Expert Advice: Sun By The Numbers

Ombrelle is celebrating their 20th anniversary this summer. And they want us to know that sun protection has changed a lot in the past two decades. There’s SPFs that go up all the way to 60. And ingredients like Parsol 1789 and Mexoryl XL can help filter out both UVA and UVB rays.

Yet incidents of skin cancers have risen by 30 percent over the last 10 years. Despite all the technological advances in sun protection, very few of us use sunscreens properly (if at all). So here are some tips from Dr. Lydia Evans, consulting Dermatologist to L’Oréal Paris (Ombrelle’s parent company). on the best ways to fight over exposure.

1. Most folks don’t use enough product to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays. “For an average-sized adult, a well-filled palm or 20mL of sunscreen is required for one complete all-over body application,” says Dr. Evans.

2. Plan ahead. “Sunscreen should be applied on dry skin 30-minutes before going outdoors,” Says Dr. Evans. This allows the active ingredients to penetrate the skin. Product should also be reapplied to dry skin every two hours after strenuous activity or swimming.

3. The face gets the most sun exposure to it needs special attention. Especially to thin-skinned areas like eyelids, nose, ears, hair line and around the lips (the kisser itself requires a sunscreen formulated for lips). “use a sunscreen underneath your makeup that is specially formulated for the sensitive skin of the face.”

4. In intense sun conditions, Dr. Evans also advises wearing sunscreen under you clothes. “there are small gaps in between the weaves of most fabrics.” She also recommends wearing wide-brimmed hats and UV protection sunglasses for extra coverage.

5. Which SPF is right for you? If you rarely burn and spend most of the day indoors (UVA and UVB can travel through windows), then SPF 15 is your number. If you are known to suffer the occasional burn and/or are going to be outside for a moderate amount of time outside, SPF 30 is you ideal. For those who burn easily and will be outside all day, try SPF 45. And if you burst into flame in daylight, work outdoors or are engaging in high-altitude activities, reach for the SPF 60.