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Healthy & Beauty: Suncare

Posted Mar 25 2011 10:57am

by Jada Wong, blogger


For those who were lucky enough to escape to someplace sunny for spring break, it must have been tempting to bake on a beach for hours to get sexy, tanned skin. But the unsexiest thing after baking in the sun is a sun burn. Be sure to check out these tips for safe and sun kissed skin.

The right sunscreen:

The key to choosing the right sunscreen is reading the labels for a broad-spectrum, hypoallergenic and waterproof product that has a moderate to high level of SPF. For prolonged sun exposure, be sure to choose a product with an SPF of 30 or more. The number represents the level of protection against harmful UVB rays and the higher the SPF, the more protection, according to the American Cancer Society . But don’t think that SPF100 would give you twice the protection as SPF50—it just filters a bit more than SPF50. If you’re prone to breakouts, choose a sunscreen that is specific to your face. And don’t forget to get a lip balm with SPF as well, many people don’t think of lip protection but the skin on the lips is actually really thin and is always exposed. Check out drugstore.com for a big selection of sun care products (and free shipping over $25!)

Before you bake:

Most people apply sunscreen while in the sun, but that’s a major no-no. The active ingredients in sunscreen take about 20 minutes to absorb into your skin, so applying while in the sun defeats the entire purpose of sun protection. Instead, apply about an ounce (or roughly a palm and half) of sunscreen while naked 20 to 30 minutes before you hit the beach. Your skin will still be protected even when your skimpy two-piece moves around, according to realbeauty.com . Don’t forget to apply some onto those hard-to-reach areas like the back of the neck, top of the ears, tips of the toes, and even parts of exposed scalp.

Getting your tan on:

Reapplying sunscreen throughout the day is the best way to keep your skin protected and sunburns at bay. Waterproof products should be reapplied at least every 80 minutes and more often if you’re swimming, sweating or after toweling off. Water resistant products should be reapplied about every 40 minutes.  If you feel your skin getting hot while you’re in the sun and haven’t hit the mark for reapplication, reapply anyway. It’s better to reapply than not when it comes to your skin. For more sun protection, wear a hat, UV-ray blocking sunglasses, or a cover-up.

Post-sun treatment:

If you’ve followed these tips, your skin is the perfectly tanned shade. If you haven’t – well, good thing you kept reading. To soothe a sun burn, apply a cool cloth to the area and then slather on soothing lotions that contain aloe vera, according to WebMD.com . Taking an aspirin can also help decrease a sun burn’s pain or inflammation. Be sure to also stay hydrated with lots of water and stay out of the sun for a while. There isn’t much to do in terms of peeling skin but cool showers and lotions can relieve the itching.


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