4 Sun Protection Tips

by Gio
4 sun protection tips to stay safe in the sun

Raise your hands if you want to spend all day hiding indoors, windows hidden under thick curtains, to avoid wrinkles?

No one? Thought so.

You know the sun gives you wrinkles and makes you age faster but spending all your life avoiding it is NOT an option.

So what’s a gal to do? Surely, there must be a way to enjoy life in the sun without getting wrinkles and dark spots…

Good news: there are way more than one. Here are 4 sun protection tips to stay safe in the sun:

1. Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin areas

I know, I know, this is a given but… Did you know that most people only apply 1/3 to 1/2 of the recommended amount of sunscreen? That’s because they apply only a thin layer – and that just won’t do! To get the level of SPF stated on the bottle, you need to apply a thick layer of sunscreen on all areas that are gonna be exposed to the sun, including your ears, neck, hands and lips. As a rule, you need 1/4 of a teaspoon just for your face.

P.S. If your sunscreen is too thick to be applied so liberally, switch sunscreen. It’s obviously not suitable for your skin type.

Related: How Much Sunscreen Do You Really Need?

2. Use mineral powders with SPF throughout the day

Powders with SPF are NOT an alternative to SPF. I repeat, powders with SPF are NOT an alternative to sunscreen. You need to apply SO many layers to reach the SPF stated on the bottle. If you’re spending hours outdoors, swimming oe sweating, you’re better off reapplying your sunscreen every couple of hours. But wha if that’s not possible? Maybe you’re working in an office your day and just need to touch up your SPF without ruining your makeup. That’s where powders with SPF come in. If you’re not getting that much sun exposure anyway, they’ll just do.

Related: Do Powders With SPF Provide Adequate Sun Protection?

3. Beware of windows

Did you know that UV rays can get through clouds and windows? Translation: you’re not safe indoors – or when driving your car. Forget the sunscreen and those pesky UV rays will hit your skin and cause all sorts of damage. The best thing would be to tint your car windows and put sheds on your windows. If that’s not an option, always put sunscreen on before you get into your car and try not to spend too much time near a window. It sounds like overdoing it but trust me, one day you’ll be glad you went the extra mile.

Related: Is Sun Exposure Through Glass Dangerous?

4. Wear sun protective clothes and accessories

You think you’re safe from the sun rays because you’re fully clothed? Think again. Most clothes only provide 5 to 9 SPF! You know what that means? If you’re serious about some protection, you need to invest in some sun protective clothing that can offer up to SPF 50. While you’re at it, make sure your sunglasses provide 100% UV ray protection (truth bomb: dark lenses don’t necessarily protect from the sun rays – look for a model that claim to offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays instead) to protect your eyes. Finish off your look with an opaque, tightly-woven, wide-brimmed hat to protect your scalp and hair.

Have you got any other sun protection tips you can share? Let me know in the comments below.

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25 comments

Trisha March 13, 2012 - 5:53 pm

The windows is the biggest problem I see. Really, most people I know only wear sunscreen when they know they’ll be outside for long periods. But they should do it anytime sun is involved–even indoors.

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beautifulwithbrains March 13, 2012 - 6:42 pm

Trisha, most people I know do that too and even make fun of me when I say I wear sunscreen daily, even indoors. It’s really a shame they don’t understand how important wearing sunscreen daily is.

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xin March 14, 2012 - 1:12 am

yeah for #2! I have started reapplying sunblock with iS Clinical Powder Sunscreen πŸ˜€ Not sure if it really works, but that’s the only way that i could reapply very quickly

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beautifulwithbrains March 14, 2012 - 7:04 am

Xin, if you don’t spend hours outdoors when you wear it, it should just about give you the protection you need throughout the day.

