What’s your sun safety score?

10 tips to help protect your skin from UV rays

Stephanie Papanikolas Avatar

Stephanie Papanikolas
Jun 02, 2020 · 3 min read

We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Let’s face it — getting in the habit of applying sunscreen is hard. But getting your morning SPF fix is just one way to shield your skin against sun damage. In fact, there’s a lot more we could all be doing when it comes to sun protection.

The sun safety quiz

I took a look at what dermatologists recommend and broke it down into a tip-based quiz — give yourself a point for every statement that’s true for you!

1. I apply sunscreen in my morning skincare routine

Whether it’s a tinted moisturizer, hydrating cream, or straight up zinc oxide, the start of every day includes a skincare product with SPF.

2. I use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more

Whatever product you choose, it’s at least SPF 30, which blocks out 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. (SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” by the way!)

3. …and it has broad-spectrum SPF

Broad-spectrum SPF means that it blocks out UVA and UVB rays. While it’s thought that UVA rays cause signs of aging and UVB rays cause sunburns, both can cause cancer.

4. I apply enough

Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen! The American Academy of Dermatology says most people only apply 25–50% of the recommended amount. How much you should apply can vary, but generally, a dollop about the size of a large pea is usually good for the face/upper neck, and 2 tablespoons of product to cover your body.

5. I reapply enough

You should reapply sunscreen for every 2 hours of sun exposure — if you’re inside all day, once a day might be enough.

6. I let it sink in

Chemical sunscreens are popular in skincare and makeup products because they’re easier to blend and don’t leave a white cast. These ingredients work like a sponge, absorbing the sun’s UV rays — and they need to absorb into your skin to take full effect, which takes about 20 minutes after application.

7. I seek shade

I’m not saying you should never leave the house (a little sunlight is good for you!), but, when it’s practical, you seek a shady spot. That means you never lay out, tan, or intentionally overexpose yourself to sunlight.

8. I have sun-safety style

You wear sun-blocking clothing, like a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Long-sleeved shirts and pants count, too. And so do parasols (let’s bring them back)!

9. I block UV rays indoors

You might use tinted glass, screens, and heavy curtains designed to block out UV rays, in both your car and your home.

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Your sun safety score

0: Total newbie. You’re not practicing any sun protection — but now you know how to get started!

1–3: Budding novice. You’ve got some basic sun protection down — you might even remember to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day! — but there’s some room for improvement.

4–6: Experienced. You’re pretty experienced when it comes to wearing sunscreen and probably already knew most of these tips. There are a few extra lifestyle changes you can make so that your sun protection is even better!

7–9: Expert. Your sun protection is #Goals — your sunscreen application is flawless and you lead a sun-conscious lifestyle that keeps you even safer. Bravo!

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Get custom skincare led by dermatologists when you sign up for Curology and get your first month free. You’ll be paired with one of our in-house medical providers who will prescribe you a custom cream with a mix of 3 ingredients to target signs of sun damage like dark spots and signs of aging. You’ll just pay $4.95 (plus tax) to cover the cost of shipping and handling.

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Stephanie Papanikolas

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