top of page

Suns out Buns out, Sunscreen 101

Updated: Mar 11

Enjoy the sun without the burn. Everything you need to know to protect yourself from the sun and look good in the process. Sunscreen provides reliable protection against harmful UV rays, allowing you to enjoy the beach all day long. Look hot and be safe using the proper sunscreen application and other eco-friendly measures to avoid a Sunburn!

Why should I use Sunscreen?

You need to use sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays can damage your skin cells, causing sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen helps to prevent these harmful effects by either reflecting or absorbing the UV radiation before it penetrates your skin.

Using sunscreen regularly can also help to prevent discoloration, dark spots, and fine lines caused by UV damage, helping your skin look younger and healthier. Additionally, wearing sunscreen can prevent discomfort and pain from sunburn, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities without the risk of skin damage.

Sunscreen should be used in conjunction with other sun protection measures, such as wearing protective clothing, seeking shade during peak sun hours, and avoiding tanning beds. However, sunscreen is a crucial component of a comprehensive sun protection plan and should be used daily, even on cloudy or overcast days, as UV radiation can still penetrate through clouds and cause skin damage.

I have darker skin, why do I need Sunscreen?

Regardless of skin tone, everyone should use sunscreen regularly and take other measures to protect their skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. However, people with darker skin tones may have a lower risk of skin cancer than those with lighter skin tones, but they can still suffer from sun damage, premature aging, and other skin conditions caused by UV radiation.

People with darker skin tones may also be more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, which is an increase in skin color due to the overproduction of melanin. Sun exposure can worsen hyperpigmentation, making it more important to protect the skin with sunscreen and protective clothing.

It's important to note that people with darker skin tones may need to use more sunscreen than those with lighter skin tones to get adequate protection. This is because darker skin tones have more melanin, which provides some natural protection against UV radiation but can also make it harder for sunscreen to penetrate the skin. For this reason, people with darker skin tones should use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and to reapply every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.

How do we determine our Sun Exposure Risk?

The UV index or Sunscreen Index is a measure of the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that is expected to reach the earth's surface at a given time and location, based on factors such as time of day, season, and geographical location. The UV index is a helpful tool to help plan outdoor activities and take appropriate precautions to protect your skin from UV radiation. However, it's important to note that even on days when the index is low you still need to protect your skin from the sun, as UV radiation can still cause skin damage even on cloudy or overcast days.

The higher the index number or color code, the greater the risk of UV radiation exposure and the more important it is to protect your skin from the sun. When the index is high, it's important to use sunscreen with a high SPF (sun protection factor), wear protective clothing, seek shade when possible, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours.

The index is typically displayed on weather websites, apps, or in the news, and is usually represented by a number or color-coded system. Here are some good websites to check before you go out.

These websites provide a UV index forecast for your location. Use the UV index information to help you determine when to apply sunscreen and how much protection you may need.

How do I choose which sunscreen to use?

SPF stands for "sun protection factor," which is a measure of how well a sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation. SPF ratings indicate the level of protection against UVB radiation, which is responsible for sunburn and skin cancer. Here's what different SPF ratings mean:

  • SPF 15: Provides 93% protection against UVB radiation. It's a good choice for everyday activities, such as running errands or going to work.

  • SPF 30: Provides 97% protection against UVB radiation. It's a good choice for outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, or playing sports.

  • SPF 50: Provides 98% protection against UVB radiation. It's a good choice for people with fair skin or those who spend a lot of time outdoors.

  • SPF 100: Provides 99% protection against UVB radiation. While it offers the highest level of protection, it's important to note that no sunscreen can provide 100% protection.

It's important to remember that SPF ratings only indicate protection against UVB radiation, not UVA radiation, which can also cause skin damage. Look for "broad-spectrum" sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation for comprehensive sun protection. Additionally, it's important to apply sunscreen liberally and frequently, as well as use other sun protection measures, such as wearing protective clothing and seeking shade during peak sun hours.

What Sunscreen is good for Children and infants?

When choosing a sunscreen for children, it is important to select a product that is specifically designed for their delicate skin. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of at least 30. Choose a sunscreen that is water-resistant and hypoallergenic, and avoid products that contain fragrances or other potential irritants.