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Janessa March 14, 2012 - 2:24 am

Giorgia, I can’t thank you enough for all the smarts you’ve put on your blog and shared with people like me! I always looked up info about ingredients and researched the best and most popular makeup and skin care items but there are thousands of products out there and facts to know. You have put up the important ones and I’ve never known so much about sun protection until your blog. :] I understand the part when people make fun of you for being sun safe. I get that often too. Especially now that my sunscreen is a physical blocker (Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Cream For Face SPF 55 PA+++) people ask if I’m feeling okay or tell me I’m so pale (in a bad way). Is there a way to tone down the white cast? I don’t wear any sort of foundation but I’m open to any ideas. πŸ˜€ I read your blog every day still! I haven’t skipped one day. My goal now is to comment more on your blog because I know that if I had a blog, I would LOVE comments not just others reading it.

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beautifulwithbrains March 15, 2012 - 6:25 pm

Janessa, thanks a lot for your kind words and all your support. I really appreciate it. I’m glad you enjoy my blog and find it informative. It makes all my hard work worthwhile.

The white cast is a “side effect” of the physical sunscreen. I think the only way to get rid of it would be switching to a sunscreen with nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as they have a clear color. Hope this helps.

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Janessa March 15, 2012 - 10:24 pm

Okay, thanks! :]

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beautifulwithbrains March 16, 2012 - 7:12 am

you’re welcome.

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Makeup Morsels March 14, 2012 - 5:21 am

Really good tip about making sure you wear enough! I’ve also heard that it’s a good reason to invest in sunscreens with higher spf (e.g. if you apply too little of an spf 20 sunscreen, you might just be getting spf 5, whereas if you apply the same amount of an spf 55 sunscreen, you might be getting closer to spf 20<====totally just made those number up). Do you know if that's true or not? I've always wondered.

I also read a couple of time that you should apply sunscreen to your lips too. Do you think it's ok to use your regular face sunscreen for that? Sorry to pester you with so many questions today, but you always seem to have answer! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing useful and interesting information with us all the time

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beautifulwithbrains March 15, 2012 - 6:36 pm

Makeup Morsels, that’s true, but the real number are a lot lower. If you apply half the amount, for instance, you get the protection of only the square root of the SPF. So, even if you wear SPF70, you’d only get SPF8.4! That’s why I think that SPF30 or even 50 are more than enough as long as you apply them liberally.

Lips need sunscreen too, but I prefer to use lip products with SPF to protect them. The problem with face sunscreens is that they may contain ingredients that aren’t lip safe. If you’re thinking of using your face sunscreen, compare its ingredients with those of your lip products and if they’re the same, then I think it’s safe to use it on the lips as well. But if your sunscreen has even just one ingredient that you can’t find in any of your lip products, then I personally wouldn’t risk it.

And you’re not pestering me at all. I’m always glad to help. πŸ™‚

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Makeup Morsels March 20, 2012 - 12:30 am

Thanks Gio!

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beautifulwithbrains March 20, 2012 - 7:02 am

You’re welcome. πŸ™‚

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Jill March 15, 2012 - 9:55 am

I read here on your blog that physical sunscreens contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, but for a suncreen to be physical, are those ingredients the only one the sunscreen can contain? If there are any other ingredients does it automatically mean that the suncreen is both physical and chemical?

I mean if you look at the ingredientlist, is zinc oxide (or titanium dioxide) the only thing that can be in the list? Because I’ve never seen that before…

I want to try Anthelios AC SPF 30 fluide extreme from La Roche Posay, and that contains titanium dioxide, but that is not the inly ingredient, so is that a phsycical and chemical suncreen then? And do you think that anthelios is any good for oily skin (mine is very oily)? Or is it always that suncreens makes you look more shiny (I always have the feeling they do, so I’m always a little bit ‘scared’ to put them on my face), and if you use liquid foundation, doesn’t it comes off more easily during the day when you also wear sunscreen?

