The ABC’s of SPF

Yup — summertime (unofficially) is here and with longer days and warmer vibes, comes the need for a little vitamin D.

Rooftops, beaches, pools, and parks will soon be packed with those yearning to bask in the warm glow of the sun. But before getting your bathing suit ready and straw bag stuffed, make sure to slather on and take all precautions to avoid sunburn, wrinkles, dark spots, and basal-cell carcinoma or melanoma.

I learned a valuable lesson in my early twenties, when I fell asleep whilst relaxing at the beach in Peru, which happens to be next to the Equator. About 20 minutes later, I woke up with one side of my face boiling and covered in blisters. My skin swelled, and after a few unsuccessful rounds of ibuprofen, it was time to step it up with antibiotics — YIKES is right! When I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t help myself but to think man, this is the real ‘Scarface,’ forget Al Pacino!

The moral of all that — I now wear all sorts of sun protection when outside, and have managed to never again repeat this horrendous situation.

Doctors, skin pros, and beauty experts can’t stress enough the need to apply sunscreen multiple times a day. But why, one might ask? Sunblock is a powerful barrier from direct sunlight and SPF, which stands for sun protection factor, measures a sunscreen’s ability to shield from the harmful ultraviolet rays. The number represents how long one can stand in the sun before getting burned. 

With complicated studies and figures also come myths, so I am debunking some popular misconceptions about sun protection:

1. The higher the rating, the better protection — False! According to the FDA, no additional SPF protection is guaranteed with products over 45. SPF 15 is said to block 93 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 30 is all about 97 percent. So much of the fine print became misleading in recent years that Japan, Europe, and Australia capped its SPF value to not exceed 50.

2. Once and for all — Nope! No matter how high the SPF, no sunscreen provides all-day protection from the sun. It is meant to be re-applied throughout the day, especially if spending long periods exposed to direct sunlight. Sweat and water causes it to wear off, so it’s best to put on every two hours.

3. I spend minimal time outside, do I need it? — Yep! Sun damage doesn’t discriminate seasons, so rain, shine, sleet, or snow — if you are spending time outside (or near a window), make sure to apply sunscreen.

4. That bottle in my medicine cabinet is just fine — Absolute no no! If an old tube of sunscreen is sitting in your drawer, chances are it’s dunzo. Like most moisturizers, they tend to have a shelf life of about three years, so always check the label for an expiration date. If it doesn’t have a date, write the month and year it was first used.

Superfan of Supergoop!

Thanks to Supergoop!, SPF is now a bona-fide part of my morning beauty routine — and for very good reason. The San Antonio-based brand founded by Holly Thaggard has quite a cult following, in part for its innovative approach and passion to educate about the importance of daily sun care. All of their products have ‘broad spectrum’ protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Best of all, their formula does not leave a sticky residue, dullness, or nasty scent.

Shop my Supergoop! Must haves



Unseen Sunscreen is worth all the hype, and its velvety texture blends effortlessly and invisibly throughout my face and neck — without any shiny gunk. Free of oxybenzone and full of antioxidants, these tubes are safe, light, and pretty much work with every skin type — and a little dollop goes a long way.

Privy of the ever popular ‘no makeup’ makeup look, the sweat-resistant 100 Percent Mineral Invisible Setting Powder has a translucent formula that mattifies and smooths the skin. Defense Refresh Setting Mist is another powerful potion that’s often sold out. It’s the perfect boost that soothes, controls natural oils, and one of their most sought-after products.

Don’t forget to give some TLC to your lips, and always carry a lip balm to nourish and hydrate. My lips are chapped too often, but can’t wait to see the wonders of this product, because puckering up is meant to be fun, not painful.

Ryzenberg On, is Signing Off



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