SPF Facts + Favs

July 22, 2015 in Health + Beauty

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Let’s be honest– everyone loves a good tan. Am I right? I know that I feel a million times better about myself and the way I look, when I have a bit of color to my skin. With summer in full swing, we’re going to talk about the different types of sunscreens, sun exposure, and my favorite sunscreen picks!

So UVA vs. UVB??

UVA— penetrates deep into the skin, leads to premature skin aging and skin cancer
UVB— burns the superficial layers, rays vary depending on season and time of day, etc
Just think– UVAging and UVBurning

What about classic/chemical sunscreens vs. mineral sunscreens??

classic/chemical— active ingredients that absorb the uv rays, needs to be applied 30 min prior to sun exposure
mineral— commonly referred to as physical sunscreen, more natural approach (better for babies/children), mineral based ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, effective right after application

What’s the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50??

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and the number refers to their ability to deflect UVB rays.  The SPF number is calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to burn sunscreen-protected skin vs. unprotected skin.

So let’s pretend that I typically burn after 10 minutes in the sun and I put on SPF 2, I now have double that time before a sunburn, so 20 minutes. My skin protected with SPF 15 would take 15 times longer, or 150 minutes before I receive a sunburn. BUT the actual difference in UV protection from 30-50 is only about 2% more. That’s why we constantly need to be reapplying our sunscreen!! If you’re not good at reapplying, you’ll probably be better off choosing a higher number.

Great tips when it comes to the sun and exposing our skin:

  • Don’t forget your lips! Make sure you’re wearing chapstick that has an SPF15 or higher
  • The best protection is covering up. Sunglasses, long sleeves, wide brimmed hats, etc.
  • Use extra caution when you’re at the pool, beach, or even on the slopes. Water, snow & sand are great reflectors and they strengthen the rays.
  • Avoid 10am-4pm. This is when the burning rays are the strongest!
  • Having an SPF 15 or SPF25 in your daily moisturizer or makeup is NOT ENOUGH. We learned in skin school that to actually achieve the SPF15, you’d have to use a tablespoon of that foundation. Gross!! So use an actual sunscreen underneath your makeup for real protection!
  • Reapply every 2 hours if you’re in direct sun!

And now for my favorite sunscreens:

Kids– The biggest thing with kids/babies is to get a mineral based or more natural sunscreen.. Also, avoid the sprays even though they are so much easier. Inhalation is not good and happens no matter how careful we try to be. My favorite is Babyganics Mineral Based Sunscreen SPF 50

My Face– Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF50. I love this one by dermalogica. I put it over my moisturizer and under my face makeup. You could even mix it with your tinted moisturizer! Dermalogica is a little more pricey but this bottle will last you quite awhile and if this saves my skin from aging so quickly.. SIGN ME UP! But a cheaper option that also gets great reviews is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Mineral Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid Tinted.

Everyday Body–  Surprisingly, I really dislike putting moisturizer all over my body on a day to day basis. Something about it just bothers me and I really don’t like that sticky feeling. I try to get over that though when it comes to sunscreen and protecting my skin. I found an awesome product by Aveeno that smells good and actually isn’t sticky.. Yay! This is a great alternative to your daily body moisturizer, especially if you’re going to be spending time outside. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate SPF50 Lotion 

Beach/Pool/Park Body– If I know I’m going to be in the sun for an extended period of time then I use another sunscreen on top of the daily sunscreens. I love that this one is more of a natural option but still gets the job done.. Coola Sport Continuous Sunscreen Spray SPF 30. A drugstore option that smells SO FANTASTIC is the Neutrogena Beach Defense Spray SPF70.


Hopefully this post informs and motivates you mamas to protect that beautiful skin of yours and your babies!! I promise it’s worth it.. But if you’re still dying to have that summer glow, stay tuned because my next post is all about my favorite sunless tanners! If you have any questions, comment below!



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