Many of us know that sunscreen safety is important, but even if you’re an avid sunscreen user, you might be surprised by some of these tips. Whether you’re headed out of town to a sunny destination or you’re just going to be out and about with your family, these sunscreen safety tips can help you keep yourself and your family safer, plus help you find the one that’s right for your family and that your kids will happily let you apply. (Okay, that might be pushing it, but we’ll try!)
5 Sunscreen Safety Tips
#1 Mineral sunscreen is the best choice for sensitive skin. You probably already know that there are two types of sunscreen: mineral and chemical. But what you might not be familiar with is which type is best for sensitive skin, and that is… mineral! Why? Because the way mineral sunscreens work is by providing a physical barrier (zinc) that is not absorbed into the skin like chemical sunscreens. If you’ve got eczema or extra dry skin, or if you’re choosing a sunscreen for little ones, make sure to choose a mineral sunscreen.
#2 A higher SPF doesn’t mean a sunscreen lasts longer. Sorry to say, bigger is not always better, at least when it comes to SPF numbers. Many people believe that if your SPF is higher, it will last longer but that is not actually the case. And unfortunately, it can create a false sense of security in people. SkinCancer.org recommends a sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher when possible and following the directions for reapplication.
#3 You should reapply sunscreen every two hours. Speaking of reapplication, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, which can be especially hard to remember if you’re not doing an activity that involves water (since oftentimes, you’ll remember to reapply knowing that the sunscreen could have washed off). But it’s not just water.
Wiping the sweat off your face? You need to reapply. Blowing your nose? You need to reapply. Putting clothes on and taking them off? You know where we’re going here. Using an alarm or timer can help you remember to reapply sunscreen to yourself and your family, but just keeping the mechanics of your everyday activity in the forefront of your mind is the best approach.
#4 A shot glass full of sunscreen is about how much to use for your body. If you’re not exactly sure how much sunscreen you should be applying, this is a great rule of thumb. A shot glass full of sunscreen is enough for your body (depending on body size and type of sunscreen, that is). Then, filling just the bottom of the glass, or a full teaspoon is typically enough for your face. Remember, this amount should be used on the first application, as well as on subsequent reapplication.
#5 You’re probably getting more sun exposure than you think. Enjoying an outdoor activity in full sun, like hiking or swimming, might seem like an obvious opportunity for exposure. However, you’re probably getting way more sun than just those specific activities. Whether you’re riding in a car, sitting near a window, or spending time outside on a cloudy day (yes, the sun’s there even if you can’t really see it), you need sunscreen protection in all of those circumstances too.
How to find the safest sunscreen for your family
Now that you’re an expert on sunscreen safety, you need to know where to find the safest sunscreen for your family. You’ll find plenty of recommendations online, but the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Sunscreen Guide is the most trusted choice. Their extensive evaluation, verification, and rating process, along with helpful explanations of the safety (and danger) of ingredients is why so many people trust this guide.
The EWG Sunscreen Guide is also where you’ll find Earth Mama Mineral Sunscreens, which have been recognized as Top-rated in Recreational Sunscreens, Baby & Kid’s Sunscreens, and Daily Use SPF. That’s because Earth Mama Mineral Sunscreens are thoughtfully formulated with organic ingredients and absolutely no toxic chemicals or fragrance, which means they’re safe for everyone and their mother.
Why mineral sunscreen? Well, beyond the recommendations by the AAD for people with sensitive skin, mineral sunscreen is the safer choice for you, your family, and the ocean. But there’s also the benefit of being able to see the mineral sunscreen on your body (thanks to the light white cast that many have) so you can see where you missed, as well as where you need to reapply.
From Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Face Sticks and Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, to Lady Face Tinted Mineral Sunscreen Face Sticks and Tinted Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, not to mention Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion (for our friends with the most sensitive skin), Earth Mama Mineral Sunscreens will keep your whole family covered.