21 Sun Safety Facts

Sun Safety Facts, Sun Safety, Sun Protection, Sun Protection Facts, Sun Care, The Importance of Sun Protection, How To be Sun Safe

Proper sun protection is important all year round but during the summer when harmful UV rays become more intense, it should be even more of a priority especially considering most people don't even think about sun protection unless they plan on being outdoors for an extended amount amount of time. Prolonged sun exposure not only increases your risk for skin cancer but it is also a leading cause of premature aging and dull and sagging skin. Get the facts and be sun safe.

  1. Sunlight consists of two types of rays. UVA rays are prevalent all year round and make up 95% of the earth's UV radiation. They can contribute to signs of premature aging such as wrinkles and sunspots. UVB rays cause sunburn and damage to your skin. It should be noted that exposure to either can lead to skin cancer.

  2. The sun is at it's strongest and most harmful between the hours of 10:00am - 4:00pm.

  3. UV rays are always around, not just on sunny days. Up to 80% of the sun's UV rays can pass through clouds.

  4. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen every day you are outside.

  5. SPF (sun protection factor) is a measure of the ratio it adds to the amount of time you can spend in the sun without burning. So if you normally burn after 30 minutes of exposure, an SPF of 15 would protect you for 450 minutes.

  6. Traditional sunscreens usually only protect against UVB rays so always look for broad spectrum protection which will also shield against those deep penetrating UVA rays. There are two kinds.

  7. Physical sunscreens also known as mineral or inorganic sunscreens work by sitting on top of your skin to deflect or block UV rays. The most common physical sunscreen ingredients are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. Physical sunblocks tend to be opaque and feel heavier but are usually better for sensitive skin though Titanium dioxide can cause some people to break out. They don't have to be absorbed and start working immediately when applied but they also need to be reapplied more often as they tend to rub off easily.

  8. Chemical sunscreens also know as organic sunscreens work by absorbing the sun's rays via a chemical reaction and dispelling the excess energy as heat. Common chemical sunblock ingredients include Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone, Homosalate, Helioplex, 4-MBC, Mexoryl SX and XL, Tinosorb S and M, and Uvinul T 150 and Uvinul A Plus . Oxybenzone has been cited as controversial because it can penetrate the skin and disrupt hormones. Chemical sunblocks may offer more consistent coverage against UVA and UVB rays but they're can also more likely to be potentially irritating. They're often colorless, odorless, and have a watery texture. It is recommended to apply chemical type sunscreens at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.

  9. Those seeking a natural sun protection solution can try an oil. Carrot seed oil for example has a reported SPF of 30 while coconut oil has an SPF of 10.

  10. No matter what you choose, make sure you wait at least 20 minutes before sun exposure post application.

  11. A higher SPF doesn't necessarily equate to more protection. An SPF of 30 blocks about 97% of UV rays. Any number higher than that actually only increases the protection by one to two percent. No sunscreen currently on the market can block 100% of UV rays.

  12. Reapplication and coverage are the real keys to sunscreen effectiveness. Regardless of the SPF, you should reapply your sunscreen every few hours when outdoors and especially after swimming or sweating.

  13. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends for people to use an SPF of at least 30 on both the face and body.

  14. You can't just rely on the SPF in your moisturizer or makeup for protection. Most people just don't wear enough to get the actual SPF on the label.

  15. To get the level of protection listed on your bottle, you will need to apply 1/4 - 1/2  teaspoon worth of product to your face and neck and one ounce (a shotglass) to your entire body. With sunscreen more is literally more. And don't forget about your ears and scalp.

  16. Most experts agree that suncare products should always be the last step of your skin care/makeup routine since any product applied over it can reduce their effectiveness.

  17. There is really no such thing as layering SPF. You will usually just get the SPF from the higher numbered product.

  18. Pay attention to the expiration date on your sunscreen and don't use it once it has expired. The active ingredients will break down and become deactivated over time.

  19. Store your sunscreen in a cool place. Heat and light can also lead to a loss of efficacy.

  20. Sunscreen is not enough. Protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and seeking shade offer even better defense.

  21. Beware of reflective surfaces such as water and sand as they can reflect up to 85% of the sun's damaging rays.

If you have concerns about sunscreens causing cancer, read this and this. For more information about both physical and chemical sunscreens, check out this helpful chart. 
No matter what level and type of protection you choose, just make sure you choose to be sun safe.
How do you practice sun safety? I've recently starting using a UV umbrella.

Information compiled via The Skin Cancer Foundation, Prevention & Paula's Choice 

Photo: Models in Red Swimwear on Beach by Louise Dahl Wolfe, 1959 via Vogue


My Garden Diaries said...

