Sun Protection 101: Summer Sunscreen Routine

The gorgeous summer sunshine means one sure thing: our exposure to UV rays is significantly higher. As the days are longer and the sun is brighter, understanding the crucial role of a solid summer sunscreen routine and the importance of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) in your skincare regimen is essential.

Whether you’re a sun worshipper, a lake lover, mountain biker, or someone who simply enjoys outdoor activities, it’s important to remember that sun protection isn’t just about avoiding a sunburn; it’s about safeguarding your skin from long-term damage, premature aging, and skin cancer risks. Here’s why sunscreen with SPF protection should be non-negotiable in your summer skincare routine and how to ensure you’re getting the most protection possible.

Sun Protection 101: Summer Sunscreen Routine

Why Is Sunscreen Important?

Sunscreen acts as a shield against harmful UV rays that can penetrate your skin and cause everything from sunburns and skin aging to DNA damage.

There are two types of UV rays you need to protect yourself from:

  • UVA rays, which are primarily responsible for skin aging and wrinkles. They can penetrate clouds and glass, making protection necessary even on cloudy days and while indoors near windows.
  • UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and can directly damage the DNA in skin cells, increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Incorporating SPF protection into your daily regimen is the first line of defense in maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Incorporating Sunscreen into Your Daily Skincare Routine

Incorporating SPF into your skincare routine is easier than you might thing with many of your daily product needs available with SPF protection built right in. Whether you prefer creams and gels or powders and sprays, there’s something to suit everyone’s preferences and skin types.

Morning Routine: After cleansing and moisturizing, apply a broad-spectrum facial sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Allow it to absorb fully before applying makeup. Consider using a tinted moisturizer or foundation with SPF for added protection.

Throughout the Day: Keep a portable sunscreen stick or spray for easy reapplication, especially if you’re spending the day outdoors. Remember to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating.

Sensitive Skin: If you have sensitive skin, look for mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These sit on top of the skin rather than being absorbed, minimizing irritation.

Protect Your Lips: Don’t forget about your lips! They’re susceptible to sunburn too. Use a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher to keep them protected and moisturized.

Cover All Your Skin: Protecting your face is crucial, but the rest of your body needs protection too. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas, including the neck, ears, and the tops of your feet.

Evening: After a day in the sun, soothe and hydrate your skin with a moisturizer or after-sun product. Look for ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, or cucumber extract to help calm inflammation and replenish moisture.

Easy Tips for the Best Protection

One of the easiest ways to protect your skin is to make sure your sunscreen is applied generously and evenly. Many people don’t apply enough sunscreen which reduces its effectiveness. Aim for about one ounce to cover all exposed areas of the body and a nickel-sized dollop for the face.

Opt for broad-spectrum sunscreens that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for extended outdoor activities, providing 97% protection from UVB rays.

After a generous initial application, sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours, or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating. Even water-resistant formulas will eventually wear off.

It’s easy to forget to apply sunscreen on cloudy days, but up to 80% of UV rays can pass through clouds, so don’t skip the SPF protection even when the sun isn’t shining brightly.

Shine On with Your Summer Sunscreen Routine

Summer sun protection is an important part of any skincare routine. By following these tips, you can enjoy the sunny days ahead while keeping your skin protected, healthy, and radiant. Your skin will thank you for years to come.