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Temperatures are rising, and we’re all starting to swap those spring sweaters for bikinis. No doubt about it: summer’s finally here. But before you head off on that much-awaited beach trip, don’t forget the ultimate summer staple: sunscreen.

While SPF may be a year-round essential, it becomes even more crucial this season as we spend more time outdoors amid the sweltering heat. So how can you avoid sun damage and protect your skin from painful sunburn? The not-so-secret lies in proper use of sunscreen. 

Here’s what you need to know about wearing sunscreen this summer. 

Find the best formula for you

Sometimes, putting on sunscreen is the last thing you want to do when the pool looks extra, extra inviting. But wearing SPF doesn’t have to be a chore, and the key is finding a summer sunscreen formula for your lifestyle and needs. 

If you want a body sunscreen that sinks into skin instantly without that sticky, goopy feeling, our Oh My Bod! SPF50 Sunscreen Lotion is perfect. With a water-resistant and sweat-resistant formula (up to 80 minutes), it makes the ideal companion for swimming, hikes, sports, and even outdoor barbecues. 

For your face, the increased humidity and heat means it can get uncomfortable to wear too many layers of product. To cut down your routine, our Resting Beach Face SPF30 Sunscreen Serum is a lightweight option that can moisturize and protect in one go. It also gives you a super glowy, dewy complexion. 

If you’re looking for a bit more coverage but can’t be bothered with foundation melting off, our Rose From Above SPF35 Sunscreen Base doubles as a tinted moisturizer and primer in one. With soothing and smoothing ingredients, it leaves you with a semi-matte, skin-but-better finish.   

Choose the right SPF level

Perhaps the most important factor when shopping for the best sunscreen for summer is the SPF level. A little refresher: SPF means ‘sun protection factor.’ This measures the level of protection you get against UVB rays, and how long it would take your skin to burn without sunscreen. For instance, an SPF 30 sunscreen would take you 30 times longer to burn while filtering about 97% of UVB rays. Meanwhile, an SPF 50 sunscreen would take you 50 times longer to burn while filtering about 98% of UVB rays. 

So when looking at SPF 30 vs SPF 50, how do you know which is better? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, SPF 30 is the minimum amount you need for normal daily use. But if you’re anticipating prolonged sun exposure, then go for an SPF 50. It’s also critical to choose a broad spectrum protection sunscreen, so that you’re shielded from both UVA (which causes photoaging) and UVB (which causes sunburn) rays. 

Always reapply, reapply, reapply

So you’ve got the right SPF with the right SPF level for you. Congrats! But the work isn’t over yet. To ensure the product actually does its job, you need to religiously reapply sunscreen. Whether you’re using chemical or mineral SPF, the sunscreen actives will naturally break down once it’s exposed to sunlight, and it can also rub off throughout the day. 

As such, it’s best to top up every two hours, or immediately after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Even if you use the highest SPF level available, what’s more important is to keep reapplying to stay protected. If you’re wondering how to apply sunscreen on your face when wearing make-up, you can always use a foundation sponge and dab lightly to keep your contour intact. Again, choose lightweight, fast-absorbing formulas so that you don’t have to struggle with reapplication. 

Don’t forgot to apply on forgotten areas too

Certain areas — such as your ears, chest, neck, and even the top of your feet — tend to be forgotten when putting on SPF. However, the Mayo Clinic explains that these areas can still develop skin cancer. You may think that they’re not as “exposed,” but these spots are actually thinner and more sensitive than other areas, making them much more prone to sun damage. 

For example, your lips probably get as much sun exposure as your face, but they are far more delicate and require more sun protection. Unfortunately, regular lipstick doesn’t cut it. Your best bet is to use an SPF lip balm, like our Big Mood SPF30 Milky Lip Balm. Not only does it soothe and nourish dry lips, but it also provides broad spectrum protection under the sun. 

Now that you know how to properly wear SPF in the summer, you can now enjoy all those vacations and afternoon hangs safely and responsibly.

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