Thank you for putting this out there friend. I literally have the chills as a friend of mine with 4 kiddos just found out that her 9 year old little boy has melanoma. I have really been thinking a lot more about how I protect myself and what more I can do to protect my kids. Your list was so informative and helpful! Wishing you a lovely week ahead! Nicole xoxo


Wonderful post! Sun protection is definitely important for everyone! Great list: some of these I knew, my parents always made us wear sun protection, and it's always good to be more informed. :) /Madison

Lilli said...

Hi Rowena! This is an excellent and super informative post. I know perfectly that nowadays is really so dangerous stay under the sun without any protection, not only it causes cancer but damages the skin a lot. Mine is very sensible and I soon got dark spots. Usually I use SPF 30 or 50 when I am on the beach, in the city a cream with contains sunscreen as well. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead my dear, many hugs! xo

Jackie Harrison said...

Great information to protect the skin is need to be told and remind since people forget the damage rays of the sun could cause on their skin. Great post.

Emmylou said...

Great list, Rowena:) I must admit that even though I put on sunscreen on myself and the kids, there are some steps I neglect, like the waiting for 20 minutes... thanks for the reminder:)

Madaline said...

This is def a great list! I need to get better about sunscreen ever day. I try so hard to remember, however, on cloudy days it's so easy to forget!

Lena L said...

Thanks for sharing!
It always bugs me to read about the wrong sunscreen application methods (like mixing it with makeup or other moisturizer) and so-called veteran beauty bloggers saying "little bit goes a long way", etc.

Unknown said...

So useful! Thank you for sharing this with us!! ^^

❤ ✿ NEW POST ✿ ❤

Anonymous said...

I am so awful with sun care. I know they are coming out with all these new and fancy creams now, but I think I was traumatised as a child and I just hate the gooeyness, the stickiness, the way it makes you pale… and it just puts me off wanting to try any other suncreams, however technologically advanced they may now be. I don't like wearing hats either, and I feel like sunglasses deprecate the beauty of the lovely sunshiney view. Hope you're having a lovely start to the week. Rosemary x


Margaret Dallospedale said...

Thank you so much Rowana.
Very interesting and useful post
Maggie D.
The Indian Savage Diary

Beautetude said...

This was such a great very informative post Rowena. I think people should take sun protection more seriously.

Jointy&Croissanty said...

Interesting informations. I treat as a sun protection drinking freshly made carrot juice all morning.


Unknown said...

Great information, and the image at the top of your post is positively mesmerizing! I love, love, love it! So classic and pretty.

-- Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

Jenmarie said...

These are great tips! I am so glad you did a post on this because I feel like most people don't know how important it is to use sunscreen. Not only can you get cancer but it can also age your skin if you're not taking care.

Paola Lauretano said...

Interesting post, very useful!!!!
Kisses darling!!!

MITCH said...

I use UV umbrella too, especially when traveling. Sometimes I'm just too lazy to put an umbrella in my everyday bag :D Thanks for sharing these facts! Very useful!

felishmichelle.blogspot.com | My latest post

Jane said...

i used to be so careless about the sun and never bothered to put sunscreen! isn' that crazy? but now i make sure to put some on. i used alba which is kind of heavy but still does what it's supposed to do.

Ivana Split said...

Lovely suggestions...I think that a little bit of sunshine goes a long way...the sun provides us with vitamins but we must be careful not to overdo it and to protect our skin in every way we can:)

ALLIE NYC said...

Gosh I know I used 15 on my body and kept reapplying it but it was not enough and I got burned. And I put 30 on my face for just walking around and still got color!! When I go to the beach I out 80 on my face. I just got a kids sunblock in 40 for my face for walking around and will have to get 30 for my body for the beach.

Allie of ALLIE NYC

Effortlesslady said...

Thanks for sharing this useful information. I didn't know you have to wait at least 20 minutes before sun exposure post application

Anonymous said...

Great tips! I try to avoid the sun as much as I can but can't (or rather don't want to) when driving with the top down.

Marcela Gmd said...

Interesting information and great tips!!!
I always use sunscreen SPF 60 for my face and a good hat!!
Have a good week, dear Rowena!!! my like's for you!!!:)))

Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

Katherine Tealeaf said...

Thanks for the sun tips. :D

Love from,

Unknown said...

thanks for the fantastic tips

Lady parisienne said...

Nice post, pretty picture! Have a lovely day!

trishie said...

I didn't know that about carrot seed oil!!! So cool. Will have to look into that. And thanks for the great tips x

Unknown said...

