Avoid These Common Sunscreen Mistakes
Sunscreen is important year-round, but especially as the weather gets warmer and sunnier. SPF is one of the most effective ways to protect your skin from issues like skin cancer and prevent visible signs of aging like fine lines or sunspots. Below are some of the most common mistakes that people make regarding sunscreen.
Choosing Ineffective Sunscreen
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, water resistance, and SPF 30 or higher. Not all sunscreens on the market meet these criteria, which could mean you are not as protected as you should be.
When choosing your sunscreen, you may also see options such as chemical vs. physical or natural sun protection. These ingredients are equally effective in blocking harmful rays, so choosing between the two is often a matter of personal preference. You can also look for a sunscreen with added benefits like nourishing or moisturizing ingredients.
Dr. Rocheford offers Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50. This suitably blocks UVA/UVB rays while serving as a makeup primer. It includes ingredients that control oil and gently hydrate as well as antioxidants. Dr. Rocheford also offers stick and compact sunscreens for a wide range of options.
Ignoring Sunscreen on Cloudy Days
Too few people diligently apply their sunscreen on cloudy days. It is a common misconception that sun protection is not necessary when the weather isn’t warm or sunny. However, UVA and UVB rays can reach your skin whenever you are outdoors. It is also difficult to predict when the weather will change, making it important to apply SPF to any exposed skin whenever you are spending time outside.
Relying On Sunscreen Alone
While sunscreen is important, it can’t block 100% of UVA/UVB rays. Remember to wear sun-protective clothing such as lightweight pants or long-sleeve shirts or wide-brimmed hats when possible. It is also important to protect your eyes and the delicate skin around your eyelids with UV-protective sunglasses. As much as you can, seek shade when you are outdoors.
Using Too Little Product
Many people are surprised to learn just how much sunscreen is necessary to properly protect their skin. The average adult needs one ounce of sunscreen to adequately cover their body—that’s enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass. Remember to cover all of the skin that is not covered by clothing 15 minutes before you go outdoors. You should also reapply every two hours or whenever you are swimming or sweating.
Using Expired Products
Don’t forget that like all skincare products, your sunscreen can expire. The FDA requires that all SPF products retain their strength for at least three years. However, some products may expire before this time has elapsed. Check for an expiration date on any new sunscreen you purchase. If you do not see a printed date, write the date on the bottle as a reminder to yourself. If you are unsure how long you have had a product, it’s best to replace it to ensure you are properly protecting your skin.