8 Common Sunscreen Mistakes You May Be Making

Wednesday, July 2 2014 3:22 PM
By Tori Deatherage
8 Common Sunscreen Mistakes You May Be Making

We’ve all likely heard the advisories that we should use sunscreen to protect our health.

But it’s not as simple as remembering to slather it on at the beach, and to reapply often.

Here are eight common sunscreen mistakes that people make, collected by Huffington Post.

  1. Using old sunscreen: They aren’t kidding with that expiration date. The ingredients in sunscreen break down over time, meaning less protection. Plus, germs can contaminate it over time. And if you leave it in a hot car all the time, you’re likely making it less effective
  2. SPF in your foundation: Those double-duty foundations/sunscreens are handy, but, as with regular sunscreen, using enough can be a problem. You’re unlikely to put on enough makeup on to protect the skin, nor are you likely to reapply.
  3. Using just a dab: The general rule is to put on a shot glass of sunscreen to cover the body, but the amount varies depending on body size. Cover the skin evenly, and rub it in. Not sure you’ve put on enough? Then put on more.
  4. Not reapplying: Sunscreen lasts a maximum of two hours, and some can last less. And if you’re swimming or sweating, it wears off faster, so think about reapplying every hour, and let it soak in before jumping back in the pool.
  5. Trusting waterproof sunscreen in pool: The FDS recently forbade the use of the term “waterproof” for sunscreen, because there’s no such thing. Now, they can just be called “water resistant,” for 40 to 80 minutes. So, again, reapply often.
  6. Only using on sunny days: You can burn on a cloudy day, too, because UV rays penetrate haze and fog. You don’t have to see the sun or feel hot to burn.
  7. Overbuying on SPF: A 30 SPF sunscreen blocks 96 percent of sunburn-causing UVB rays, and you gain only incrementally with SPF 50 or SPF 75. No sunscreen blocks all the rays.
  8. Thinking sunscreen delivers full sun protection. Sunscreen shouldn’t be your only protection. Wear a hat, protective clothing and sunglasses if outdoors. And try to avoid the sun during its most intense times.
Previous: Study Proves Sunscreen Limits Aging Next: Sorting Out Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery

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