Sunscreen And Suncare Do’s And Don’ts

At Urban Sanctuary our skincare experts have advice on sun protection fitting to your complexion and lifestyle.

Can we just forego the sunscreen toward summer’s end and in the fall? Which is more important, UVB or UVA protection? Do those of us with darker skin really need to bother with sun protection? We’ll provide answers to commonly asked questions here and recommend best practices.

The cooler temperatures of late summer and fall make sun protection seem less important. However, protecting our skin against the harsh and damaging rays of the sun is important all year round.Summer, fall Winter and Spring sun can cause sun burn, sun damage, sun spots, pre mature aging and risk of skin Cancer.
Below we list some sunscreen and sun protection DO’S and DON’TS:


  • DON’T— skimp on sunscreen or sun protection once the temperature falls below 80 degrees.    Protection from the sun’s damaging rays is important all year round.
  •  DO— choose a broad spectrum sunscreen. Broad spectrum protects you from all of the harsh rays of the sun, both UVA and UVB. The bottle should say if the sunscreen you are considering has UVA protection. The SPF (sun protection factor) only applies to it’s protection of UVB rays.
  •  DON’T— use less than SPF 15. Dermatologists recommend that you use at least an SPF 15.
  • DO— protect yourself from the sun, even if you have a darker complexion and love that sun-kissed look. Protecting yourself against the damaging effects of the sun is vital for each one of us. 
  •  DON’T— wait until you are in the sun already to apply. Applying your sunscreen 15-30 minutes before exposure ensures the lotion has had enough time to bind to your skin for effectiveness.
  • DO— make sure to re-apply your sunscreen every two hours or more depending on your activity. Hiking or running around and getting sweaty? Apply more often! Swimming or jumping through the sprinkler with your kids? Apply more often.
  • DON’T— be confused by water-resistant vs. waterproof. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but their differences are important! Water-resistant sunscreens maintain their SPF levels following 40 minutes of water exposure, whereas waterproof guarantees it’s SPF level for 80!
  •  DO— use enough. Are you using enough? Dermatologists urge that you use at least 1 oz of lotion to cover your whole body. Not sure how much that is? It is roughly enough to fill a shot glass.
  • DON’T— use expired sunscreen and sunblock. Found an old bottle in the back of a drawer?  Toss it! The shelf life of a sunscreen is less than three years. It’s safe to say if you can’t remember when you bought it it’s time to buy a replacement.


Here are some other precautions you should be taking. Avoid tanning beds. Avoid being in the sun during the hours of 10 am – 2pm when the sun is at it’s peak. Don’t forget to wear a hat outdoors. Go out and buy yourself a fabulous wide brimmed hat for extra face protection. Tennis visors and baseball caps are great for when you are moving around. Consider investing in clothing that contains SPF, especially if you are spending time on the water where the sun reflects and sand or pavement hits you from multiple angles. 
Invest in a good pair of sunglasses! Our eyes are extremely sensitive. Look for glasses that wrap the face to protect the eyes all around. Also, glasses should say if they are polarized which protects against UVA, UVB, and reflected rays. Get out there and enjoy the last few weeks of summer! Let Urban Sanctuary provide your before and after sun skincare. We were voted Athens’ Best Day Spa and have been providing massages, facials, nails and waxing services for over 10 years.


Cowritten for Urban Sanctuary by Megan McLaughlin and Candice Courcy


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