Suncare Products You Need for Summer

Suncare Products You Need for Summer - Take Aim Michelle Madsen in black and white swimsuit for summer
It’s that time of year! We’ve all heard, over and over, protect your skin from the sun. Because this is something we hear all the time, I know it’s easy to dismiss and not always put the same effort in protecting our skin then some of our other daily practices. I’m definitely guilty of this! I’ve heard my own mind making excuses about SPF being in my makeup or that my skin doesn’t burn easily BUT this summer I’m taking skin protection very seriously. WHY? Because last year I got off a medication that was balancing my hormones (to prevent acne) and when I did, my skin developed Melasma. UGH! If you’re not familiar with Melasma, it’s something that woman can get when their hormones change (often before or after pregnancy) where the sunlight will cause discoloration on your cheekbones and upper lip. Isn’t that pleasant? I now have to be forever careful of the amount of sunlight I get on my face so I don’t get brownish discoloration on my face. This experience made me realize how much we need to focus on protecting our skin. Even if you don’t have Melasma, it’s proof that your skin is exposed on the daily – whether it feels sunny outside or not. Luckily there are some amazing products that you can use to protect your skin so that you can not only prevent sun damage but also allow you protect a large organ of your body. The old saying is true – you only get one body (or one skin? Haha) so you might as well treat great.  

SPF

SPF represents a sunscreen’s degree of protection mainly against ultraviolet B (UVB), the sun’s shorter wavelength rays, which cause sunburn and can lead to skin cancer. SPF doesn’t represent an amount of sun protection but rather a length of time. It gauges how long the sun would take to redden your skin when using a particular sunscreen compared with the amount of time without sunscreen. For example, if you use an SPF 15 product under ideal circumstances (meaning you use enough, apply it evenly and don’t sweat it off), it would take you 15 times longer to burn than if you weren’t using sunscreen.

There is much to understand and wive’s tales on what really matters when it comes to sunscreen. It is important to understand what you are protecting your skin from when we hear talk about the sun’s harmful rays. 

UVA vs UVB

UVA and UVB rays both are cancer causing but the main different their wavelengths are different. UVA wavelengths  are longer while UVB are shorter. This is important to keep in mind when thinking about your sunscreen and making sure that both wavelengths are covered. 

 A sunscreen must protect against the sun’s long-wave ultraviolet (UVA) rays as well as UVB. Like UVB rays, these can cause cancer, and they are the major cause of premature skin aging. The term “broad spectrum” means the sunscreen protects against both harmful UVA/UVB rays.

One thing you typically here is that with sunscreen if the protection is SPF 3, 40 or 50 that is how long your skin in protected from the sun. From studies we see if, say, an SPF 30 sunscreen is being tested, and the patch of protected skin goes 30 times longer than the unprotected skin before reddening, it proves that the product is at least an SPF 30. It does not reflect the time per say but the rate in how long the skin is protected. 

The peak sun exposure hours are 10 am to 4 pm so taking additional steps of clothing, hats, sunglasses and shade to protect your skin is important to keep in mind. Also, when looking at sunscreens make sure to look for a water-resistant, broad spectrum formula, along with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Here is a list of products I have found to be helpful and effective. Also if you are after that glow and really want to protect your skin, sunless tanner is a great alternative to get bronzed without the harmful sun exposure. I’m a huge advocate of a healthy organic spray tan as opposed to countless hours forfeiting your beautiful skin when you don’t have to!

suncare picks

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