Saturday, May 24, 2014


Since my bout with skin cancer, I make sunscreen more of a priority than ever. I even put it on in the morning -- my tinted moisturizer has an SPF of 15, which is not much but it's something. When I know I'm going to have a little extra exposure to the sun, I make an effort to protect myself. And my family.

I read a little tip on how to figure out when to reapply: you multiply your SPF number by how long it would take to get a sunburn. So, if it would take you fifteen minutes to burn and you're using a SPF 15, then: 15 x 15 = 225 minutes, or 3 hours and 45 minutes. Of course that doesn't take other very likely factors into consideration – like, swimming or sweating which are both highly probable in the summer. Not to mention that little calculation doesn't stand true for sunscreens with a SPF of over 30.

So if you don't feel like crunching numbers just to figure it out, do what i do: every two-ish hours, just reapply it. And sooner if you've been swimming. That way you know your sunscreen is doing its job. Because, let's face it, that morning application isn't doing you any favors at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

The biggest motivator for me using sunscreen is seriously groundbreaking – ready? It’s actually having it on hand. And secondly, as a rule I don't buy anything fancy or overly expensive or in a tiny bottle – otherwise I’m reluctant to use it because it feels like something that should be savored and applied sparingly. And if there's one thing sunscreen should be, it's used.

If I have a few big tubes of sunscreen – one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen, one in the never-unpacked beach bag – I’m much more inclined to use it liberally and often.

Happy summer!

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