It’s almost prime time for pool parties, patios and picnicking in the park, and you can hardly wait to soak up the balmy weather and all the beams outside. We’re right there with you. But before you get tanned or burned (fact: both are actually a sign of skin damage), get a refresher on smart sun care. Read on for the top five tips you need to know.
1. Your SPF BFF
Find a sunscreen you love and wear it faithfully, rain or shine—remember: you can get a burn even on a cloudy day. Plus, UVA rays can even get through glass, so you’re catching those rays inside your car and at your desk by the window. The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends at least an SPF 30, and make sure the product says “broad spectrum” on the label. That’s how you know it will protect you against both UVB (sunburn rays) and UVA (skin aging rays). And don’t neglect your lips too! Swipe on a balm that packs SPF.
Try: Cliniderm Gentle Protective Lotion SPF 45.
2. Reapply And Repeat!
Using sunscreen isn’t a “set it and forget it” situation. You should reapply every 2-3 hours, especially if you’ve been sweating or swimming. In the morning, put on a lotion all over to get a uniform layer of protection. Then you can top up throughout the day with a spray-on sunscreen, which is quick and easy to use, even if you’re on the go outdoors—say, walking your dog along the beach and forgetting your gorgeous sunhat at home.
Try: Shiseido Sports BB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce.
3. Avoiding Optimal Rays
No matter what sunscreen you pick, you should still minimize the time you’re out when the rays are harshest. That would be when the UV Index is 3 or higher—usually midday, between 11 AM to 3 PM, from April to September. To find out the day’s UV Index, you can check your local weather forecast or an app like Accuweather. If you have to be out at midday, wear SPF and seek out shade, cover up with clothing, and sport sunglasses and a chic wide-brim hat.
Try: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50.
4. Makeup Match
Don’t rely solely on sunscreen in your makeup. In order to reach the level of protection advertised on the product, you’d have to use around 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon on your face alone. But with a foundation, you’re probably not putting on an opaque mask—and so you’re not getting the full SPF you may expect. There’s nothing wrong with using makeup that packs sun protection; just be sure you’re also wearing a regular sunscreen underneath.
Try: Avène Haute Protection High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50.
5. Post-Sun TLC
If you slip up and do get burned, make amends with your stressed skin. Give it some TLC with a soothing and hydrating after-sun product. Ingredients like aloe vera will help reduce the inflammation.
Try: Skin Authority Redness Relief