Avoid Sabotaging Your Sunscreen

July 5, 2018

© Konstantin Egudin | Dreamstime

Despite the overwhelming body of research that proves just how dangerous too much sun exposure can be, far too many of us are not wearing or applying sunscreen correctly and that drastically increases your risk of developing several types of skin cancers. So make sure you are not getting a false sense of security by sabotaging your sunscreen routine.  First, make sure you are applying sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days.  You're exposed to UV rays every time you step outside, even when it's cloudy, cold, or windy out, so the only surefire way to protect your skin is by wearing sunscreen every single day. Make sure you are applying enough sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using about an ounce of sunscreen (the size of a standard shot glass) for your body, liberally covering all exposed skin. Experts recommend a quarter-size amount for your face, though this all depends on your body size. The more, the merrier, when it comes to sun protection, so when in doubt, add more. Make sure you are re-applying sunscreen at least every two hours if you're in direct sunlight, and more often if you're swimming, sweating, or toweling off. If you are putting on makeup, you'll want to be sure that you're adding sunscreen in the right way. Apply sunscreen before any other beauty products to a clean, dry face, making sure to hit oft-forgotten areas, like your hairline and jawline. Even if you are using makeup products with SPF protection, you still need a foundation of actual sunscreen beneath them. It takes a while for high SPF sunscreens to become fully protective, so apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before even stepping outside to get the most protection. If you're putting it on when you're already in the sun, your skin is already exposed, and could potentially burn. Like any other skincare product, sunscreen does expire, and if you're using it past the expiration date, you're probably not getting the full benefits. Experts at the Mayo Clinic note that sunscreens are usually good for up to three years, but if the contents of your bottle have a weird smell, color, or consistency, you'll want to toss it before then.

SOURCE: Travel + Leisure

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