Skip to main content

SPF is Your BFF

Posted May 18, 2023 in Skin Cancer, Skin Care

May is in full bloom thanks to April showers! I love this time of the year where it’s still cold in the mornings and warms up in the afternoons. I enjoy spending time outside, caring for my garden and lounging by the pool! With all the extra time we spend outdoors in the summer months, it is critical to care for our skin with an effective sunscreen. 

Smiling woman applying sunscreen


At Specialists in Plastic Surgery, our job is to help you feel and be your most confident. In my skincare consultations the main concern I hear is that most patients want to look younger. The first question I ask is “Do you wear sunscreen everyday?”. I get responses such as “My makeup contains sunscreen” and “I work indoors” and “I only use sunscreen when at the beach”. Sometimes my patients tell me they never wear sunscreen. *Cringe*

First, PLEASE wear sunscreen daily. Do not rely on the SPF in your moisturizer or makeup for sun protection. It’s typically a low dose and not enough sun protection. It’s better to use a broad spectrum sunscreen and apply it alone, THEN do your normal makeup regimen after sunscreen application. Second, if you work inside and your office has windows, you get sun exposure. If you drive to and from work, you’re also getting sun exposure. 

Here’s the thing about SPF. It should be applied every day of the year rain or shine!


Clinical signs of aging are primarily influenced by external factors, specifically sun exposure. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, photoaging causes 90% of visible skin changes. We all age and there is nothing we can do to physically slow down the clock. The most effective thing you can do to prevent wrinkles, early signs of aging, and skin cancer is to wear sunscreen. While there are treatment options for wrinkles such as chemical peels and prescription retinoids, remember that photoaging effects can’t always be reversed. One key point I want you to take away from this post is that PREVENTION IS CHEAPER THAN CORRECTION. 

When purchasing a sunscreen make sure it says broad spectrum on the label. This means it offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays, with at least 30 SPF or higher. A tip I’ve always found helpful is to think of the A in UVA for aging and the B in UVB for burns. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, daily sunscreen use can decrease your chances of developing squamous cell carcinoma by approximately 40% and melanoma by 50%. 



  • EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46: Calms and protects sensitive skin types prone to discoloration and breakouts associated with acne and rosacea. It contains niacinamide (vitamin B3), hyaluronic acid and lactic acid, ingredients that promote healthy-looking skin. Very lightweight and silky, it may be worn with makeup or alone. It protects your complexion from harmful UVA and UVB rays. This one is also available in a tinted version. 
  • SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 35: is a 5% titanium dioxide and 6% zinc oxide formula that protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Appropriate for all skin types, including sensitive and post-surgical skin, this sunscreen is paraben-free, oil-free, fragrance-free and will not clog pores. The sheer, lightweight cream also features caffeine and powerful antioxidants to correct and prevent aging signs.


  • SkinCeuticals Daily Brightening UV Defense SPF 30: is a lightweight, residue-free formula that combines broad spectrum UV protection with a potent blend of discoloration-correcting and hydrating ingredients for brighter, more even skin. Broad spectrum chemical UV filters protect against future sun damage. This daily sunscreen delivers immediate and all-day hydration with 7% glycerin, while mica instantly brightens all skin tones. 


  • ZO Sunscreen + Primer: This dual-action sunscreen, with ZOX12® complex, protects against UVA/UVB and IR-A rays, as well as HEV light (blue light). Hydrates and doubles as a makeup primer for a smooth matte finish, diminishing skin imperfections. Helps smooth the skin and diminish fine lines. Ideal for all skin types. 
Woman hugging lovely daughter with sunscreen on the cheeks


  • EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ : Suitable for the whole family! Use from head to toe to hydrate the skin and protect against sun damage. It’s ideal for all skin types. Active Ingredients: 7.5% Octinoxate, 7.0% Zinc oxide. It’s paraben free, fragrance free, vegan. Non-comedogenic and sensitivity free. 


  • Use a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher 
  • Apply liberally to face and neck 15 minutes before sun exposure
  • Use water-resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating and reapply at least every 2 hours
  • Limit time in the sun, especially from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen even if it’s cloudy outside during those cold winter months


May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and National Sunscreen Day is on May 26th! Specialists in Plastic Surgery will offer 20% off all sunscreens for the week of May 22nd-26th and a FREE EltaMD UV Lip Balm with purchase of EltaMD body and face sunscreen. The sunscreen sale is the perfect time to pick up one (or even two or three!) sunscreen products. 

If you are unsure which sunscreen is right for you, please book an appointment with me by calling our office at 919-785-0505. I’m here to help you and answer any questions you may have. I would love to connect with you on Instagram @TheBubblyAesthetician or send me an email 

 – Candace Zumbach