We all read articles and see on TV the importance of sun screen. Despite the use of sun screen tanning and, for a few, burning seems to still happen. What went wrong?

Was enough applied?

A dollop about the size of a nickel is needed for the face alone. The example of a shot glass for a visual is usually the amount needed for the areas not covered by clothing. Clearly most of us are not apply enough.

Did you put it on before you went in the sun?

No one likes to look white and streaky so chemical blocks are the most commonly used. When this is the case it needs to be absorbed into the skin to be effective. Thirty minutes before you go into the sun is your best bet to ensure your chemical block is fully protective. Most physical blocks, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which give the white appearance usually start to be effective immediately.

Did you fully cover yourself?

Your clothing shifts and moves about as you do. Did you apply down behind the collar of your shirt or up under the edge of your sleeveless shirt, shorts or skirt? Just because you have clothing covering you doesn’t mean that you have sun protection. Most fabrics offer a SPF of 5 to 10. Make sure you purchase clothing that specifically is designed for SPF protection if that is the function you need be it hats, shirts, or pants.

Did you reapply?

“What? You mean I have to put this stuff on more than once? No, man. My sun screen is sweat and water resistant.” Yes, if it says on the bottle sweat and water resistant, it is…for up to 80 minutes. Resistant doesn’t mean full proof. Especially if you are sweating or swimming and wiping your face or body with a towel taking the sun screen with it. Reapply every two hours and even more frequently if you are participating in vigorous activities.

Which one should I use?

There’s many choices for whatever your need is, be it daily for your face or for outdoor activities. A broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher is what is needed to protect your skin thoroughly. Again, if outside, a sweat/water resistant product is best. Something sheer for everyday use on face, neck and backs of the hands is good. There are some that even offer antioxidant protection as well.

At Contour we offer many top quality choices to protect your skin. Skinmedica, Neova, and Obagi are our best sellers. Visit our online store or come in and see any of our trained staff to help you pick a choice that suits your needs.

* Results and your patient experience may vary