UGirl's Guide to SPF & Tanning

Where's the aloe at?

by OLIVIA PECK    ★    JULY 20, 2018

Ah, Summertime. School is out, and waking up for 8 a.m. classes is the last thing on your mind. You grab your BFFs and head out for a long day at the beach. Of course, you are sporting your favorite bathing suit you’ve been waiting all winter to wear! Life is good, until you hop out of the shower and see your lobster-red skin. Ouch.

Don’t worry, UGirl’s guide to SPF and Tanning is here for you. *air hug*

Let's start with the basics


It’s safe to say almost everyone has experienced a “lobster burn,” but most may not be aware of the consequences. Not only can the sun’s rays cause a major skin burn, but they can also cause skin cancer. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, cases of skin cancer in America are reported more often than all other cases of cancer combined. Not to mention, too much exposure results in signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dark spots.

Sun rays have the same intensity all-year round, even on a cloudy day in Syracuse. With that being said, summer is not the only time when you should be thinking about applying an SPF.

How to protect yourself


Sunscreen, of course. Depending on your skin type, you can choose between chemical sunscreens and physical ones. Chemical formulas have to be applied 20 minutes prior to tanning, and they do not reflect heat off of your skin.

On the other hand, physical sunscreens work instantly. Because they don’t clog pores, they are better suited for sensitive skin types. They also reflect heat off of your skin, which prevents redness/rosacea.

Because of the stickiness, oiliness and dreaded white cast sunscreens tend to cause, they have a bad rep. But luckily companies like Glossier and SuperGoop! have taken notice to this! In turn, they have developed amazing sun-care products.

Daily sunscreens are formulated to be light and easy, so you can protect yourself all year-round without feeling like you are actually applying sunscreen. If you are looking for a light, chemical sunscreen, try Glossier’s Invisible Shield. Or give Supergoop!’s Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen, a physical sunscreen, a try.

If you are still not convinced, what if we told you there was an even easier way to apply sunscreen without adding another step to your beauty routine? Many moisturizers now combine skin care, primer and sunscreen all-in-one. Simple’s Light Moisturizer is a great option. Or if you prefer a bit of coverage, opt for a tinted moisturizer with SPF such as this Laura Mercier one.

Face makeup alone won’t give you enough protection as a sunscreen will. Plus, using 2-in-1 products will save you time getting ready!

Wait, what about tanning?


Never fear! All of your bronze-goddess hopes are not lost. First, it is important to know that just because you are wearing sunscreen, it does not mean you won’t get a tan. Even if you apply an SPF 15 and are consistent with applying it throughout the day, you will still get some color. Always remember, if you use a chemical sunscreen, it must be applied 20 minutes before you lay out, so it has time to sink into your skin.

Also, don’t forget to flip over onto your back. Use your phone timer to ensure an even tan. To start, set your timer to 30 minutes, and always reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. Now all you have to do is blast the new Drake album and relax!

If sitting in the sun is not appealing to you, self-tanners are a great alternative. Check out St. Tropez and Jergens for natural looking results.  

As always, love the skin you’re in and treat it kindly. Wrinkles? #nothanks


Tayler Bradford