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5 Things Even Smart People Get Wrong About Sunscreen

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that sunscreen is crucial for healthy skin. Daily sunscreen use can dramatically reduce premature aging and lowers your risk for skin cancer significantly. But even though we know sunscreen is essential, many of us are making mistakes that can impact its effectiveness and damage our skin.

It’s time to get smart about sunscreen. These five sun protection mistakes are all too prevalent – we’ve seen some of our most intelligent patients make them. When you know what you’re doing wrong, you can make changes to improve the situation.

One-and-Done Application

Do you think you can apply sunscreen once in the morning for all-day protection against harmful UV rays? Many of our patients believe one application of sunblock will suffice, and are a little surprised when they get sunburned.

If you’re planning on a day in the sun, you’ll need to reapply your sun protection regularly. Experts recommend applying sunscreen every couple of hours. If you’re sweating a lot or getting wet, plan on reapplying every one to two hours.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Your favorite facial serum only needs a few drops to work magic on your skin, but for sunscreen, a little isn’t going to cut it. Most people don’t use enough sunscreen, and as a result, they’ve inadequately protected their skin.

How much sunscreen do you need? For the face, aim for a dollop of sunscreen that’s approximately the size of a nickel. If you’re applying sunscreen to all your exposed skin, you’ll need about two tablespoons, or a full shot glass worth. Sunscreen is one thing you don’t want to skimp on.

You Don’t Need Sunscreen in the Rain

Sunscreen and sun go hand in hand, but don’t forget about sun protection on overcast days, too. Skin-damaging UV rays are still present when it is rainy or cloudy.

Rain or shine, winter or summer, make sunscreen a daily habit.

Sunscreen Lasts Forever

We all have that forgotten bottle of sunscreen lurking in the back of our bathroom cabinet. Don’t use it. Sunscreen can last at its full effectiveness for up to three years, but it will lose its potency over time.

If you’re using enough sunscreen, using up a bottle before it expires shouldn’t be difficult. For example, a small bottle of sunscreen may contain about four ounces. If you’re applying liberally to your whole body, this should only last a couple of uses. Apply sun protection often, and you’ll never need to worry that your sunscreen is too old to be effective.

Relying on Sunscreen Alone

Sunscreen is an essential tool for protecting your skin from the sun, but it shouldn’t be your only method.

Other ways to protect the skin include:

  • Wear light layers of clothing, including hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves.
  • Seek out the shade when you can.
  • Avoid sun exposure during peak UV hours (from approximately 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Are you making any of these common sunscreen mistakes? Change your habits and better protect your skin in the future. For sun damage you already have, contact Restora Austin Plastic Surgery Centre to explore potential treatment options.

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