How to Use Sunscreen Effectively

How to Use Sunscreen Effectively
Jul 10 2014

How to Use Sunscreen Effectively

So summer is finally here and you’ve become a permanent resident of that comfy lounge chair by the pool, but are you protecting yourself properly from the sun? Even though spending some relaxing time outside might feel amazing, your skin can still be burned and damaged. It is crucial to use sunscreen to make it through the summer unscathed and to maintain healthy, beautiful skin. However, sunscreen can only be fully effective if it is properly used, so we’ve assembled a list of the best sunscreen tips to let you maximize your skin protection and get back to enjoying your summer!

 

Use Enough Sunscreen

The most common mistake is not using enough sunscreen or not wearing sunscreen at all. Regardless of your complexion, you need to make sure that your skin is protected from the sun. You can easily apply an appropriate amount by using a nickel for reference. A nickel-sized amount for your face will give you adequate protection, along with a similarly sized amount for each arm. For your torso and legs, quarter-sized amounts on each will be appropriate. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to areas that are normally neglected such as your scalp, lips, ears, and around your eyes.

Reapply Often

How often you need to reapply sunscreen is dependent on your individual sensitivity to the sun. Generally, you’ll need to reapply every two hours if you have fair skin; every three or four hours if you have an olive complexion; and three times a day if you have a dark complexion. If you’ve been swimming or plan on swimming, you should also be reapplying very often and wearing waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. It is also important to make sure that your sunscreen is blocking both UVB and UVA rays, UVA rays can lead to sun damage and possibly skin cancer.

Pay Attention to Expiry Dates

We’re all guilty of using that bottle that you bought on the way home from seeing The Matrix for the first time, but you really should not be taking that risk when it comes to the health of your skin. The ingredients lose their potency over time, so using an old bottle of sunscreen can be much less effective. As ironic as it may seem, leaving your sunscreen in direct sunlight or exposing it to warm temperatures can also have a negative effect on its ability to protect you properly.

Stay out of the Sun

No matter how much sunscreen you’re wearing, staying out of the sun can be the best protection. Wearing sunscreen does not mean you have total protection from damaging your skin, so it’s necessary to take other steps to protect yourself. Clothing like long sleeved shirts and wide brimmed hats can be very effective in preventing burns. During the peak sunlight hours of 10 AM to 4 PM, it is also crucial to avoid being in direct sunlight for too long as prolonged exposure can easily result in damage.

 

Still curious about how to protect yourself during the summer? Don’t be afraid to ask us!

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