- Learn to read a label. Check the sun protection factor number; those with SPF 15, or greater, yield the best results. Scan the active ingredient label to make sure the product contains UVA-blocking elements such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or anything in the avobenzone family.
- Do not fry, re-apply. While at the beach or other sun-drenched locations, re-apply your sunscreen at least every two hours. Re-apply immediately after swimming or sweating. Apply a teaspoon for your face and neck and one ounce or a shot glass amount for your body
- Do not hoard your sunscreen. The active ingredients in sunscreens deteriorate over time, so toss a bottle after 12 months.
- Be sun-safe inside. Even if you are indoors, you need to wear a sunscreen with full-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Most of the sun exposure that ages us comes from the windows of our car, home or office.
- Get your C! Double up on safety by using a 20% concentration of topical vitamin C under your sunscreen. It boosts the immune defense of your skin cells against ultraviolet damage while reducing the appearance of brown spots.
- What do different levels of SPF mean? Most dermatologists and skin care experts recommend using an SPF of 15, or greater, daily. When you look at a bottle though, you probably think that SPF 30 gives you twice as much protection as SPF 15 and SPF 45 will be three times better, right? It is not that simple:
- SPF 15 blocks 94 percent of ultraviolet rays
- SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of ultraviolet rays
- SPF 45+ blocks 98 percent of ultraviolet rays
No sunscreen will offer 100 percent protection. Wear a hat, sun protective clothing and sunglasses.