As any beauty enthusiast could tell you, one of the cardinal rules of skincare is to wear sunscreen daily. It's almost a no-brainer at this point, right? However, with so many sunscreens on the market, what level of SPF should you be wearing daily? Well, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, if you're heading outdoors you need to be wearing at least SPF 30. The AAD states that this is the minimum requirement of sun protection needed to block harmful UV rays.
Beyond the level of SPF in your sunscreen, the AAD also recommends to look for sunscreens that are labeled both "broad spectrum" and "water resistant." Both of these terms describe not only the function of the sunblock itself, but also the wear time of the product as well. The term, broad spectrum, actually refers to the type of UV rays that the sunblock protects against. For a sunscreen to be labeled as broad spectrum, the formula needs to protect the wearer against both UVA and UVB rays, which can both be damaging to the skin.
To be labeled as water resistant, the sunscreen needs to be able to provide protection to the wearer for up to 40 minutes of sweating or swimming. If a sunscreen is labeled to be "very water resistant," then it means that it protects you for up to 80 minutes in the water.
When paired together, the AAD reports that the sunscreen is suitable for everyday use or long-term stints in the sun as long as you apply the appropriate amount. Remember, if it is enough to fill a shot glass, than it is enough to protect you from the sun.
If you're worried about further exposure to the sun, be sure to grab your sunglasses and a hat before heading outside. It's a simple way to ensure proper sun safety.
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