I’m all too embarrassed to admit sun safety has not been my forte until my early 30s. Anyone else out there had one too many sunburns? We’re not alone as in writing this post I found out that even though 2/3 of women know they should wear SPF daily, only 1/3 actually do…Ladies, let’s get better at SPF together, shall we? And, as you may have seen me mention, I’ve recently had a scare that makes today’s post’s topic particularly personal (more on that below).
I know, I know…sunscreen can be a pain. Historically it is greasy, heavy, can leave white streaks, often makes applying makeup a pain and it smells. But, as I mentioned, I just had a “precancerous lesion” removed from my nose last month and the fact that several family members of mine have had skin cancer removed, I no longer have an excuse to not be overly obligated to sun safety.
In preparation for today’s post which is a continuation of my partnership with Olay, I did quite a bit of research and I wanted to share some of the things I learned about SPF and sun safety.
- Makeup with SPF doesn’t cut it. As a dermatologist once pointed out to me, “You don’t apply makeup on your part or on your ears” and it is so true. If you’re not wearing a hat be sure to dot SPF on your part line and always dab a bit of your SPF on top of your ears.
- SPF over 30 isn’t better than those with lower numbers. Instead of a high SPF look for SPF 25 or 30 that has both UVA and UVB protection.
- Reapplication is key. Too often I apply my SPF and leave the house without any to reapply. Doctors advise you reapply every two to three hours. (And you should also apply SPF 15-20 minutes prior to any sun exposure!)
- It’s best to limit your time in the sun – period. If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, don’t forget to bring along a hat.
- If your skin changes color at all, you’re experiencing sun damage. Sure, a burn is worse for your skin, but chronic sun damage (through a tan), can also have lasting results. Yikes! If having a tan is super important to you, look to a faux tanning product. (I shared my favorite one in this post.)
- Make sure to check the expiration dates on your sunscreen. Last year as I prepared to move I went through my stash of sunscreen and 50% of it was expired! Had I not checked the expiration dates I could have done a lot of harm to my skin.
- Once a part of your skin has experienced a bad burn it is much more susceptible to burning very quickly when exposed to the sun. My chest has been burned one too many times when I was a teenager and in my early 20s so now I try to keep my chest covered all the time.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the back of your hands! They are heavily exposed to the sun and easily show signs of aging due to sun damage. And your lips, too!
- For your body, if you’re using a spray sunscreen, you must rub it in after spraying it on.
- Even if it is cloudy, you can still get sun damage! Apply SPF whenever you’re spending time outdoors. Clouds or no clouds.
I have loved the Olay Whips moisturizer since I started using it (honestly it is one of the best drugstore products I’ve ever tried) so I was so excited they released a version with SPF 25 just in time for summer. Even with SPF added in the Olay Total Effects Whip Face Moisturizer’s finish is light and matte, so makeup goes on well after application. No sticky residue or slick feeling like so many other SPF products. (Truly, I’ve tried some that I have to blot my face after application before I can put any makeup on or leave the house!) The Olay Total Effects Whip also has vitamins C & E in the formula which help your skin look healthier and brighter after you put it on. File under: Win/Win. I’ve been using it every morning to know I’m covered before I head outside for the day and the jar is actually perfectly portable to reapply to my face mid-day if I’m headed for additional sun exposure later in the day. If you want to try it out, you can get your own Olay Whip with SPF 25 from Walgreens here.
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I’m glad to finally be making a commitment to sun safety – I was overdue and finally got smarter in my 30s. Do you guys wear SPF daily?! I hope today’s post was informative!
p.s. a more glam look & what I’ve learned about preventing aging when it comes to skincare.
This post is in partnership with Olay. Thank you for supporting the brands I love working with!
Sun safety is something I am extremely familiar with. Skin cancer runs in my mom’s family, and I’ve even had some troubled spots removed (at only 22!). I always make sure I’m protecting my skin all over whenever I’m out in the sun for long periods of time! Thank you so much for sharing this Meghan, it’s so important!
Kendal / Life With Kendal
Good on you for being so informed & proactive, Kendal! I wish I was as good at 22. Thank you for sharing your story!
what is the difference between the total effects version and luminous? with spf 25? white vs. gold? I’ve had a skin cancer removed and it is not fun. Mine was where eyeglass rested on side of nose. Had plastic surgeon sew it up and can’t tell where it is now. But still, can’t be too careful now. I have been using Juice Beauty sport which is good-has a lot of zinc oxide but it, is waterproof and doesn’t sweat into your eyes when you run.
It is a scary thing to sit in a waiting room filled with people getting layer after layer removed from spots on their faces to make sure they get all the cancer. Makes you very serious about protecting your skin.
So Total Effects has more vitamins and is more geared towards aging skin! Hope that helps 🙂 They have the same active ingredients but slightly different formulation! So sorry to hear you’ve endured skin cancer but how good to have caught it! Better to be proactive than to be sorry. I appreciate you sharing your experience here, Patti!
I just rebought Olay moisturizer after receiving one as a giveaway from you and I’m such a fan! Will have to try this one out too. I’ve also been loving the Supergoop SPF setting powder lately, makes it so so easy to apply SPF over make up.
Ooo love hearing this! and great to know re: Supergoop! Just remember to dust your neck + ears so you don’t miss SPF in those areas, too!