Days in the U.S. are getting longer, the sun is shining hotter, and our desire to get outside and get moving is growing. Whether we’re stuck inside at the office or we’re working from home, seeing those gorgeous rays has most of us longing for a day at the beach. At the very least, most of us are looking for ways to get outside and spend as much time as possible exercising, playing with the family, or just relaxing by the pool. We have enough to worry about in our day to day lives, so enjoying the sunshine shouldn’t leave us worried. The best way to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about how much sun we’re getting is by protecting ourselves with sunscreens and blocks. If you’re not fully versed in types of sunscreen or how often they should be applied, you may want to take note. The question as to whether you should wear sunscreen everyday or not is an age old one. We’ll help answer some questions for you on how often and just when you should apply sunscreen.
Should I Wear Sunscreen Everyday?
There’s no question, sunlight is essential to our health. We need it to help create much needed vitamin D which plays such an important role in our bodies ability to function. It can help with depression and bone strength, as well as reducing blood pressure among a few of its purposes. Those ultraviolet rays are important for us, but as with everything, moderation is best. Those important ultraviolet rays also cause cancer, so it’s best to protect ourselves from soaking up too much. Surfaces like snow, sand or even concrete are reflective – that means you’re even more exposed to harmful UV rays.
So should you wear sunscreen everyday? The short answer is yes. Even on overcast days, up to 80% of UV rays are still soaked up by the body. That’s a lot! You may feel less at risk due to cooler temperatures or not feeling the heat radiating from the sun, but you’re still soaking up those harmful UV rays. But the need for sunscreen doesn’t just end with summer days, overcast or not. Dermatologists agree that sunscreen should be worn any day you plan to head outdoors. That means if the sun is in the sky, even if it’s blocked by a thunderstorm or snow showers, you should wear sunscreen! Ultraviolet rays hit our bodies (and everything else too!) regardless of temperature, so it’s advised that we apply sunscreen if we plan on spending time outside, no matter what.
How Often Should I Apply Sunscreen and What Kind Should I Use?
Now that we know we should be wearing sunscreen year round, in sun, rain, or snow, what kind should we use and how often should we reapply? The effective SPF (sun protection factor) rating for sunscreen starts at 30 SPF. Sunblocks starting at 30 SPF block up to 97% of UV rays. While some skin conditions and climates may call for a higher rating, 30 is just fine for healthy active individuals in most environments. If you’re concerned about ingredients that may be harmful or toxic to your skin or the environment, you can try products like 4 Ring Protection’s ANYTIME® sunblock.
So when and how often should you reapply sunscreen? To be safe, apply your sunblock 15-30 minutes before you head outside. This way it gives the sunscreen time to absorb into your skin and better protect you. On average most adults only use 20-25% of the needed amount of sunscreen when they apply. In order to be completely effective, you’ll need to ensure you cover any and all skin that may be exposed to the sun’s rays. Once you get outside, be sure to reapply every 2 hours. You’ll need to reapply immediately after coming in contact with water – that means if you washed your hands or face, reapply! Don’t forget your lips, either. Covering your exposed skin with an effective and natural sunscreen is great, but your lips need protection too. You can find natural products for your lips, and even facial moisturizers and products with SPF built in for your daily routine. At the end of the day, protecting yourself from the sun should become a habit. No matter when you want to spend your time outdoors, just remember your sunscreen!