How to Get The Most Out of Your Sunscreen

How to Actually Use Sunscreen

How to get all of the benefits and apply it properly. That probably sounds super patronizing but bare with me, I think you’ll be surprised.

We all know to wear broad-spectrum sun protection daily even when it’s cloudy out but how many of us just apply once in the morning and then forget about it? I know I’m guilty of this if I’m just going about my everyday life and not on vacation and am not getting the most out of my sunscreen.

We know the benefits include warding off the early signs of photo-aging (wrinkles and excess pigmentation) and reduces our chances of developing skin cancer but sometimes don’t get the most out of our SPF. If we’re going to spend money on it, we might as well get the most out of it.

Using it is 1 thing but how you use your sunscreen is another. So how can we get the most out of our sunscreen for the maximum protection?

Top tips for getting the most out of your Sunscreen:

  1. Choose A High Protection Factor

The American Academy of Dermatology recommend using a minimum of SPF30 water resistant and broad-spectrum sunscreen. Even if it says water resistant, you’re still going to want to towel off after swimming and/or sweating and reapply. That way you can ensure you’re protected from harsh rays as best possible. I love a high SPF like Bare Republic SPF 50 or Image Skincare Sunscreen both of which are cruelty-free.

2. Check The Expiration Date.

Pretty self-explanatory, but make sure it’s in date and not one you’ve dug out from the back of your drawer from who knows when, especially if it’s been opened already. Expired lotions will not give you the same protection they did when they were in date.

3. Time Your SPF Application

Your Sunscreen doesn’t work on immediate contact with your skin, it takes around 15 to 20 minutes to offer protection so make sure you apply it ahead of time before heading out to give it time to take effect.

4. Reapplication is Key

You need to be reapplying at least every two hours if it’s SPF 50 or even more often if you’re using a lower SPF, or immediately after swimming or sweating, even if your SPF claims to be water or sweat-resistant. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that if it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer (approx 5 hours) but plenty of damage can be done without the telltale sign of sunburning so keep reapplying.

Another way to look at it is in terms of percentages: SPF 15 filters out approximately 93% of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 keeps out 97% and SPF 50 keeps out 98% The Skin Cancer Foundation

It might not sound like a big difference but those small percentages add up. Need help reminding to reapply your sunscreen? Set your timer on your cell phone to remind you. It can be way too easy to doze off in the sun and wake up like a lobster.

4. How to Apply Sunscreen Without Messing up my Makeup?

Use an SPF setting spray like COOLA Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 or Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 or SPF mineral powder like AU Natural Skinfood on the go natural mineral powder to top up throughout the day.

5. Make Sure You’ve Applied Your Sun Tan Lotion Everywhere!

Don’t forget your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs, lips, your scalp especially your parting if you’re not wearing a sun hat. This is a great cruelty-free SPF hair oil to protect your scalp and parting  Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil UV Protective Dry Oil Finishing Spray.

6. More is More When it Comes to Sun Tan Lotion Application

Be generous with your SPF application. Most adults need around 1 oz or the equivalent of a full shot-glass to effectively cover your body. Make sure to massage it in so you don’t miss any spots and make sure you apply it under the edges of your bathing suit. Always try and apply your first application naked to make sure you haven’t missed a spot and look for swimwear with an SPF factor. There are some really cute options now which don’t mean granny swimsuits or being up covered head to toe.

My Fave Cruelty-Free Sun Protection Brands Include:

Coola, Bare Republic, Image Skincare, and Kate Somerville.

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