Simple Sun Fun: Sunscreen tips and tricks

As much as this solar energy company loves the sun, we can’t ignore that you can have too much of a good thing! Keep sun protection in mind this summer, and keep yourself and your family free from sunburn with these tips for keeping things shaded and safe:

-The FDA recommends about a golfball-sized amount of sunscreen per adult body per application (a little less for small kids), which means ~1/3 of a teaspoon’s worth on the face ; but given that facial skin tends to be more delicate, I would err on the side of more rather than less.

-Also in regards to that space on your face, skincare and makeup brands like Neutrogena make facial sunscreens that are lightweight and less oily so you won’t get clogged pores from being protected; some companies even make foundation, BB creams, and powders with a small amount of SPF in them.

-Why bother with sun protection in your everyday makeup? Because even if the only time you spend outdoors is walking from car to building, that can still affect the skin and accelerate signs of aging such as wrinkles. Also, UV rays can penetrate many types of windows- so that sunlit desk or long commute home at sunset could be doing damage as well.

-Sun Protection Factor, or SPF for short, is a measurement of protection against the sun’s UVA rays. (It also blocks UVB, but this is not measured on a scale and is often blocked ~1/3 the degree of UVB). SPF isn’t a linear scale; SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays and SPF 30 blocks 98%, and anything above that is really negligible. Save your spare change and stick with SPF 30, and just be sure to reapply as religiously as you can.

-Going swimming, or gonna be sweating? Get a sport sunscreen that advertises water resistance, and be sure to reapply every time you exit the pool.

-If you’re going to be outside for long, continuous periods of time, stay out of direct sunlight when you can. Cover your skin with coverups and wraps and your face with wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses for walking around the beach. Bring an umbrella on excursions for static activities like reading, picnicking, and napping.

-Sun around the eyes can cause crows feet and even cataracts, so be sure to save your vision! Always wear sunglasses outdoors. The bigger the better, and go for polarized lenses when possible for driving and filtering out glare.

-Coming inside after a long hot day? Cleanse your skin of sweat and oils, then moisurize to keep things supple. And if you did get burned, aloe helps to cool the heat and keep the skin from peeling. Try to use a brand that doesn’t contain any alcohol – or best of all, grow an aloe plant in your kitchen and break off the leaves to apply the juice as needed.

Stay sunny (and healthy!)

By Danica Bergmann

Sources: FDA, BadgerBalm, Wikipedia