By now, you probably know you need to wear sunscreen every day, not just when you’re hitting the beach or spending any significant time outside on a sunny day. But you may not be aware that proper sunscreen use is about much more than slapping on a product with sufficient SPF.
In reality, you’re only protected if you’re using the right application (and reapplication) technique. The fact is that proper daily sunscreen use is required if you want to get all the benefits, particularly preventing skin cancer and premature skin ageing.
Here’s what you need to know to stay covered all summer long:
As it turns out, say Neutrogena’s experts, your sun protection routine needs to start before you arrive at the beach. To be properly protected, you need to apply sunscreen to your entire body at least 15 minutes before you’re exposed to the sun.
Why? Sunscreen’s ingredients need time to sink into your skin before they can effectively do the job. So if you’re waiting until you hit the sand to grease up, you’re doing it wrong.
Another thing many consumers get wrong with sunscreen is the amount of product they use. To get the SPF coverage depicted on the package, you need to apply at least 30g, or a golf-ball sized amount, to your entire body. Many consumers use less for fear of feeling greasy or clogging pores. Using the right amount is essential for proper protection from the sun’s rays.
Strictly following the direction on the label will help to ensure the maximum duration of protection is achieved. Reapplication will be needed for extended exposure and activities in direct sunlight. Sunscreen products are not a replacement for wearing protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats & long sleeve shirts, avoiding exposure to UV light during peak times and wearing sunglasses. These additional protective measures should be used in conjunction with sunscreens.
If you’re concerned about greasiness, particularly on your face, there are grease-free options like Neutrogena®’s Ultra Sheer® and Sheer Zinc™ Sunscreen lines. These formulas sink right in with no oily residue.
So, you’ve applied your sunscreen, and you’re ready for a day by the ocean. Think you’re good to go? Not so fast …
You’ll want to stash your product in the beach bag because you’ll need to reapply at least every two hours. If you’re sweating or swimming, make that every 80 minutes.
If you’re using spray sunscreen, it’s best to spray the skin liberally by holding the can 10-15cm from skin, spray until it glistens and gently spread for even and complete coverage. Be sure to always read the label and use only as directed.