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Orlando Pools: A Sunscreen Q&A

Welcome to Florida… where the transition from summer to fall doesn’t always mean spending any less time in the pool! While many Orlando pool owners will spend time in their pools well into the new season, it’s important to remember to slather on the sunscreen—even though it may not be quite as hot, the sun is still very strong.

Today, we’re looking at some common questions regarding sunscreen and answering them to help you stay safe in the sun this season.

Does the SPF matter?

When it comes to SPF, or sun protection factor, many pool owners stick to the idea that the highest SPF is always best. Based on the very nature of SPF, this should be true—but in practice, the higher SPF isn’t always the best. For example, a sunscreen with an SPF of 100 will block out 99 percent of sun rays when properly applied… but a sunscreen with an SPF of just 50 will block out 98 percent of the same rays. Just a one percent difference! Don’t worry about finding the highest SPF when a lower (and often more easily found) product can do the same job.

Higher SPF sunscreens may also be less ideal for pool goers for another reason: they can convince users that they don’t need to reapply as often. This can, ironically, lead to more sunburns, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid by using sunscreen in the first place!

Which is better for kids—spray or lotion?

In recent years, spray sunscreen has become a very popular option for adults and children alike. But when it comes down to safety and sun protection, is it better than traditional lotion?

Last year, Consumer Reports suggested that parents hold off on spraying sunscreen on their kids. While the sunscreen itself is typically just as effective as its lotion counterpart, it can accidentally be inhaled by children (who are likely to squirm and move around while the sunscreen is being applied).

You can still use the spray you have, however. Try applying it to your hands and then to your little one’s back for an easier and safer application.

How long after application until you can get back in the water?

Whether you’re using spray or lotion, your waterproof sunscreen is ready for the pool once it has dried on your skin. The amount of time this takes can vary based on a variety of factors such as shade, process of application, and even skin type.

Is pricier sunscreen better?

You may be surprised to find out that the cheaper, generic sunscreen isn’t always the wrong choice—in fact, some reports indicate that store brand sunscreen can do an even better job of protecting your skin! For this reason, you can feel comfortable purchasing more budget friendly sunscreen or whatever is on sale—you won’t be skimping on protection!

How often should I reapply?

You should reapply your sunscreen about every two hours… but you may choose to do so more often if you find that it’s especially sunny or you’re more prone to sunburn. Just be sure that your skin is completely dry before reapplying.

Where do you store it all?

If you use your pool especially often—and in Florida, who doesn’t?—you probably like to stock up on sunscreen when you can. But where do you keep it all? Sunscreen is most effective when kept in a cool, dry spot… think about keeping it in your hall closet or powder room!

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