How much sunscreen should I be wearing?

May 24, 2015

How much sunscreen should I be wearing?

You should be using 1 oz, or 2 tbs of sunscreen on your entire body from head to toe for the average size person. Apply sunscreen liberally, and evenly over every inch of exposed skin.

If just your face, neck, and chest are exposed, use nickel to quarter size amount for each area.

My moisturizer has a SPF 15, am I good for the day?

To start with you probably did not use a table spoon, so chances are you only have a SPF 8. Next , to maintain the full SPF coverage, you need to apply it every two hours to dry skin about 20 minutes prior to being in the sun, so yes reapply before lunch and 2,3 times thereafter!

What about re-applying if I have makeup on?

I am not going to lie, this re-apply your sunscreen business can be super annoying when you are wearing makeup. But, regardless of the hassle, it must be done. What I do to re-apply my sunscreen is dust a mineral sunscreen such as brush-on-block. It is a clear powder that does not mess up my makeup.

What SPF number should I use?

According to the melanoma foundation, “an SPF of 15 absorbs 93% of UV Rays while an SPF of 30 absorbs 97%.” This tells me that we should all be wearing a 30. 50 and higher will not bring you much more protection. You also want to make sure that your sunscreen says broad spectrum so that it protects you against UVA and UVB Rays. UVA rays are what cause pre-mature aging like fine lines and wrinkles. UVB rays are the culprit for sunburns as well as brown pigmentation and the development of skin cancer.

What is an organic sunscreen?

When you are out looking for a sunscreen, there are two different types: physical and chemical.

  •  Chemical sunscreens, absorbs the sun energy stopping UV damaging the skin. Usually, these are made with ingredients like Octylcrylene or Helioplex that absorb the UV rays.
  • Physical sunscreens are made with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, which deflect the sun rays. They are best for people with sensitive skin as they just stay on top of the skin and help avoid further damage due to Infra-red skin heating .

What is best for intense outdoors activities?

If you are going to swim, sweat, or ball your eyes out at a wedding and are wearing waterproof or water-resistant SPF, you will still need to reapply. The FDA says that if a sunscreen say’s “waterproof” it will last on the skin for 80 minutes with exposure to water; if it says “water-resistant”, it will only last 40 minutes.

We are in Oregon and it’s cloudy outside! 

Just because it’s cloudy outside doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen. UV rays can bounce of the corner of clouds and actually intensify your UV exposure. Also, if it’s a cloudy (or sunny) day and you are near water, snow, or sand, your UV exposure will increase by 50% due to reflection.