Applying sunscreen seems simple enough, right? You squirt it out of the tube, rub it in between your palms, apply it on your skin and you're done. Well, not quite. You may not know it yet but sunscreen can get a bit more technical and because it's at the risk of skin damage, it is important to make note of that. Before summer hits and sunscreen becomes your seasonal staple, make sure you don't make any of these six mistakes
1. You Don't Reapply
It isn't as simple as applying a thick layer of sunscreen in the morning and forgetting about it for the rest of the day. Because of friction, dust and sweat, sunscreen easily fades away from the skin after a few hours. That's why it is important to reapply sunscreen every four hours and if you go swimming or sweat excessively, immediately after that.
2. You Don't Pick Well
Don't make the mistake of purchasing sunscreen that doesn't have the word 'broad spectrum' on it. This means that it acts like an umbrella to protect your skin from both, UVA and UVB rays. As both rays cause significant damage to your skin at different depths and increase your risk of skin cancer, make sure your sunscreen shields you from both.
3. You Apply Too Late
Hastily applying sunscreen once you hit the beach is far too late and won't do much for your skin. For adequate protection, a thick layer of sunscreen needs to be applied 30 minutes before you step outside as it allows the skin enough time to properly absorb.
4. You Forget Spots
More often than not, you forget to apply sunscreen on your face, lips and ears. Don't make the mistake of thinking sunscreen is only for your arms and legs. Areas with delicate skin like your face and lips too need protection so ensure you take care of them. For your face, opt for a lightweight sunscreen that won't clog your pores and leave you oily. For your lips, a lip balm with SPF will do the trick.
5. You Only Care About SPF
When it comes to sunscreen, many make the mistake of thinking the higher the SPF, the better. That's true but only to some extent. SPF is the measure of how long your skin will be protected versus skin without sunscreen. Experts say that SPF 30 is enough and usually anything above it is unnecessary.
6. You Think It's Only For Outside
Don't be fooled into thinking sunscreen is only for your day-long adventure at the beach or during an outdoor activity like trekking. Even a 15 minute afternoon walk can affect your skin greatly. So if you will be spending any time at all in direct sunlight, make sure you have a layer of sunscreen before you do.