Skin is the largest and most apparent organ in our body. That’s why it needs a lot of care from our side, not only to look good but to be healthy and free of cancers. Fortunately, 90% of skin cancers can be avoided by proper skin care. Sunscreen is one of the most important products to use on skin protect it from UV rays. However, there are common mistakes done through the usage of sunscreen that can be harmful…
1. Not Using Sufficient Sunscreen
Don’t be fooled by the small sizes of sunscreen bottles, you need to apply about one ounce of sunscreen on your body 15 to 20 minutes before heading to the beach to allow absorption. This amount of sunscreen can be known by filling your palm; if this amount isn’t sufficient, apply more to cover all your body. Use of sunscreen is important even if it was cloudy. You need to reapply sunscreen every two hours.
2. Missing Spots
Every single part of exposed body must be protected with sunscreen. For instance, areas like all around the neck, around the eyes, eyes, feet and toes must be covered with sunscreen. Lips will also need protection by the use of lip balm having sunscreen.
3. Depending On Sunscreen Only For Protection
Just putting sunscreen doesn’t mean that you won’t get burned by the sun. You need to have an umbrella, wear a hat and sunglasses to hide from UV as much as possible. It is recommended to stay indoors altogether from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. You can know whether the sun is too harsh by checking if your shadow is shorter than you.
4. Using Sunscreen Only at the Beach
Even if you spend your day between home, car and office, you are still prone to the risk of UV rays. The side-window glass lets UVA rays to pass through to your arm. Hence, either wear long sleeves or apply sunscreen on your arm. Windows in a work space also some UV rays in, so avoid sitting beside them for prolonged periods of time when it is sunny.
5. Choosing the Wrong Type
Different skin types according to color require different types of sunscreen SPFs. Individuals with darker skin have melanin to protect them from UV and so will need a sunscreen with an SPF of about 15. As for individuals with very fair skin, they must use sunscreen with SPF between 30 and 45. Keep in mind that using sunscreen with higher SPF doesn’t make it okay to stay in the sun for long periods of time.
6. Using Expired Products
Active ingredients of sunscreens break down in sunlight and lose their effectiveness. As the ingredients of sunscreen also become unstable over time, you should get rid of products from last year. Moreover, preserve your sunscreen bottle by placing it in a shaded place when outdoors.
7. Checking for SPF Only
There are two types of UV rays: ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B. Both types of UV rays are harmful to skin and can lead to cancer. The SPF in sunscreen protects from UVB only. Therefore, instead of just checking for SPF number, make sure that the sunscreen you get is “broad-spectrum”.
8. Falling for False Advertising Claims
Products used to protect you from the sun cannot be really “sunblock” because nothing blocks UV completely. A truthful product would read “Sunscreen”. Another misconception about sunscreens is assuming that some types are waterproof or sweatproof. Sunscreen isn’t waterproof, so after swimming or participating in an activity that involves sweating; reapply sunscreen after you dry off.