Sunburnt On Holiday? 5 Mistakes To Avoid While Sun-Proofing Yourself
Using sunscreen during your summer vacation is a no-brainer. But if you’re applying a whole tube each time you step out and still getting fried, you’re probably making some or all of the following mistakes.
Applying Too Little
Even if you’re super hyper about applying sunscreen you’re probably not using enough. At least one dollop of sunscreen should be applied every two hours for adequate coverage. Usually, most people use about half that amount and get disappointed when they don’t see the results they want. To give you a better idea of how much you should be using, imagine a golf ball-sized amount or fill a shot glass with sunscreen and start slathering.
Sun-Proofing Yourself Just Before You Step Out
Most of us are guilty of this; forgetting all about sunscreen and then desperately slapping some on our way out. Sunscreen needs about half an hour to bind with skin—so you’re absorbing rays for 30 minutes if you haven’t pre-applied it. Always put on your first coat of sunscreen before you go outdoors, so it will be in full effect by the time you get outside.
More SPF=Greater Protection? No!
While trying to protect yourself from the sun, who can resist the temptation to stock up on the super-strong sunscreens? After all, there’s no way you can get burned using SPF 100, right? Well, you probably don’t know this but there are several reasons your high SPF sunscreen may be to blame for sun damage. SPF is based primarily on defense against UVB—not UVA—rays. Because UVB rays are the main cause of most burns, a higher SPF signifies more UVB protection, not UVA despite these rays’ harmful effects. A greater SPF results in greater disparity between UVB and UVA protection. Your safest bet against both UVB and UVA rays is to stick to a sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 50.
Sweating It Off
If you get really sweaty during the summer, chances are pit stains aren’t your only problem. Just like water, sweat can wash away sunscreen, making you more susceptible to burns. If you’re one of those who sweat heavily, even with moderate activity, consider a sport or water-resistant sunscreen and be sure to reapply each time you wipe away your sweat.
Using Last Year’s Stock
It makes budget sense to stock up on supplies for your skin, but in the long run you probably should not. Most sunscreens have an expiration date and like most cosmetics for your skin should not be used beyond that point. Not only do they lose strength over time but they might end up causing more damage than good if they are past their prime. Always buy sunscreen with an expiration date and don’t forget to junk it after its prime.