You say sunscreen, I say protection. Whatever you call it, it’s the most important step in skincare. From preventing premature aging to helping fight skin cancer, sunscreen is necessary. But! Experts say most of us don’t use it correctly. Why? Because sunscreen is dose specific. Even though makeup contains some, it doesn’t usually contain enough. Here are nine essential steps towards effective skin protection:

  1. Wear SPF 30. Under your makeup you need at least SPF 30. Our 2 faves? Tu-el’s Essential Protection Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF 30 and Tizo 3 SPF 40.
  2. Get “broad spectrum” protection. Your sunscreen needs protection from both UVA and UVB. UVA “ages” the skin damaging deeper in the skin and UVB burns. UVA is there is it is daytime, if you are indoors and while it’s raining. It’s in your fluorescent light bulbs, even. And 80% of UV rays still get through the clouds.
  3. Apply sunscreen liberally. When applying, don’t forget the back of your neck, tops of your ears, décolleté, and any other skin that will be exposed, like the back of your hands.
  4. Teach kids to love sunscreen. It’s a healthy habit that can last a lifetime. A large portion of lifetime sun exposure happens before the age of 18.
  5. Be time sensitive. If you can, avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm. That’s when the rays are the most intense.
  6. Apply and reapply. Spending the day outdoors? Bring extra sunscreen to reapply every few hours.
  7. Take care with SPF. If you find that you’re still getting burned or tan, try a higher SPF or apply more frequently.
  8. No clouds, still sun! Even in Portland where the skies are often gray, you still need to wear sunscreen — every day.
  9. It’s Anti-Aging! Think of Sunscreen as Anti-aging not anti-burning. If your immune cells aren’t under attack from UV they can do the job of healing and repairing your skin from past damage, making you look younger!

Happy sun protection!