Are You Applying Sunscreen Correctly? Essential Do’s and Don’ts to Keep in Mind
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 09, 2023
Do you think sunscreen is only necessary for trips to the beach or swimming? That’s a common misconception. Regularly applying sunscreen to your face and body is crucial to protect yourself from harmful UV rays and their effects. However, there are common mistakes that can backfire and damage your skin. Here are seven do’s and don’ts to remember:
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Do: Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30+
High SPF doesn’t provide significantly more protection. SPF 30 blocks around 97% of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks about 98%, and SPF 100 blocks about 99%. SPF 30 is the minimum protection your skin needs, but opt for higher SPF when you’re exposed to the sun for extended periods.
Do: Apply sunscreen early before going out
Your skin takes up to 30 minutes to absorb sunscreen and provide protection against harsh sun rays. Plan ahead and apply it at least 30 minutes before going outside. Don’t forget to apply enough sunscreen; that’s crucial!
Sunscreen is a beauty essential that you can’t afford to skip.
Do: Choose the right type of sunscreen for your skin
Sunscreen comes in two categories: chemical (with ingredients like octinoxate and oxybenzone that act as sun filters) and physical (with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that physically protect the skin). Some people are allergic to chemical products, so always test a small amount on your wrist for allergic reactions.
Do: Reach for sunscreen no matter the forecast
Use sunscreen every single day, even when it’s cloudy. UV rays can damage your skin regardless of the weather. Apply sunscreen before running errands, taking a walk, or at any time of the year.
Don’t: Apply sunscreen only on your face
Cover every inch of exposed skin with sunscreen every day. Don’t forget to apply it on your ears, hands, arms, legs, and scalp. These areas are not only prone to skin aging due to sun exposure but also have a high risk of melanoma (skin cancer).
Apply sunscreen on all visible body parts to protect them from UV rays.
Don’t: Apply sunscreen once a day
Applying sunscreen once and expecting it to last all day is a mistake. Sunscreen rubs off easily due to sweating or contact with water. To maximize its effectiveness, reapply sunscreen every two hours.
Don’t: Assume dark skin protects you from UV rays
Never believe that dark skin is immune to skin cancer or that you need less sunscreen than fair skin. UVA and UVB rays, which cause skin cancer and visible signs of aging, affect everyone. So, regardless of your skin tone, don’t skip the sunscreen.
While following these do’s and don’ts can safeguard your skin, it’s also advisable to cover your skin as much as possible to protect yourself from sun-related skin ailments.