Sunscreen & You

Now that we have the Vitamin D question addressed, there is still a burning question in my mind (get it, burning, like the sun -- never mind, I'm embarrassing myself) about how much sunscreen is enough. If you remember, a key part of Dr. Gilchrest's argument was that we all still get sun exposure even if we wear sunscreen because "studies have shown that sunscreen users customarily apply half or less of the FDA-stipulated amount of product required to generate the stated level of protection (2mg/cm2) and hence achieve far less protection."

An oft-cited rule of thumb is that an entire body application requires 1 oz or a shot glass worth of sunscreen. It doesn't say how much should be on the face in particular, though. This month, InStyle magazine has a two page article showing different-sized blobs of various substances used on the face and body (foundation vs. concealer vs. body moisturizer, etc). They unfortunately don't have this cool thing on their website, but what it shows is that a face-only application of sunscreen requires a blob about 1 inch in diameter (about the size of a dollar coin). I'm not sure where they get their information, but there you go.

Still hungry for more info? Both the Skin Cancer Foundation and the NY Times have tips for proper application of sunscreen. Even if you are a sunscreen expert already (take this Total Beauty quiz to find out), it's not a bad idea to check out those links because you might learn something. For example, I learned that when using a separate moisturizer and sunscreen, the moisturizer should go on first, then sunscreen, then makeup. I had assumed that the sunscreen should go on first in order to absorb into the skin and provide protection, but I guess not!

The NY Times also recently ran an article about SPF confusion that explores the explosion of upper double digit sunscreens at the drugstore. SPF 100+? What does that even mean? As usual, the meaning behind those high SPFs is partly based on science and mostly based on marketing. If you are ready to get on the sunscreen bandwagon, try this Total Beauty quiz to get suggestions on Your Ideal Sunscreen Match.

Cartoon courtesy of Natalie Dee.



Post a Comment

About Me

To learn more about me visit my profile page!

Contact Me

Contact me through my form here.

If you represent a cosmetic or skincare product(s) that I might be interested in, please contact me and I'll tell you where to send samples. Please note I will only write about products that I can honestly say something nice about.