My Rules for Sunscreen

Posted 05/08/12 at 09:06AM by Rebekah George

Don't know whether you've heard, but May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. What better time to start the conversation about wearing sunscreen? I trust my fellow beauty enthusiasts are smart enough to know to wear it all year round, but I still receive many tweets and emails from women asking sunscreen-related questions. So I picked some experts' brains and am here to set the record straight on some of your most-asked sunscreen queries.

How much do I need to apply?< br /> This is one area of your beauty routine where more is better. When it comes to covering your body, you want to use an ounce of product (picture a shot glass filled with the stuff). But, remember, you also have to reapply it about every two and a half hours, especially now that summer's on its way and you'll be out in the sun for longer stretches.

I always forget to apply my sunscreen. What's an easy way to remember?
I put a sticky note on my sunscreen. Sounds silly, but when I see it sitting there on my bathroom vanity, the note prompts me to start slathering. It's also a good idea to carry some in your makeup bag so that you're covered if you accidentally leave the house with zero protection -- this way you can also reapply after the gym and throughout the day. I love mineral sunscreens for this exact reason because they are portable and they can be applied without mussing your makeup.

Isn't it enough that my makeup contains SPF?
In a word: no. You need a true SPF, containing broad-spectrum UVA and UVB blockers, to really protect your skin, which many bases and foundations lack. Plus, since you don't slather makeup onto your face the way you should sunscreen, you're not getting enough protection. You need to be sure to adequately apply a lotion first, allow it to dry and set, and then put on your makeup.

Do I apply sunscreen before or after my moisturizer?
Think of sunscreen like your coat -- you put it on last and it protects your outfit. So any serums or lotions should be applied first. Let them dry and then apply your sunscreen so it goes on your skin last.

There you have 'em, the answers to the questions women most frequently ask me about sunscreen. Do you have more questions I didn't cover? Post them below and we'll follow up with responses.
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