Factor it in SPF stands for sun protection factor. “It […]
Factor it in
SPF stands for sun protection factor. “It tells you how much longer you can stay outside without burning,” explains Janet Prystowsky, MD, a New York-based dermatologist. With a thick coat of SPF 50, for example, you should be able to stay outside 50 times longer than you normally would before burning. However, when you’re sweating or swimming, sunscreen tends to wear off faster, so reapply at least every two hours or each time you get out of the water.
Go broad or go home
For optimal protection and skin cancer prevention, an all-encompassing broad-spectrum mineral sunblock is best. Choose one that contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which “block both UVA and UVB rays well,” advises Prystowsky. “Plus, the active agents are not absorbed into your bloodstream.”
Cover your bases
“If you aren’t in sunlight, you don’t need to use sunscreen,” says Prystowsky. However, she adds, if you spend a lot of time in shade where light is being reflected from water, sand or tennis courts, you’ll still need to cover up. Try wearing a wide-brimmed hat or long sleeves to keep the sun from getting to your skin.