5 SPF Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

 by beauty expert, Katey Kristabelle
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Before we dive into some common mistakes, let’s get to know the basics about sunscreen:

What is SPF:

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and measures a sunscreen’s UVB coverage. Most sunscreen available today offers broad spectrum protection and will also block the sun’s UVA rays.

What are UV rays:

UVB rays are the ultraviolet rays from the sun that cause the immediate reaction of burning. The strength of UVB rays varies, depending on climate or season. The SPF number on your sun care products measures the level of strength against this type of light.
UVA rays radiate deep within your skin layers, and can even penetrate through windows/glass. These types of rays are said to contribute to signs of aging by destroying your collagen and elastin fibers. Unlike UVB, UVA rays are present all year round, even on cloudy days. You cannot feel or see signs of them right away.

Chemical VS Mineral Sunscreen:

Chemical sunscreen active ingredients are designed to absorb the sun’s UV rays.
Mineral suncreen’s active ingredient is zinc oxide. Often called physical sunscreens, they work by sitting on top of the skin to shield and reflect the sun’s UV rays.
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5 Common SPF Mistakes:

1. Assuming a high SPF number means you can stay in the sun longer.
Sunscreens with high SPF do not offer significantly more sun protection as you might think. The difference between SPF 30 vs. SPF 50 is about 1%. You always need to reapply your sun protection, no matter the strength.
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2. Not applying enough sunscreen.
You should be applying about ½ a teaspoon for your face and neck, which is why the SPF found in makeup is usually not enough.  Because of the way we selectively apply and blend makeup you will leave your skin vulnerable and it will not protect your skin from prolonged sun exposure.
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3. You use aerosol spray sunscreen.
Spray sunscreens might seem convenient, but their potential health risks still haven’t been fully investigated. There is evidence that product ingredients that come in the condensed aerosol spray cans to be particularly harmful or toxic to apply and inhale. Opt for a spritz spray instead and always apply to your hands before applying to your face.
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4. You missed a spot:
Don’t forget about the top peak of your forehead, nose, ears, hands and feet!
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5. You don’t wear sunscreen:
Burns harm the skin and should be avoided at all costs. If you are going to be in the sun, especially during peak hours, you need to protect your skin. Aside from wearing sunscreen you can also seek shade, wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses to stay sun safe.