Florida Summer Sunscreen Tips: How Much and How Often Should I Apply?
Now that it’s finally summer, many of us are eager to get back outside. Whether it’s a trip to the beach or even just a walk around the block.
Florida is known for its hot weather and unrelenting sunshine, so it’s even more important to make sure that you wear enough sunscreen whenever you’re outside. But how much are you supposed to apply and how often?
Florida Sun Protection Tips
To keep yourself as safe as possible in hot Florida weather, you should follow these tips:
- Avoid staying outside for extended periods of time, especially between 10 am and 4 pm. UV rays are most intense during this time and burns will be worse.
- No matter how long you’re going to be outside, make sure there’s a place where you’re covered from the sun. This can be a tree, an umbrella, or a quick trip back inside.
- Wear light clothing that keeps you cool while also protecting you from the sun. Polyester, denim, silk, and tightly woven fabrics are great for this.
- Wear a hat to protect your scalp, neck, ears, and face, even if you’ve applied sunscreen to those areas.
- Use a sunscreen that is at least 15 SPF.
- Wear sunglasses that offer UV protection.
What are UVA and UVB rays?
UV or ultraviolet rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that is given off by the sun. There are many different types of UV rays, but UVA and UVB rays are the only ones that actually reach the earth’s surface.
UVA rays are much more prevalent in sunlight when compared to UVB rays. However, UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburns, while both are associated with the development of skin cancers.
Sunscreen is typically more successful at blocking UVB rays than UVA rays, as UVB rays are the ones responsible for sunburns. That means that skin cancer can still develop even when you wear sunscreen—which is why it’s so important to limit your time in the sun no matter what.
How do you prevent sunburn in Florida?
To prevent sunburn in Florida you should focus on wearing the correct amount of sunscreen at the right SPF level. Not only that, but you should also remember to monitor the amount of time you spend in the sun each day.
Who needs to wear sunscreen?
In short, pretty much everyone should be wearing sunscreen. Everyone over the age of six months should wear sunscreen every day.
Wearing sunscreen is important for everyone, but if you burn easily or you have skin that’s already damaged, it’s even more important for you to protect your skin.
Is SPF 30 enough for summer?
Most dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF. A sunscreen that’s SPF 30 will protect 97% of UVB rays. When you increase the SPF, you only increase that percentage by a small amount, as no sunscreen can protect 100% of sun rays.
That means it’s probably best to opt for SPF 30 and nothing lower, that way you’ll be confident in knowing that you’re well-protected.
How much sunscreen is enough?
When applying sunscreen it’s important to put on enough to actually protect you from the sun. Most adults will require about one ounce total of sunscreen to cover their entire body. That’s about a shot glass full of sunscreen. If you use too little or spread it too thin, you won’t have the same amount of coverage, leaving your skin vulnerable.
Types of Sunscreen for Sun Protection
There are two different types of sunscreen available for purchase: mineral and chemical. The main difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens is the amount of time they take to become effective.
Mineral sunscreens create a physical barrier on your skin, meaning they become effective as soon as they’re applied. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into your skin. Because they must fully absorb before they work, you should wait 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun.
Because mineral sunscreen creates a barrier on the skin, it can easily be rubbed, rinsed, or wiped away, meaning you’ll need to apply it more frequently than chemical sunscreen.
How Often to Reapply Sunscreen
Both types of sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. However, if you’re swimming or sweating heavily, you’ll want to apply more frequently, especially when using mineral sunscreens.
While you should apply sunscreen every two hours, you also probably shouldn’t stay outside that long in the direct sunlight. The Florida sun is especially hot, so staying out for more than a few hours can cause serious damage.
How to Treat a Sunburn
To treat a sunburn you should start by assessing how bad the burn is. Is it light pink or bright red? Are there any blisters forming?
If there are blisters present you should allow them to heal without picking at or bothering them. Take cold showers and baths to help soothe your sunburn, applying aloe vera gel or moisturizer when you get out. When your sunburn is healing you should also drink more water to stay hydrated.
If your sunburn is particularly bad, or you’re worried about permanent skin damage, you may want to consult a doctor.
Here at Manasota Minor Care Clinic, we offer affordable care for our patients. With little to no wait times and a staff that’s fluent in Spanish, we’re here whenever and however you need us.