This is such a great post!
Love Nilu Yuleena,
BIG hair LOUD mouth BLOG
BIG hair LOUD mouth FACEBOOK page

Coco said...

I'm very careful about sunbathing, that's why I'm on holidays but I will come home as pale as before :-)
Coco et La vie en rose / Bloglovin / Facebook

Kiss & Make-up said...

Everyone should read and know this! I wish I had known all these things years ago... I take sun protection very seriously now but there was a time when I didn't.

Mihaela Pojogu said...

A very good and useful post, protection is needed always you are out at day: when you are on top of a mountain or at the beach. I use 30 spf mostly.

Sam said...

Briliant post Rowena, you have cleared up so many misconceptions I had previously. Especially 3 and 17. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your views.

Unknown said...

Great and very useful post. I use sunscreen of course, but I rather stay at home during so hot weather. :)
Fashion Happenss

Oh to Be a Muse said...

The sunscreen that you reviewed in the previous post goes hand in hand with this post. I wear a face (and neck) moisturizer with spf 30 every morning and then put on my makeup (with spf 15) over it. So that usually satisfies my protection. Plus I'm usually inside between the hours of 8am-3pm (working) so I think that helps too. Great tips, dear.

Unknown said...

This is such a great post. Thanks for sharing :)

Kiss me Sunday // Bloglovin

debra mejia said...

I try to remember to apply sunscreen everyday. It's the reapplying that I have a hard time with!

Jo said...

What a useful post! I try to apply sunscreen everyday. I just hope they make the container smaller because I never finish them and then noticed that they have already expired ;(

xo Jo


nycstylelittlecannoli said...

Fabulous post and information All important and hope that everyone is aware how much damage the sun can do
three stars to you !!


Unknown said...

this is such an informative post. Looks like you put a lot of effort into it too. Thank you.

abeautifulzen said...

this was a really helpful list rola! i'm glad you put this together. will link it up as a daily zen for my blog!
A Beautiful Zen

Jessica said...

These tips are awesome! I just vacationed for over a week at the beach. Boy, was I prepared. I had sunscreen for my body, face, and my lips. I burn easily, so I made sure to always carry some in my bag so that I could reapply later.

Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

Sybil said...

awesome tips for sun protection!!! :D

Animated Confessions

A Very Sweet Blog said...

This is THE BEST suncare and sun safety post I have ever read Rowena. Great job! You really provided excellent options as to what to use and what is available. It's so important for people to protect themselves. Cancer is nothing nice! I apply a SPF 50 sunscreen. I wear UVA/UVB sunglasses and hat protection. I want to buy caps and hats that are made specifically to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays.

Vanessa N said...

Bless this post, bookmarking it and sending this post to my mom!

Rachel said...

I went to a waterpark this week and wore a long sleeved swimsuit to protect more of my skin from the sun, I also slathered sunscreen all over...still, after all of that I missed a little strip of skin on the back of my neck and got sunburned! You have to be very vigilant!

Lana said...

Thanks for this post. Such important information that we can't hear too often.


Thank you for sharing! I'm a great believer in sunblock -- we have to be in this part of the world! We use hats and sunglasses and rash guard type swimsuits with inbuilt sun protection.

JeannLiew | Luminnej said...


I am one of the guilty ones, I never put on sunblock when I was in my younger days (uni time), and I was really active outdoor, playing tennis and swimming back then, but I never like to put it on because it irritated my eyes whenever I sweat under the sun, but these days, the formula has improved tremendously. They can be lighter in terms of texture, and has way better protection:))

Now I try my best to put on sunblock whenever I am out, especially. Hope it is not too late. Have a fabulous week ahead, my friend!


Nancy said...

I was just wondering the other day about natural/mineral sunscreens and how they work, and you've just answered my question with facts 7 and 8. Thanks!

Stanislava E. said...

Very helpful tips. I don't use sunscreen all year round, since I apply cream/gel on my face in the morning. I still don't know whether I prefer physical, or chemical sunscreens...

Nequéren Reis said...

Ótima postagem, obrigada pela visita, bom final de semana.

Coco said...

N. 15 is often overlooked. Since I've known it I've been very careful in applying the right amount of product. Thank you for this informative post. It's unbelievable but most people underestimate the risk of sun exposure. Baci, Valeria - Coco et La vie en rose FASHION & BEAUTY

Unknown said...

The African sun is no child's play.. these are good tips! thanks

Priya Hareesh said...

SPF is must, infact some say it is important to even apply it indoors

Sabrina Mello said...

Gostei do seu post, seu site é muito bom mesmo, estou toda semana visitando e lendo seus artigos.


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