I’m sorry for all these questions, but I thougt it’s better to ask these questions now in march when it isn’t really summer yet, so I can try some stuff out :p

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beautifulwithbrains March 15, 2012 - 7:09 pm

Jill, the physical or chemical label re a sunscreen refers to the active sunscreen ingredients only. A physical sunscreen can contain preservatives, thickeners, moisturizing ingredients etc, but the active sunscreen agents need to be either or both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. If it contains both Titanium Dioxide and, let’s say, Avobenzone, then it is both physical and chemical.

The Anthelios AC SPF 30 fluide extreme sunscreen contains Mexoryl as well so it is both a physical and chemical sunscreen. It also contains alcohol, which is not my fave ingredient, but that’s used to make the texture of the sunscreen texture lighter so it should be suitable for those with oily skin as well. There’s no way to know for sure until you try it though. I always wear liquid foundation on top of sunscreen and so far I didn’t have any problems with it.

And that’s no problem at all, I’m glad if I can help. If you have any further questions, just ask away. πŸ™‚

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Jill March 16, 2012 - 7:33 am

Oh, thank you so much, that’s so much clearer now! It does make sense that there are also preservatives and thickeners etc., but I didn’t really think about that before :p

I think I’ll go to the pharmacy and ask for a sample, that way I can try it a few days. I hope it will be fine, but I already have some La Roche Posay products (I’ve been using them for a few years now, ever since my dermatologist prescribed them) and I like them, so hopefully the sunscreen as well πŸ™‚ I think maybe you’ll always be a little bit more shiny or oily with sunscreen, but if that prevents us from getting wrinkles and skin cancer (!), I don’t mind (as long as the oil doesn’t drip off of my face :p)

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beautifulwithbrains March 16, 2012 - 9:05 pm

Jill, you’re welcome. Asking for a sample is a great idea. I used some La Roche Posay sunscreen in the past and really liked them. Hope this one will work well for you. πŸ™‚ I agree that a little bit of shininess is a small price to pay for the protection sunscreen gives you. Just as long as it isn’t too shiny. πŸ™‚

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Jill March 17, 2012 - 5:55 pm

Today I saw a sunscreen for the face from Rituals. It’s SPF 30 and tried a little bit from the tester on my hand top see how shiny or sticky it would be and it wasn’t that bad (although I didn’t try it on my face), but do you think it offers good protection?

These are the ingredients: AQUA/VATTEN, C12-15 ALKYLBENSOAT, CYKLOPENTASILOXAN, GLYCERIN, ETYLHEXYLSALICYLAT, DIKAPRYLYL ETER, TITANDIOXID, BUTYLMETOXIDIBENSOYLMETAN, CETEARYLALKOHOL, OCTOKRYLEN, KALIUM CETYL FOSFAT, BIS- ETYLHEXYLOXIFENOL METOXIFENYL TRIAZIN, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEASMΓ–R), FENYLBENSIMIDASOL-SULFONSYRA, PANTENOL, GINKGO BILOBA BLADEXTRAKT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS (VITT TE) BLADEXTRAKT, FENOXIETANOL, AMINOMETYLPROPANOL, SIMETIKON, TOKOFERYLACETAT, TOKOFEROL, PARFYM/DOFT, DIMETIKON, POLYGLYCERYL-2 DIPOLYHYDROXYSTEARAT, AKRYLATER/C10-30 ALKYL AKRYLAT CROSSPOLYMER, XANTANGUMMI, ALKOHOL, DECYLENGLYKOL, BUTYLENGLYKOL, BENSYLSALICYLAT, BUTYLFENYLMETYLPROPIONAL, LIMONEN, LINALOOL, HEXYLKANELALDEHYD, CITRONELLOL, METYLISOTIAZOLINON, ALFA-ISOMETYL-JONON, CITRAL, ETYLHEXYLGLYCERIN

I’m really sorry to bother you again with this, but you’re the professional here πŸ˜€

beautifulwithbrains March 17, 2012 - 11:07 pm

Jill, you’re not bothering me at all. It’s not a very bad sunscreen but it only contains Titanium Dioxide to protect skin against UVA. And Titanium Dioxide protects only from short UVA radiation, but not long wave UVA. It definitely offers more protection that most sunscreens on the market that only protect from UVB rays but I would still keep looking for something else that protect against the entire UVA range. Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

Jill March 19, 2012 - 1:18 pm

I’m so into doing research on sunscreens now πŸ˜€ all thanks to you!

