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Maximize Your SPF by Layering It On

Woman in bikini applying sunscreen on shoulder beside pool

Protecting your skin from the sun is serious business. If you’ve read the FDA guidelines, you know you need a shot glass-full of sunscreen per day applied to every exposed body part you can think of, and some that you can’t. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that your SPF 30 moisturizer is going to do the trick, and it may not. To make sure you get full protection, you need to layer your SPF products. Read on to find out how to do it.

Sunscreen Products

You may have noticed a lot of products popping up on the market with added SPF.  There are concealers with SPF, primers with SPF, moisturizers with SPF, and of course, there’s good old sunscreen. Which is the best to use? The answer is all of the above.

As long as one of your skincare products carries a rating of SPF 30 or above and you apply it generously, you can add as many other products to the mix as you like, and you will get better results. However, if layering is not for you, you’re probably best off using a daytime moisturizer rated at SPF 30 or above applied liberally followed by a foundation with any SPF number greater than that.

Layering Sunscreen

While there are really no rules for applying sunscreens, it’s important to cover the exposed areas, like your neck and face. The idea is to layer by texture. If your skin is oily, you should start with a matte finish, lightweight formula with a 30 SPF, followed by a sunscreen infused primer and then a powder or liquid foundation, also containing sunscreen. If you want to add eye cream to them, do that after applying the moisturizer, directly before applying makeup.

Why You Should Layer Sunscreen

People just don’t apply enough sunscreen. That’s why the FDA tells you to reapply the stuff every two hours. If you repeat this enough times, eventually you should end up with enough on your skin to meet the daily requirements.

If you look at most studies, when it comes to sunscreen, there can’t be too much, but there certainly can be too little. That means, the more sunscreen you get on your face, the better, which is why layering is so effective. It allows you to get a lot on your skin before you go out, bringing you closer to the daily requirement.

However, since it is not known exactly how much added protection layering gives you, you need to make sure that at least one of the products you’re applying is rated a minimum of SPF 30 and that it is applied generously and evenly. For example, there is no evidence that applying an SPF 30 product followed by a SPF 20 product will guarantee an SPF of 50, but it will give you greater protection, and that is what’s important.

Are you layering your sunscreen? Let us know how you do it! What products are you using and in what order? Let us know!

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Guide to Men’s Summer Style

Fashionable man enjoying the summer sun outdoors

Summer, a time when temperatures rise and layers are shed. It is easy to get lazier with your style along with a more carefree attitude toward life in the summer. Guys will likely be drawn toward hanging out in a tank, board shorts and flip flops. In your haste to welcome summer, do not let your style fall by the wayside. Follow Vine Vera’s Guide to Men’s Summer Style to keep your look hip even while its hot. The 5 S’s – shirts, shades, shorts, shoes, skin care – are essential to pulling off an easy going but cool outfit at all those great summer occasions: camping, barbecues in the backyard, bonfires on the beach, even drinks under the stars. Find more details in the Vine Vera Guide to Men’s Summer Style.

Infographic on men's summer style

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Chemical-Free Ways to Protect Skin This Summer

Woman covering herself with a sun hat

Getting badly burnt by the sun is never fun, and what’s even worse is what it does to your skin in the long-term. In the long-term, sun exposure (even if you don’t burn!) increases your risk of melanoma (the main type of skin cancer) and causes you to age and wrinkle earlier in life. This is why using a broad-spectrum, SPF 30 or higher sunscreen is so important.

But what if your skin can’t stand the chemicals used in most sunscreens? Some people are actually allergic to common sunscreen compounds, and can get irritated, red skin or even rashes from applying it, which is, of course, not desirable even if it doesprotect you from sun damage. When you’re trying to avoid getting burnt, it kind of defeats the purpose if the thing you’re using to prevent that burn makes you red all by itself.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, if you have a negative reaction to chemical sunscreens, or just want to avoid using them in general for other reasons, Vine Vera is here to show you how you can prevent sun damage without relying on irritating chemicals.

Use Physical Blocker Sunscreens

Probably the most important thing to understand if you want to avoid irritation with sunscreen is the difference between chemical sunscreens and physical-blocker sunblocks. The most common, easily available, and well-known sunscreens use specific chemical compounds that—when hit with ultraviolet rays—absorb the UV ray, react chemically, and give off the energy from the radiation in harmless ways that doesn’t hurt your skin. Physical sunblocks, on the other hand, are non-reactive, and are usually made up of a combination of finely ground minerals, generally titanium and/or zinc-based, which—when hit with those very same UV rays—simply reflect them away. No chemical reaction, just an ability to completely block the UV rays from even touching your skin at all.

Because they’re made with non-reactive minerals, physical sunblocks are extremely unlikely to irritate your skin, and allergies to them are practically unheard of. So, with a physical sunblock, you can protect yourself just as well (or perhaps even a little better, since physical sunblocks don’t degrade overtime and are better at protecting you all day long) without the need for harsh chemicals.

Install UV-blocking Windowpanes

If you spend most of your day indoors, you might believe you’re safe from the sun’s vicious onslaught, but unless you’ve thought ahead and gotten the right kind of windows, you’d be wrong. One of the reasons that dermatologists recommend using sun protection every day, as long as the sun’s out, is that, even indoors, you can get enough exposure to UV rays to contribute to long-term damage, even if you don’t burn.

To help with this, special windowpanes exist that do, in fact, filter out all damaging UV radiation, so call up your local glass or home improvement store and ask about having some installed.

Stay Inside During Peak Hours

Even with Sunscreen, there are certain hours of the day where it’s recommended to—if at all possible—stay out of the sun. These hours are whenever the sun’s highest in the sky, generally between 10 AM and 4 PM (adjust for daylight savings time accordingly, as necessary). During these times, if you can help it, stay inside, preferably in a home where you’ve installed the aforementioned UV filtering windowpanes!