannah has a few tips to help you improve your skin’s health:
- Wear sunscreen every day.
- Start a supplement regimen to help fight against further skin damage and sensitivity.
- Get regular skin treatments to help slough off all the damaged skin cells on the surface and promote healthy new cells.
- Use a proper skincare regimen at home and follow up with professional treatment.
Find a Soft Surroundings location near you to buy jane iredale’s SPF products, which have earned The Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Approval. You can also get more sun safety tips from jane iredale experts by visiting The Good Glow Makeup Blog.