How to Apply Sunscreen The Right Way
I thought I was pretty good when it came to applying sunscreen. I always lather up before spending a day in the sun. I even reapply. But after Monday’s wake-up call, I decided I better check to make sure I was doing a good enough job.
Turns out I wasn’t. Not even close. And I’m not alone.
One study found 9 out of 10 people don’t use enough sunscreen. So if you’re heading out in the sun — or sitting by a window — here’s what you need to know:
- Choose a Sunscreen with UVB and UVA protection. The sun emits two types of rays, UVB and UVA. UVB rays only reach the top layer of our skin and are what cause us to burn. They’re also most closely linked to skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate deeper into our skin and cause our skin to age and deteriorate. So if you want to avoid burns, cancer and wrinkles, you must use a sunscreen that protects you from both UVB and UVA.
- Apply Sunscreen Even if You Don’t Burn. We tend to think our skin only gets damaged when it burns. But that’s not so. If you’re in the sun, your skin is being damaged. Period. UVA rays penetrate our skin without leaving any visible signs. So you won’t see any redness. You won’t even see tan. The damage done by UVA rays is invisible. That is, until a few years down the road when it emerges as wrinkles. So if you don’t want wrinkles or would like to avoid adding to what you have, religiously apply sunscreen before entering the sun.
- Lather Sunscreen on Thick — Super Thick — and Reapply. If you don’t put on enough sunscreen often enough, you won’t get the amount of protection labeled on the bottle, which means you’ll leave yourself open to burns, cancer and wrinkles. Unfortunately, knowing how much and when to apply sunscreen is a little complicated. So I created an infographic, below, to make it easy for you to remember. Click it, print it, laminate it and stick it in your beach bag so you never have an excuse not to use enough sunscreen again.
Have fun in the sun.