Living in Arizona we enjoy great weather throughout the winter, but come summer it wouldn’t be exaggerating to say we are exposed to harsh conditions. A lot of Phoenix residences are transplants from other areas of the county. You rarely find a native, and when you do they are eager to claim their title. They should defiantly be acknowledged for their survival skills needed for a summer in the desert.

I know when I moved here 10 years ago from Idaho I never expected the heat to be so intense. I remember laughing when I saw a sign at the local Blockbuster to not leave your rentals in the car during summer months. Every summer when I feel my skin sizzle against the leather in my car I think back to the warped Blockbuster tape and grin. Soon into my first summer here I realized if I wanted to keep my skin healthy and cancer free I would have to add sunblock to my daily routine. I find I am continually reminding my clients to wear sunblock and the importance of reapplying.

There are a lot of options when choosing a sunblock and many have misleading labels. So here are a few things to look for and a few tips to help you stay burn free this summer:

• SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor.

• Sunblock is stronger then sunscreen and tends be thicker in consistency.

• Sunblock will contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.

• Sunblock is able to block the majority of UVA/UVB rays and doesn’t need to be reapplied as often as sunscreens.

• Sunscreen also blocks UVA/UVB rays but tends to break down a little faster then sunblock when exposed to the sun.

• Sunscreen is thinner in consistency, as well as becomes transparent when applied. • All sunscreens should be reapplied more often then sunblocks.

• According to the FDA we should apply 1 ounce of sunblock to cover the average adult body, which translates to a full shot glass. If your only applying to your face use one-fourth of a teaspoon.

• SPF is a measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen. The number represented by SPF will tell you how long you can be in the sun before you start to burn. If there is an SPF of 30 this will allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer then you could normally before burning.

• To achieve maximum effectiveness all sunscreens should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going into the sun. They should also be reapplied about 15 minutes after being in the sun. You should always reapply after swimming, sweating or toweling off.

Remember your skin is an organ and taking the proper precautions not to damage it is important. We all love a great tan, but unfortunately getting a tan naturally will cause damage you’ll see for years to come.  The best anti aging cream is sunblock!


Jessica Devilbliss is owner of Glow Skin & Body Studio in Ahwatukee Foothills, 4350 E. Ray Road, Suite 108. Reach her at (480) 759-8400 or visit


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