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Home / Blogs / Sun Protection / How Do We Protect Our Skin From the Sun?

How Do We Protect Our Skin From the Sun?

by Melissa Kleinman
How Do We Protect Our Skin From the Sun?

Applying sunscreen on daily basis should be part of your overall health and wellness routine. Just like you don’t think twice about brushing your teeth and washing your face in the morning, wearing SPF is equally as important. Protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays is a daily practice that should not be overlooked. Wearing SPF is the single most important part of any skincare routine.

How do we protect our skin from harmful UV rays?

The best way to protect your skin from UV damage is with sunscreen. A daily application of sunscreen on all exposed areas of the face and body is the first step in sun protection. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen (meaning it protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays). The minimum SPF number to use is 30, however if you are spending a lot of time outdoors, you will want to wear an SPF of 50 or higher.

In addition to wearing sunscreen, here are other ways to protect your skin from the sun:

  • Seek shade between the hours of 10am-3pm, which is when the sun is at its strongest
  • Wear sun protective clothing, such as long-sleeves and rash guards over a bathing suit
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV damage
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and scalp


Which do I apply first on my face, sunscreen or moisturizer?

The question of application is very common. It can be hard to understand which product to apply first. Sunscreen should be the final step in your skincare routine if you are using a mineral sunscreen (this means a sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). Mineral SPFs are also known as physical sunblocks. A chemical sunscreen on the other hand, needs to be applied before your other products. A chemical sunscreen provides protection by penetrating the skin. Chemical sunscreen ingredients include avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone.

For those with sensitive skin types, choose a mineral sunscreen that is less likely to irritate the skin. Try HydroPeptide Solar Defense Non-Tinted SPF 50.

HydroPeptide Solar Non-Tinted SPF 50

What is the correct way to apply sunscreen?

Whichever sunscreen formulation you choose, you will need to apply it at least 15 minutes before leaving the house. Most adults need about 1 ounce of sunscreen, basically enough to fill a shot glass, to fully cover their body and about 1/2 a teaspoon for the face. Reapply sunscreen every two hours when spending time outdoors and reapply immediately following swimming or heavy sweating.

Try HydroPeptide Solar Defense Body SPF 30 Spray to help apply sunscreen on those harder to reach places on the body.

HydroPeptide Solar Tinted SPF 30 and Solar Body SPF 30

What will I do first, my makeup or sunscreen?

Makeup that has SPF does not typically provide enough sun protection—you would need to pile on the makeup to get the maximum protection you see on the bottle. In order to fully protect your skin from UV rays, it is important to apply a separate sunscreen product along with your makeup. The best method is to apply sunscreen before your makeup, let it sit for a few minutes and then follow with your foundation of choice. For an alternative to foundation, try the HydroPeptide Solar Defense Tinted SPF 30, a tinted SPF that instantly adapts to any skin tone.

Can I still get Vitamin D when wearing SPF?

A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above will block approximately 97 percent of the sun's UVB rays. Sunscreen cannot block 100 percent of the sun's UVB rays, which is why it is still possible for your body to produce Vitamin D from the sun when wearing sunblock. According to Harvard Medical School: “Very few people put on enough sunscreen to block all UVB light, or they use sunscreen irregularly, so sunscreen's effects on vitamin D might not be that important.”

Is the higher SPF better?

It is very important to remember that high-number SPFs last the same amount of time on the skin as low-number SPFs. A high-number SPF does not allow you to spend additional time outdoors without reapplication. However, a higher SPF can help make up for the fact that you may not have applied enough sunscreen. According to Johns Hopkins, a higher SPF number can help compensate for the tendency not to apply sunscreen as thick as you should. Keep in mind that all sunscreens should be reapplied approximately every two hours when outdoors, even on cloudy days.

Is it beneficial to wear sunscreen at night, or is it not necessary?

“It is not necessary to wear sunscreen in the evening,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nava Greenfield. However, it is important to wear sunscreen every day—even when it is cloudy outside.

What is the difference between a chemical sunscreen and a physical sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreens act like a sponge and absorb the ultraviolet rays.  While mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide reflect the UV rays and physically shield the skin from harmful UV radiation. It is important to apply chemical sunscreens at least 15 minutes before leaving the house to allow them to penetrate. Dermatologists recommend applying chemical sunscreens directly to clean skin, while the physical sunblocks can be applied last in your skincare regimen. Makeup is always applied as the final step.

What is a broad-spectrum SPF?

There are two basic types of ultraviolet rays, UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays can produce sunburn while also play the biggest role in causing skin cancers, including melanoma. UVA rays, while they can also contribute to skin cancer, are responsible for premature aging of the skin. You want a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” to protect your skin from both UVB and UVA damage.

Shop all HydroPeptide sunscreens, formulated with luxurious, skin-soothing ingredients mineral-based SPF.

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