Ode to SPF


Let’s face it, I’m never going to be tan. I have that super pale skin with pink undertones that needs excellent sun protection. I also have extremely sensitive skin that reacts badly to lots of things in many skincare products. Being a runner who dreads the treadmill, I’m exposed to the sun’s rays a lot. I’ve also had several runner friends who have had to have melanoma or precancerous cells removed, so I thought this post might be helpful as we head into warmer temperatures. I go for a full body skin cancer screening about every 5 years as directed by my dermatologist. He said I’m doing a great job so I figured I’d let you know what has worked for me.

First off let’s go into what SPF means. I found some great info which I’ll summarize here, but if you’d like to read the original article, here’s the link. Skincancer.org . So basically, the the number, for example SPF 15, means your skin will be able to withstand 15 times the normal UVB exposure of untreated skin. So if you normally would take 20 minutes to get red, you theoretically would take 5 hours to turn red. The big but being, sunscreen factor only last for about 2 hours before you need to reapply. This can be further diminished by sweating and swimming. As well, SPF 15 filters about 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 filters about 97% and SPF 50 98%. These seem like small differences, but can mean a lot on very pale skin or people who are genetically prone to skin cancers.


My daily skincare routine is primarily from the Deciem line, which I can’t sing the praises of enough. Deciem.com The one thing they don’t make is a great SPF to wear every day that works under make-up/ bb creams etc. They absolutely recommend you use one though, especially if you use their direct acids or retinols. Most people would also be shocked how much sunscreen you’re supposed to apply to get the coverage advertised on the bottle. You actually are supposed to have about an ounce of sunscreen every time you reapply (I follow this more for sport exposure rather than daily.) IMG_2956

Vanicream (4oz. $14.99) Vanicream on Amazon.com is my favorite SPF to wear every day. It’s a physical sunscreen which means it reflects the sun rather than absorbing it. It wears great under make up and has never irritated my skin. If you’re a more tan complexion you might want to try something else. Physical sunblocks, unless formulated with pigment for darker skin, can give an ashy or grey appearance to the skin.


For when I’m running or going to be outdoors for extended periods of time the Vanicream really doesn’t hold up great to sweat so I actually use this product from Coppertone. Coppertone Sensitive Skin Faces (2oz. $7.49) Coppertone Faces Sensitive on Amazon.com is also a physical sunblock. It really holds up well when I run and it won’t sting your eyes which I really appreciate. The only thing that I don’t love is when it gets in my beard. It coats the hair giving it a white appearance.  I usually wipe it with a towel and it’s fine, but once I left the house looking a little crazier than usual.


For my body I like to have something that sprays so I can get my back and shoulders if Joe isn’t around to do it. This one from Coppertone (2 6oz cans $14.99) Coppertone Sport Spray 2 pack on Amazon.com is amazing. I can run outdoors shirtless all summer with this one and only get the slightest peach glow. It stays on your skin like a coating so I don’t mind it on my body, but I would never put on my face.

I hope this post encourages people to be better about applying SPF. Beyond protecting you against cancer (which is reason enough to get on board) an estimated 90% of skin aging is due to sun exposure. People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily. An estimated 52,170 new cases of invasive melanoma in men and 34,940 in women will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, so see your doctor for a screening and make sure you’re protected! Let me know if you have any other favorite SPF’s that you love, that you think people should know about!

Keep Running Fabulously


2 thoughts on “Ode to SPF

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