7 Common Sunscreen Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Posted June 27, 2023 by in Health + Fitness

Did you know that repeated application is one of the common sunscreen mistakes? It’s so easy to think we’ve applied enough once, but if it takes ten minutes or so for sunscreen to fully absorb into the skin, you might end up with a bit more burned skin than you would like.

Along with this, choosing the wrong sunscreen is another of the most common fails when it comes to protecting our skin.

Keep reading to learn all about what to watch out for, so you can be sure that you’re protecting your skin and avoiding those burns this summer.

1. Not Using Enough Sunscreen

It is important to use a generous amount; the American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreen SPF levels of at least SPF 30. There are different types of sunscreen available in the market. Make sure to research or consult a dermatologist for recommendations on which sunscreen to use.

To avoid this mistake, you should apply enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas of your skin. Make sure to reapply sunscreen often when you are outdoors. 

You should also apply sunscreen even when it is cloudy because 90% of the sun’s UV rays are still able to penetrate clouds. To double-check that you are using enough sunscreen, use a shot glass worth of sunscreen for your whole body when applying sunscreen and put on at least two layers. 

2. Not Reapplying Sunscreen Frequently

Sunscreen effectiveness decreases over time as it reaches its maximum water and sweat resistance. In order to maximize protection, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, or more often if you’re swimming or engaging in heavy physical activity.

Not wearing enough sunscreen is another mistake that many people make, as a full gram (2 teaspoons) of sunscreen should be applied before going outdoors. Sunscreen should also be reapplied immediately post-towel drying or swimming. Moisture and friction from towels can reduce their effectiveness. Make sure to check how to apply sunscreen by reading the instructions on the label. 

3. Applying Sunscreen After Sun Exposure

One common mistake when using sunscreen is applying it after sun exposure. This is not effective, since the UV rays have already done their damage. To avoid this mistake and get the most protection, sunscreen should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure. It allows enough time to absorb into the protective layers of the skin.

It’s important to remember to bring sunscreen with you when going outdoors, to any beach, park, or other sun-filled location. There are different sunscreen brands that have convenient packaging. 

4. Not Using Sunscreen on Cloudy Days

Individuals of all skin tones and types are vulnerable to ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage, which can cause skin cancer, wrinkles, sunburns, and other undesirable skin conditions. That’s why it’s important to protect your skin by using sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days.

Not using sunscreen for protection on cloudy days is one of the most common sunscreen mistakes. UV rays can penetrate clouds and mist, making it just as important to take the same precautions on cloudy days as on sunny days.

To avoid this mistake, you should always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, wear sun-protective clothing, and limit your time in direct sunlight regardless of the weather.

5. Neglecting to Protect Your Lips and Eyes

Your lips and delicate eye area are susceptible to sunburn, damage, and sun spots just like any other part of your skin. Applying a lip balm that contains SPF 15 or higher and wearing sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat outdoors can help protect your eyes and lips from UVA and UVB rays. 

Reapply your lip balm every two hours if you’re spending a long day outdoors. Look for an eye cream or lotion that includes broad-spectrum SPF protection. Popular sunscreen brands, as also seen on the EYURS website with a wide variety of sunscreens to choose from and eye creams with different SPF protection levels.  

6. Using an Expired Sunscreen

Sunscreen has an expiration date of typically three years after it is manufactured. It is important to keep this date in mind when selecting sunscreen. To avoid using expired sunscreen, it is best to check the expiration date before you purchase. Keep an eye on when it expires after you buy it.

Once the expiration date has passed, it is important to throw out the bottle and purchase a new one. The effectiveness of sunscreen significantly decreases after its expiration date. Making it less effective when it comes to protecting your skin from UV rays and skin cancer. 

7. Relying Solely on Sunscreen for Sun Protection

A sunscreen is an effective form of protection against the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. However, a few other important elements need to be taken into account when trying to guard against sun damage.

Here are some of the most common ways to protect yourself from the sun. 

Seeking Shade

One of the most common ways to protect yourself from the sun is to seek shade when outdoors. This can include using hats or umbrellas to create shade or simply taking frequent breaks in shaded areas. It’s also important to wear protective clothing when possible, like long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats.

Avoiding Time Outdoors With the Highest Uv Index

One of the most common ways to protect yourself from the sun is to avoid prolonged exposure when the UV index is high. This is especially important given that the highest UV index usually occurs between 10 am and 4 pm. It is a good idea to plan activities that involve being outside before 10 am or after 4 pm when the UV index is generally lower.

Wear Sunglasses

With the right pair of sunglasses, you can ensure that your eyes are not exposed to harmful UV radiation. Make sure to choose sunglasses with good UV protection and approved by current standards.

Not only are sunglasses fashionably stylish, but they are also important to protect the sensitive area around your eyes. Opt for heavier-tinted sunglasses and stay out of the sun during peak hours. 

Avoid These Common Sunscreen Mistakes This Summer

Common sunscreen mistakes include not using enough, not wearing it on cloudy days, not reapplying, and using expired sunscreen. Be sure to avoid these mistakes so you can properly protect your skin. Make sure to always use enough sunscreen, wear it on cloudy days and reapply often.

Remember, your skin is worth protecting!

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