The first sunscreen mistake is not wearing any. By now, we all know spending too much time in the sun can increase risk for both skin cancer (the most common of all cancers) and premature skin ageing. On top of that, a new Australian study out this week found daily sunscreen use could slow skin ageing.
1: You wait until youâ€™re already at the beach to apply sunscreen
If youâ€™re ankle deep in sand when you slather on sunscreen, youâ€™re asking to come home looking like a lobster. Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you step outdoors because it takes that long for your skin to absorb the protective ingredients. Smooth it on as evenly as possible before getting dressed to avoid missing spots.
2: Youâ€™re stingy with the application
To get the advertised SPF, a little dab wonâ€™t do. On beach days, coat your body fully with one ounce (a shot glass full) of sunscreen. Save a teaspoon of that ounce for your face, ears, and neck. Think of it this way: If you spend a day (six hours) at the beach and go into the water twice, you would have used at least 150ml, or more than half a 250-ml bottle.
3: You skip your lips
A recent study found that 63 percent of sunscreen users donâ€™t protect their lips â€” another common spot for skin cancer. Give this delicate skin more protection by applying an SPF 30 lip balm or lip sunscreen alone or under your usual lipstick or gloss. Wearing lip gloss without any coverage is a big no-no. The more hydrated your lips are, the easier it is for UV rays to penetrate deeper into unprotected skin.
Â 4: You donâ€™t bother to reapply
You canâ€™t put on sunscreen once and be done with it for the day. Itâ€™s not a magic potion that protects you forever. The golden rule: Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, more often if you perspire heavily or go swimming.
Per FDA guidelines, even lotions labeled â€œvery water resistantâ€ only have to maintain their SPF for up to 80 minutes. (Water-resistant sunscreens stay put for about 40 minutes in water.) Plus, even if sunscreen doesn’t rinse off in the water, it usually rubs off when you towel dry.
Be sure to towel off thoroughly after swimming; not only do more of the sunâ€™s rays penetrate wet skin than dry skin, but applying most sunscreens to wet skin can dilute the SPF. Need a reminder to reapply? Download MyUV Alert, a free iPhone app from Coppertone.
Â 5: You donâ€™t smooth sunscreen on gently
Rubbing sunscreen vigorously into the skin reduces its effectiveness by nearly 25 percent. Spray sunscreens that donâ€™t require any rubbing can alleviate the problem entirely â€” especially the new continuous sprays, which emit a fine mist that provides even coverage on skin.
Â 6: You forgo sunscreen when itâ€™s cloudy
Even when the sun is nowhere to be seen, 80 percent of its UV rays still hit your skin. Windows block UVB rays but most let UVA rays through, so much so that dermatologists can tell if youâ€™re usually the driver or a passenger in a car by how spotty and wrinkled your skin looks on each side of your face.-Everyday Health