The strength of sun rays is measured in three different types of ultraviolet rays: A, B and C. While the C type is absorbed by the atmosphere, the B type sun rays are absorbed by your epidermis layer of the skin and the C type go even through deeper layers. This is why for the summer 2009 you need to find use a sunscreen to reduce the effect of UVA and UVB so they don’t damage your skin.
2. Don’t grab the bottle with the highest protection factor (SPF)
Most sunscreens only protect against UVB, which means that even if you apply them, they screen out the UVB completly, but you can be totally unprotected against UVA which can still cause severe damage on your skin. So, for summer 2009 make sure you double check before buying the cheapest sunscreen on the market as it may not be of any help for you.
3. Seek Full-Spectrum protection
Many sunscreens will say that they offer a full protection against sunrays, but in reality that might not be true. You should always check the ingredients and look for Parsol 1789 and avobenzone, which absorb UV radiation, also zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that physically reflect or scatter UVB and UVA rays rather than let them pass through the skin.
4. Antioxidants can make a huge difference
Event if you use a good sunscreen with full protection, it will never protect 100% against sun rays. Your skin needs the sun’s blessing, but this can often cause inflammation, dehydration and free radical formation that results from the ultraviolet light that does manage to get to your skin and penetrate your sunscreen. An easy way to reduce this unpleasant effect is to seek a sunscreen with antioxidants such as vitamins C and E (fruits also contain this, so it is a good idea to eat plenty of fruits while you’re on the beach).
5. Don’t forget to reapply
How you apply your sunscreen can make a huge difference. You should apply it at least 30 minutes before exposure in a thick film on your skin, covering all areas. Also, you should reapply every 1-2 hours and even more often when you go swimming or sweating.
6. Make sure you cover small areas
Many people think small areas are not so important, but it’s usually there where most problems occur. Because they’re harder to reach, they can be left oncovered and unprotected. Make sure you use a lip balm with sunscreen protection for your lips and cover small places like your creases, the back of your neck and ears and for the summer 2009 try not to skimp.