As you all know, sunscreens and sunblocks aren’t just for summer. With unpredictable and extreme weather conditions worldwide, you always have to carry a bottle or two with you. A 2-year study indicated that people wearing sunscreen had a lower rate of appearance of new precancerous skin lesions than those who do not use it. So be cautious when traipsing around in your travels; always apply sunblock or sunscreen minutes before going out.

So what’s the difference between the block and the screen? Simple. Sunblocks have titanium dioxide and reflect UV while sunscreens absorb UV before it gets to your skin cells. I can’t really say that one is better than the other. They both do their job, it’s just that they do it their own way. The fight is in the SPF. The sun protection factor found in both of them is a measurement unit to indicate how long you can stay under the sun without getting burned.

A decade ago, I would be excited to see an SPF 30 sunblock in the market but now I don’t even feel safe with a 50. A 15-minute walk without umbrella at noon on a summer day gives me a sun burn so that now I always bring an umbrella and apply sunblock or if I don’t have them at hand, I just never leave the house at noon. The importance of sun protection is obvious to everyone; however, some people just don’t bother with it…understandable, really, when you’re a huge muscular buff of a man. But still, you gotta take care of yourself. Just buy a manly-looking bottle, alright? Try Homme Aqua Sun Block Cream, Menscience Sunblock or Biotherm UV Defense and apply it when no one’s looking. As for ladies, try Skin Food’s Broccoli Sun Cream or Etude House’s Glow Base Sun Guard; the latter provides you with just the right SPF plus it literally gives you the glow. Here are some other tips and points to consider when using sun protection products:

Tip # 1 – When buying sunblock/screen, choose the highest SPF that money can buy. I’ve seen a whopping SPF 130 that costs almost as cheap as the 60. It’s available as SunPlay Super Block and it’s even in a convenient easy-to-pocket bottle.

Tip # 2 – Use a product that gives more. Pick the one that promises more functions like the added menthol, moisturizer or make-up base. Again, SunPlay wins this one with their Watery Cool SPF 65 Sunblock lotion with Menthol.

Tip # 3 – Apply the product a little thicker. A study recommends applying a layer of about 2 mg/cm2 of your lotion to properly achieve what’s written on the bottle. However, a typical person only applies about 1 mg/cm2, making the product less effective. Remember to reapply as needed as well.

Tip # 4 – Experiment. As I always say, try out different brands. Distinguish the sticky and tolerably sticky from those that are actually non-sticky. If you bought a sticky sunblock but want to keep using it anyways, try patting some baby powder over it to lessen your discomfort. The smell is also important, no matter how well the skin coverage is, if it’s suffocatingly stinky, you’re going to stop using it. Test out one that smells like perfume 🙂

Finally, if you’ve got the perfect product, use it frequently. Do not however, smother yourself with SPF every minute of every day. Give yourself a break. A normal person would need at least 15 minutes of sun exposure to convert 7-dehydrocholesterol in your skin into cholecalciferol. Cholecalciferol can then be converted in other organs to the active vitamin D.

Just follow the tips above and you’ll be fine. As a last piece of advice…enjoy your summer vacation! 🙂