Your SPF Guide: Answers to Common Sun Protection Questions

spf guideYour skin is often the first feature that others notice, so it’s important to protect it from its worst enemy: The sun.

UVA and UVB rays can cause irreversible skin damage such as wrinkles, sunspots, and excessive peeling. Knowing all that you can about SPF protection will keep your skin looking flawless and youthful for years to come. This SPF guide will provide everything you need to know.

How does sunscreen work?

The active ingredients in your sunscreen protect your skin by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering ultraviolet radiation. By changing the skin’s response to sunlight, you’re less likely to burn.

What do the SPF numbers mean?

Most people know that the higher the number, the better protection a sunscreen offers, but few people know what number they should use. The SPF number refers to the amount of time you can theoretically stay in the sun. For example, if your skin typically begins to redden after 10 minutes in the sun, applying SPF 15 would allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer (2.5 hours).

Is the sunscreen in foundation good enough for a day at the beach?

While your foundation’s SPF follows the same guidelines as that in your sunscreen, it will only work properly if you apply your foundation the same way you apply your sunscreen. If you apply your foundation lightly or only cover certain spots, you’ll need to apply sunscreen as well. Also, keep in mind that you only apply foundation to your face, so you’ll need coverage on your neck, ears, and chest as well.

Can sunscreen truly be waterproof?

Nope! As of 2012, sunscreen can no longer claim to be waterproof or sweatproof because they aren’t. Brands can claim that their product is water resistant, but they must recommend re-applying it every 40 to 80 minutes. It’s best to reapply sunscreen every two hours, regardless.

Does sunscreen expire?

While the active ingredients in sunscreen should remain effective for two to three years, sunscreen still has an expiration date. And even though expired sunscreen may still offer some protection from the sun, it’s not recommended that you use it past its expiration date.

Can certain medications change how skin reacts to the sun?

Yes, many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can increase sun sensitivity. Acne medications in particular can cause severe burns and skin damage when skin is exposed to direct sunlight. Exfoliants, pain relievers, certain perfumes, and some antibiotics also cause sensitivity and can result in swelling, redness, and severe peeling.

Procedures such as laser hair removal that’s permanent and painless tattoo removal can also cause skin sensitivity. It’s recommended to avoid sun exposure for a minimum of six weeks prior and two weeks after each session to prevent irritation and hyperpigmentation.

At Body Details True Laser Hair and Tattoo Removal, our licensed medical technicians know how to tell when skin has been exposed to the sun and shouldn’t be treated. And with night and weekend hours, it has never been easier to make an appointment. We are conveniently located in the South Florida area and provide all of our clients with a free lifetime guarantee. Schedule a free consultation for laser hair removal today by calling 866-708-8645 or submitting the form on this page.

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