9 Tips to use sun cream or sunscreen correctly
Updated: May 27
Although it may not be as plentiful as we would like in Ireland, the sun does make appearances here and there, so its crucial that you use and apply your sun cream correctly. We have put together 9 tips on how to use your sun cream correctly.
1. Don't be Skimping on it
If you'll be spending all day in direct sunlight, you need to apply a shot glass size of sunscreen in the morning. Then, be sure to reapply every two hours.
2. Thinking "the higher, the better"
Experts recommend using an SPF of at least 30. Many people will "buy an SPF of 70 or 100 and think it's going to last all day," says Tanzi. But, she explains, while SPF 30 blocks out 90% of the sun's rays, SPF 70 blocks out 98% — it's a negligible difference. "It's much more effective to get SPF 30 and then reapply," she says.
3. Bin it if out of date
You probably have some old sunscreen in your medicine cabinet from two summers ago. The FDA says to be aware of the expiration date — some sunscreen ingredients might become less effective over time.
4. Overlooking non-sunscreen SPF options
While you should wear SPF every day, you don't have to wear sunscreen daily. Wearing a BB or CC cream with SPF 30 or above is a good start. Another way to protect your face all day is powder sunscreen: It's mess-free and keeps your makeup in place.
5. Missing spots
There are common places where most people forget to apply sunscreen, such as, around the eyes, the tip of the nose, the tops of the feet, the lips, and near the hairline and scalp.
6. Assuming that your sunscreen is all-powerful
Most sunscreens only do a good job of protecting us against exposure to ultraviolet B rays (UVB), which is what causes a visible burn. But exposure to ultraviolet A rays (UVA) causes skin damage, lowers your immunity, and can lead to melanoma.
7. Not encouraging your kids to put it on
To make sure your kids are wearing sunscreen, Tanzi suggests giving them the easier-to-use roll-on kind, so they can put it on themselves. The FDA recommends not putting sunscreen on babies under six months old, and, for older babies, only applying it to skin not covered by clothing and never around the eyes.
8. Choosing the wrong sunscreen for your skin
Your sunscreen could cause you to break out, so make sure to choose the right one for your skin type. For sensitive skin, use a fragrance-free type, advises Rigel. If you're acne-prone, look for a light, oil-free formula. For dry skin, choose a hydrating cream with ingredients like glycerin or aloe.
9. Thinking "water-resistant" means you don't have to re apply after swimming
Scientists say that sunscreen can't be truly waterproof or sweat-proof, but they do recommend using "water-resistant" sunscreen. "If the sunscreen offers water resistance, you will see '40 minutes' or '80 minutes' after the words 'water resistant'," "This tells you how long your skin can be wet or sweaty before you need to reapply."