Beauty Byline with Sanah: Here Comes the Sun!

The sun is out and summer is finally here! COVID-19 may have kept you indoors and in your

PJs for most of spring but now that summer is here, it’ll be very hard not to step out and enjoy

the outdoors. As the sun’s rays shine down upon your face, it’s important to protect that

beautiful skin of yours and that means…sunscreen!

YES, you need it, indoors and outdoors, every day. Applying sunscreen regularly can help

decrease the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. Daily use can reduce risk of developing

squamous cell carcinoma by about forty percent and lower melanoma risk by fifty percent. It can

also help prevent premature skin aging. I’m not going to go deeply into the science behind why

you need it (cancer = bad) but rather focus on what you should be looking for when purchasing

the right sunscreen for you.

According to, there are three things to note when selecting sunscreen:

  • Broad spectrum which protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays. The sun emits

two types of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays cause tanning and

premature aging and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays cause sunburn. Broad spectrum protects

your skin from both types of rays.

  • SPF (Sun Protection Factor). The SPF number tells you how long the sun’s rays will

take to redden your skin. If the number is 30, it means it would take you thirty times

longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen. Experts recommend choosing SPF 30 or

higher even if you do not plan on being outdoors.

  • Water resistance. Go for the water-resistant option. Even if you don’t plan on going for

a swim, a water-resistant sunscreen will stay on longer. Sunscreens, on average, should

be reapplied every two hours but more frequently if you’re going in and out of the pool or

working outdoors and sweating.

Make it a rule of thumb to always check the ingredients on any beauty product, including

sunscreen. Physical or mineral sunscreens made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide block sun

rays before they can penetrate your skin. Chemical ingredients like avobenzone or octyl

salicylate absorb UV rays before they can damage your skin. If your skin is acne-prone or

sensitive, go for the mineral option.

At the end of the day, no sunscreen is going to protect your skin completely. Dermatologists say

SPF 30 filters about ninety-seven percent of UV rays, meaning it allows about three percent to

reach your skin. To truly cut down on sun damage, experts recommend layers of clothes, hats,

and sunglasses.

Finally, the best sunscreen is the one you will actually wear. My recommendation is to try out a

few different kinds and find the one that works for you. I currently use Neutrogena’s Age Shield

Face oil-free SPF 110. I like trying out new products, so write to me at and tell me your favorite sunscreen!

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