It’s summer, so we are all thinking about vacays, beach week, swimsuit season, and more… But, don’t let sunblock slip your mind. UV Rays are always prevalent when the sun is present, but they are a lot stronger during the summer time. The sun is higher in the sky, closer to us, and it’s typically not as cloudy.

So what SPF should you use?

SPF refers to the amount of UVB rays a sunscreen can block. Not UVA rays which we actually can’t block. UVA rays related to deeper skin damage which is why sunglasses and sunhats are important even when you are wearing sunblock. Also sunblock comes with a time limit typically 2-3 hours, so it’s important to re-apply it throughout the day.

Here’s the skinny on those SPF levels, and how much UVB rays they block:

  • SPF 15  – 94%
  • SPF 30 – 97%
  • SPF 45 – 98%

I haven’t found any dermatologists that recommends anything over SPF 45. After 45, it’s just marketing bluff according to the docs at WEBMD in terms of actually protecting you.

So here’s the breakdown:

  • Stay out of the sun during peak sun hours. You know when it’s the hottest time of day? Go inside and get some A/C
  • Wear sunblock SPF 30 everyday even when its not the summer if you plan on going outside
  • SPF 45 for those particularly hot days, that 1% can make a difference when you crank the heat
  • Re-apply periodically while in the sun
  • Wear hats and sunglasses (who doesn’t like to accessorize)