It might surprise you to know that you probably don’t use sunscreen correctly. Though we’re often told to put it on before we go into the sun, there’s usually no more explanation. That’s why many that use sunscreen end up with a nasty sunburn or even a nice tan after using SPF 50!
Today, that problem is ending. Let’s look at why we put it on wrong and how to do it the right way.
We Put On Sunscreen Wrong!
It’s estimated that almost 100% of people (who haven’t been taught) put on sunscreen wrong.
- Too little: Most people only use a little on their skin. This means they don’t get the full block they’re meant to.
- Too infrequent: If you only put it on once, you should only be outside for about an hour. After that, it’s time to reapply.
- Missed Spots: While it can be hard to get everywhere when it’s just you, missed spots mean no protection.
SunSCREEN or SunBLOCK?
Have you used those two terms interchangeably before? You are not alone. However, these are actually different products with one important difference.
- Sunscreen: Must be applied twenty to thirty minutes before you go out. This is so that it can absorb into the skin. It’s a chemical that absorbs UVA rays for you.
- Sunblock: Sits on the skin and starts working right away to block both UVB and UVA rays. However, it needs to be applied more often as it can wash off faster.
Increased Risk of Cancer When We Think We’re Doing The Right Thing
If you use sunscreen wrong without knowing, you could actually increase your chance of skin cancer. This is mostly due to your belief that you’ve used it right. Since you are not covered (but think you are), you’ll stay out and get more UV than you should.
How to Put on Sunscreen Right
If you’re looking to apply your sunscreen right, it’s time to learn. Our goal, keep it simple:
- Shake the Bottle: Make sure it’s well mixed.
- Use One Ounce: An adult should use about a shot glass worth to cover their body.
- Cover all Skin: Don’t forget ears, neck, back, behind the knees, and legs.
- Reapply Often: Do a light application after 30 minutes and full applications every two hours.
- Reapply After Working: If you towel off, swim, or sweat, you must do a full application.
Sunscreen While Sun Tanning
Even if you have a tan (or want one,) sunscreen should be worn every time you go outside. Use a tanning sunscreen to make sure you absorb UV rays at a healthy rate. On the other hand, try tanning indoors and wearing a strong sunscreen every time you go outside.
Sunless Tanning for Full Protection
If you want to eliminate an increased risk of skin cancer, then choose sunless tanning and follow it up with sunscreen each time you go out. Sunless tanning gives the appearance of tan skin without the UV rays that come with “normal” tanning.