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Let’s get this straight: sunscreen is the easiest, most reliable way you can protect your skin from sun damage. But is it enough to just slather it on in the morning and move on with your day? And is sunscreen enough to protect your skin from the wrath of the summer sun? 

Truth is, sunscreen is just a filter. Yes, it can help shield you from a plethora of skin issues – including premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and skin cancer. But according to the American Cancer Society, sunscreen should just be one (very important) part of your sun protection plan. 

We’re not saying you should bundle up in turtlenecks at the beach, but if you’re looking to get maximum sun protection this summer, here’s what you need to know. 

Use sunscreen properly and religiously

If you want sunscreen to do its job, you need to apply it properly. That means putting enough product on exposed areas of your skin. For your face, the two-finger rule is a fool-proof reference. Simply squeeze your sunscreen in two separate lines on your pointer and middle finger – this should be your minimum when deciding how much to put. We’ve got several options for every skin type and preference. Looking for something hydrating? Our Resting Beach Face is an ideal SPF 30 sunscreen for face that is 100% sheer and leaves a nice glow. For those who want natural coverage, our Rose From Above mineral SPF 35 sunscreen leaves you with a smoothed out, skin-but-better finish. 

Meanwhile, your body needs at least one ounce of sunscreen, which is about the size of a shot glass. We know that sounds like a looot, but having a lightweight sunscreen will make you forget you’ve got anything on. Our Oh My Bod! SPF 50 lotion is a great daily sunscreen that nourishes and protects skin without that sticky, goopy feeling. All in all, SPF is not the product you want to skimp on. More is more!

Make sure that your everyday sunscreen also provides broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB radiation. Some products might prevent sunburn, but they won’t protect against skin cancer. Moreover, dermatologists recommend using a minimum SPF 30 sunscreen. Anything below that won’t give you enough protection. 

On top of this, don’t forget the sunscreen golden rule: reapply. Specifically, reapply every two hours while you’re exposed to the sun, or immediately after swimming, sweating, or toweling. 

Protect your skin with clothing

Like we said, we’re not saying you should ditch your bikini for a turtleneck. Nowadays, there are tons of swimsuit options with fabrics that provide UV protection. When not at the beach but anticipating prolonged sun exposure, you might also want to consider layering up (on top of sunscreen, of course). But take note, not all fabrics protect from the sun. If you can see light through your clothes, chances are, harsh sun rays are getting through too. 

Accessorize with sunglasses and hats

Don’t throw shade, wear it. To protect your scalp, ears, and neck, use a hat with at least a 2 to 3-inch brim for ample coverage. You’d be surprised how common it is for skin cancers to develop on the neck or ears, so don’t neglect them!

On the other hand, UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting your eyes and the skin around them, which happens to be super delicate and prone to sun damage. Some evidence even shows that sun exposure can increase the risk of eye melanoma. When shopping for sunglasses, make sure the label indicates that it blocks UV rays, because not all products do. 

This summer, don’t be without your most important line of defense: sunscreen. But also remember that there is still room for more protection, so do wear a hat or two while you’re at it. 

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