It's May, and that means it's Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Over 5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, and the best way for you to protect yourself is to wear sunscreen. Every single day. Even when you're indoors! EVEN if there's SPF in your makeup!! No matter your skin tone. End of story. It's not only your first defense against skin cancer, but it also helps prevent dark spots and wrinkles from forming so you can look young forever. Who wouldn't want that?
Sunscreen is clearly very important. People have probably been telling you to slather on the SPF since the day you were born, but they don't tell you how to find the best SPF for your skin. If you don't know what SPF stands for or what the number after SPF means, keep reading to learn everything you need to know in order to find the right sunscreen for your skin and learn what product the Supergreat staff are loving right now.
What you need to know about sunscreen:
What does SPF stand for?
Sun Protection Factor.
What does the number after SPF mean?
Many people believe that number indicates the strength of protection (i.e. SPF 30 is 30 percent protection from the sun's rays), but it is actually and indication of how long you'll be protected before needing to reapply. To figure out what level of SPF you need, you first must calculate how long it takes your skin to burn without sun protection. If you typically burn within 10 minutes, multiply that by the SPF number you are using and that will tell you how long you'll be protected. For example, if you're using SPF 30 and you burn within 10 minutes, 30 x 10 minutes = 300 minutes, which means you'll be protected for about 5 hours.
How much SPF should you wear?
You should aim to apply about one shot glass full or two tablespoons full of sunscreen to the exposed parts of your entire body. A nickel-sized amount of that should be spread over your face alone.
What's the difference between UVA rays and UVB rays?
UVA rays only reach the skin's surface, causing sunburn. UVB rays penetrate deeper and damage DNA, causing skin cancer. While UVA rays are mostly present on sunny days, UVB rays can penetrate through clouds and windows so it is important to look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects you from both.
SG staffers share their favorite SPF products of the moment:
Nic, Brand Partnerships Manager
Hello sunshine lovers and shady babies, I am coming to you as a little combo skin, sweaty betty, summer park lover. As such, I am diligent about my SPF and very specific about what goes on this face. I’ve selected my top three SPF products:
Kinship’s Self Reflect: My skin always feels more dry in the summer, so something that doubles as a moisturizer and an SPF? Sign me up! Self Reflect leaves me looking like a little glazed donut ready to take on the day. This is my go-to for minimal makeup days or beach vibe days (more of these please).
Unseen Sunscreen: This is my go to for when I’m giving you more of a look, when I know I’m going to be slapping a bunch of things on my face. This is super lightweight, has a grippy texture that works better than most primers I own and leaves me still dewy cute. Unseen Sunscreen is my ultimate re-buy.
MEGASHADE: ZitSticka’s breakout-proof sunscreen serum is the newest SPF in my arsenal, and I’ve grown very fond of it very quickly. It’s super lightweight, really works as a serum but has sun protection, and is the easiest sunscreen application to start the day. What more could you want?
Savannah (2022 Version)
I wear sunscreen because I have a lifetime of not wearing sunscreen (and wanting to be grilled like Paris Hilton) under my belt. I like when sunscreen blends seamlessly into my routine, and that's why I like this SPF serum from Everyday Humans...even if I forget to apply sunscreen I put this on anyway, so I have that base protection.
Soda, Community Coordinator & Live Host
My new favorite sunscreen has gone viral pretty recently, and for a good reason! I cannot stop raving about the Isntree Hyalauronic Acid Watery Sun Gel! It’s SPF 50, doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes, leaves NO white cast, and has a wonderful, light texture that is infused with hyaluronic acid for hydration. Bonus, the price is also pretty reasonable! Once I run out, I’ll definitely refill!