Beauty

A Safe Place in the Sun

Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice your fun outside to protect your skin. Here, answers to your sun care questions, and the most foolproof ways to safeguard yourself.

A Safe Place in the Sun
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If I wear makeup that has SPF, I don’t need to use sunscreen, right?
Ideally, your tinted moisturizer or BB cream with UVA and UVB protection would be enough, but there are two main problems with makeup that contains sunscreen, Hirsch says. First, unless you’re applying about half a teaspoon of your favorite foundation or powder—which would give you major “cake face”—you’re probably not getting the amount of SPF protection advertised. (Not to mention, foundations usually offer only SPF 15, which is OK for a workday, but doesn’t give you enough protection for a day at the beach.) And second, you tend to apply more makeup where you’re trying to hide imperfections (like under your eyes and around the nose and lips) and not enough on other areas, like your cheeks and forehead, which means you’re not protecting your entire face evenly. You don’t need to toss your favorite foundation. Instead, apply a facial sunscreen (half a teaspoon!) under it to ensure you’re getting the right coverage.

Should I be worried about inhaling spray sunscreen when I apply it?
The FDA is looking into the data to determine the effectiveness of spray sunscreens and whether they present a safety concern if inhaled—but there’s no ruling yet. The formulas work, but they make it impossible to gauge how much sunscreen you’re using, so there’s a risk of under applying, says Meghan O’Brien, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. Also, most of them contain avobenzone and oxybenzone, so they aren’t considered natural. If you love the convenience of sprays, spritz more than you think you need—a bottle should only last one weekend at the beach. To avoid inhaling the product, never spray it directly on your face, and hold your breath while you apply it to your body. One more thing: Aerosol sunscreens contain ozonedepleting ingredients; if you opt for a spray, choose a non-aerosol formula. Replenix Sheer Physical Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50+ is the only spray we’ve found that is non-aerosol and uses zinc oxide ($38, skindirect.com).