So, titanium dioxide protects against short UVA radiation and zinc oxide protects against both short and long UVA radiation? Is zinc oxide always called zinc oxide in the ingredientlist or are they also other names for it? Because it seems that there are more sunscreens containing titanium dioxide than zinc oxide, or at least that’s the case with the sunscreens I check. Almost every sunscreen I check (on the internet) contains titanium dioxide, but I never seem to find one with zinc oxide. Strange…

I have read that avobenzone (or Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane or Parsol 1789, ect.) protects against long UVA-waves, is that true? Because in that case the sunscreen from Rituals would be fine? (So confusing these ingredients :p)

Although I’m doing this research now, I still have to buy a sunscreen for daily use, so bad! I do have a foundation with SPF 30 and powder to touch up my make-up during the day that contains titanium dioxide, but that’s not enough, so I really need to go buy a good sunscreen. Every day without sunscreen I’m feeling a bit guilty now πŸ˜€

beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 9:29 pm

Jill, I’m glad to hear that. It’s so important to know more about sunscreen so you can protect yourself properly. πŸ™‚

I don’t think Zinc Oxide has any other name and you’re right that it is so hard to find a sunscreen with it. Mostly just contain Titanium Dioxide but as long as they also have other UVA filters such as Mexoryl or Tinosorb, you’ll still be protected against the entire UVA-range. I’m not really sure why Zinc Oxide isn’t used more often as it’s definitely the best sunscreen ingredient available on the market.

Yes, it is true that Avobenzone is also called Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane and I feel so silly now for having missed that. I totally got it confused with another ingredient with a similar name that doesn’t have sun protection properties, sorry about that 😳 Yes, then the sunscreen would be ok to use as it provides broad spectrum protection.

Jill March 20, 2012 - 7:34 am

Yes, indeed, I wish I started a bit earlier with the sunscreen, but I’m 22 now, so it’s not soooo bad I guess (and I’m not someone who always used to be in the sun and at the beach, it’s usually too hot for me :p) and I guess it’s never too late to start protecting yourself πŸ™‚

Ow okay, I get it now: so Titanium Dioxide + another ingredient against (long) UVA radiation or just Zinc Oxide, and then we are protected against all UVA waves. Yeah, strange that they don’t just Zinc Oxide more often, maybe it’s expensive or something.

No, no, don’t feel silly! I mean there are so many ingredients on the list with such weird names πŸ˜€ and then all the ingredients have synonyms, it’s like they’re making it extra hard for us :p. But thank you so much for explaining everything (and for your patience!) I really learned a lot already πŸ™‚

beautifulwithbrains March 20, 2012 - 9:01 pm

Jill, that’s good that you didn’t spend much time in the sun unprotected. And by using sunscreen daily from now on, you’ll avoid lots of damage. πŸ™‚

Yep, that’s right and thanks. Yes, lots of ingredients have similar names and it can get quite confusing at times… You’re welcome and I’m glad I could help. πŸ™‚

Katy March 19, 2012 - 3:16 am

My esthetician said unless the sunblock had a physical block in it (like titanium dioxide) it would last long enough throughout the day. So I guess the spf 20 in your moisturizer or foundation might not be providing the coverage you think it is. Does anyone else know if this is true?

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beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 9:13 am

Katy, moisturizers and foundations with SPF don’t provide adequate protection from the sun simply because it is impossible to apply the amount required for them to work properly. While I think that powders with SPF can be a good way to touch up sunscreen throughout the day, provided you spend most of your time indoors, makeup and moisturizers with SPF should never be used as a substitute to sunscreen. Hope this helps.

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