Physical sunscreens that use mineral filters like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are often recommended for children, as they tend to be less irritating and offer effective protection. They create a physical barrier that reflects and scatters the UV radiation away from the skin.

It is also important to apply sunscreen correctly and frequently, especially if the child is swimming or sweating. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating. Additionally, children should wear protective clothing, such as hats and long-sleeved shirts, and avoid direct sunlight during peak hours, typically between 10 am and 4 pm.

Sunscreen is generally not recommended for infants younger than six months old. This is because their skin is very delicate and sensitive, and their bodies are not yet fully developed to regulate body temperature. Moreover, their skin has a higher surface area to body weight ratio, which means that they can absorb more chemicals from products that are applied to their skin.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants younger than six months should be kept out of direct sunlight and protected with shade, hats, and lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs. If sun exposure is unavoidable, parents can use a small amount of sunscreen on areas that cannot be covered by clothing, such as the face and hands. A mineral-based sunscreen that uses zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is preferred, as these are less likely to cause skin irritation.

Choose an Environmentally Safe Sunscreen

Now that you've taken care of yourself let's make sure you take care of the planet. Choosing an environmentally-friendly sunscreen can help protect the environment and prevent damage to coral reefs and other aquatic life. Here are some tips for choosing a sunscreen that is safe for the environment:

  1. Look for mineral-based sunscreens: Sunscreens that use mineral-based filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are generally safer for the environment than chemical sunscreens. They are less likely to harm aquatic life and coral reefs, and they tend to be less toxic.

  2. Avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate: These are two common chemical filters found in many sunscreens, but they have been shown to harm coral reefs and other aquatic life. Look for products that do not contain these ingredients.

  3. Avoid Sunscreens with these chemicals: Retinyl palmitate is a form of Vitamin A that has been shown to increase the risk of skin cancer when applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight. Parabens are preservatives that have been linked to hormone disruption and skin allergies. Synthetic fragrances can be irritating to the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Nanoparticles are tiny particles that can penetrate the skin and potentially cause harm.

  4. Choose reef-friendly sunscreens: Look for sunscreens that are labeled as "reef-friendly" or "ocean-safe". These products are formulated to be safe for marine life and the environment.

  5. Use sunscreen only when necessary: While it is important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays, it is also important to use sunscreen only when necessary. Wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, and try to stay in the shade during peak sun hours.

By choosing an environmentally-friendly sunscreen, you can protect your skin and the environment while looking marvelous!

How and when should I apply sunscreen?

Here are some tips for applying sunscreen effectively:

  1. Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. This will provide adequate protection against UVB rays, which are responsible for sunburns.

  2. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, including your face, neck, ears, and any other areas that will be exposed to the sun.

  3. Apply sunscreen liberally. Use enough to cover all areas of exposed skin, and don't forget to reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.

  4. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if you will be swimming or participating in other activities that may cause you to sweat.

  5. Don't forget to protect your lips with a lip balm that contains SPF.

  6. Wear protective clothing, such as a hat and sunglasses, in addition to using sunscreen for added protection against the sun's harmful rays.

Remember, applying sunscreen is an important step in protecting your skin from the sun's harmful rays and preventing skin damage, including sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.

Let's Talk after Sun care.

After being out in the sun for a long time, it's important to take care of your skin to prevent further damage and help it recover. Here are some good methods of skin care after sun exposure:

  • Cool down: Take a cool shower or bath to help lower your body temperature and soothe your skin.

  • Moisturize: Apply aloe vera or a moisturizing lotion to your skin to help soothe any redness or dryness caused by the sun.

  • Drink water: Drinking water can help rehydrate your body and skin, which can become dehydrated after prolonged sun exposure.

  • Avoid further sun exposure: Stay out of the sun or wear protective clothing and sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to prevent further damage to your skin.

  • Take anti-inflammatory medication: If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, taking anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

  • Apply a cold compress: You can also apply a cold, damp cloth or compress to any areas of your skin that feel sore or inflamed.

  • Get medical attention: If you have severe sunburn or blisters, or if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever or nausea, it's important to seek medical attention right away.

131 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All




Hot guy summer coming to Belmar!!!

bottom of page