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The Must-Have Item This Hot Girl Summer: Sunscreen

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

The sun’s out, and it’s time to get serious about wearing sunscreen. A couple of days ago, my friends and I sat outside for two hours and ended up with sunburns, and we can’t be the only ones. So here are some sunscreen tips to save yourself from painful burns while you’re out having a hot girl summer.

Skin damage and sun risks

As the ozone layer gets thinner, we’re less protected from harmful UV rays. A higher UV index can be looked at as a good thing for tanning, but it makes things like sunscreen much more important. With summer approaching we’re bound to experience a higher UV index, your skin can burn much faster, including the skin on your eyes and lips. Regular sunscreen application (and re-application) is important to prevent unnecessary, uncomfortable, and harmful burns.

I used to struggle a lot with dark spots before I used sunscreen regularly, even if it wasn’t a sunny day, and yes, even in winter. Sunscreen has become part of my daily routine, and this additional step was easy to add. Personally, I’m a big fan of the La Roche Posay Anthelios UV Correct Face Sunscreen. I have more sensitive skin and this works great for me. It makes my skin look so glowy, and has SPF 70!

How much sunscreen do I need? And what about reapplying?

You need more sunscreen than you think. Healthline says that you should use about .04 ounces of sunscreen on your face, or about the size of a nickel or 1/3 of a teaspoon. Applying a very small amount might not give you the protection you need. Healthline also mentions that many dermatologists find ears, temples, and hairlines to be prime areas for early skin aging and cancerous cells due to not wearing enough sunscreen, so don’t forget about them!

What about reapplying? Johns Hopkins Medicine says that people should reapply their sunscreen about every two hours, especially if they’re swimming or out in the sun. If you spend most of your time inside away from windows, then you can get away with only one application, but you’re still at risk when going outside.

Reapplication can prove to be a challenge for makeup-wearers, but, to combat this, many companies have started making powder sunscreens, like the Supergoop (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder. This is a game changer for those of us that are looking for maximum sun protection without ruining our looks, AND, it comes in multiple shades to best match your skin tone.

I don’t need sunscreen, my makeup has SPF!

SPF in makeup is not enough to protect your skin from the sun. In an interview with L’oreal, dermatologist Dr. Katz said, “Don’t rely on makeup for the best source of SPF, as it’s notoriously unreliable in terms of the level of protection.” So simply put, no, your makeup isn’t going to supplement sunscreen. The same rule applies to moisturizer that has SPF. Even if you use products with SPF already in them, having a bit of extra protection won’t hurt.

You can, and should, wear sunscreen under your makeup. Just apply after moisturizer and you’re ready to go.

WHat about white cast??

A white cast can be pretty annoying, but many products on the market can end the white cast battle once and for all. I present to you: clear sunscreen. Not something particularly new to the market, but, after the rise in popularity of the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen, a lot of competitors have stepped up. Some might even say that they are better than the viral original.

Cosmopolitan still ranks Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen as their number one pick for 2024, but, in their list of their 13 Best Clear Sunscreens That Won’t Leave A White Cast, Biore, Starface, Black Girl Sunscreen, and Tula Skincare make it into the top ten. Clear sunscreen comes in both liquid and stick form so you can find the best fit for you.

Whether it’s a lotion, powder, stick, or all three, I hope this summer you and your sunscreen head out there and take on the town, then I hope you keep it around for the rest of the year. Don’t let your skin freeze your hot girl summer and keep your skin looking hot (but not burnt!) by keeping up that sunscreen routine. If you’re looking for more on sunscreen and some recommendations, check out Why Are You Still Skipping Out on Sunscreen?

Emma is a writer for Her Campus UCF. She is a junior at the University of Central Florida studying Writing and Rhetoric and Political Science. She is passionate about social justice issues, the impact of interpersonal relationships, film, and the star of the show: themed playlists. You can probably find her with a good outfit having a good time, reading, or at a hockey game.