Sunscreen mistakes

Sunscreen Blunder: Using the same bottle year after year

Sunscreen really does expire so pay attention to the expiration date. If your bottle of sunscreen expired last year, it probably isn’t doing you as much good anymore. Also, pay attention to how you store it. Keep it out of humid bathrooms or steamy trunks to make sure that it’s lasting as long as possible.

Sunscreen Blunder: Replying on your makeup

Foundation or tinted moisturizer with SPF is great if you are getting minimal sun exposure. While a formula with SPF 15 sounds fine in theory it generally doesn’t do much in practice. Not only would you need very full coverage for that to work but you’d also need to reapply it regularly. If you don’t spend much time in the sun, a tinted moisturizer could be a realistic option but you would need to remember to apply it more than once per day.

Sunscreen Blunder: Being stingy with the lotion

The general rule of thumb is that you should apply about a shot glass worth of sunscreen all over your body. Obviously this isn’t one-size-fits-all though. It should be about one ounce for a 150 pound person. Adjust to suit your body. You’re far better off with too much than too little though of course.

Sunscreen Blunder: Not applying it throughout the day

Sunscreen will typically stay on your skin for about two hours. If you are especially sweaty or spending time in the water, you can cut that time in half.
Be wary of any sunscreen that is labeled “waterproof”. It may last in the water but not for much more than an hour so you still need to stick with the basic guideline of reapplying every one to two hours.

Sunscreen Blunder: Saving it for a sunny day

UV rays do not actually feel like heat. You can be outside in the cold on a cloudy day and still get UV rays. To be on the safe side, just plan for sunscreen anytime that the sun is out. Of course, if it is chilly outside, you are likely to have your skin covered up so you don’t need to get too crazy with it. Do be sure to apply SPF to your lips, hands, neck, and face. This isn’t just about preventing a sunburn either. These areas of your skin are the most susceptible to premature aging and SPF can go a long way in preventing that.

Sunscreen Blunder: You overdo it

You generally just need an SPF of 30. An SPF 60 is not twice as effective nor will it last as long. You will find a minor difference between 30 and 60 but it’s hardly going to make a big difference. It is far more important to apply the proper amount and do it regularly.

Do keep in mind that there is no type of sunscreen that is 100%. If you are going to be out in the sun for a long time, take a few extra measures. Sit under an umbrella at the beach or wear a thin layer of breathable material to keep your skin comfortable.

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