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Common Sunscreen Mistakes

Posted in Swim Tips

Believe it not, there are some common sunscreen mistakes that just about everyone makes. Keeping your skin looking smooth and soft should be a year-round task.

Here are some common sunscreen myths and mistakes.

  • A higher SPF means you can stay all day in the sun. Higher SPFs such as 75, 80, or higher, can give you a false sense of security. Any time spent in the sun gives you a greater risk of sunburns, something you do not want to expose your skin to on a regular basis.
  • A small amount of sunscreen is enough. People often take a small dab and apply it everywhere. That will not be enough. To cover your whole body, you will want to use a quantity of sunscreen that's equal to a golf-ball. Little dabs here and there won't give you the proper coverage. That translates into restocking your sunscreen stash two to three times in the summer alone.
  • You don't include need to apply sunscreen on the lips, ears, scalp or neck. There's more to you than your arms and legs. Don't forget the small areas that do tend to get overlooked. Sunburns can be anywhere. Lip balms with SPF are available and should be re-applied every 90 minutes or so, especially if you're on the beach.
  • Old sunscreen is OK to use. Toss it out. If it's been in a beach bag or glove compartment, heat can destroy the active ingredients in it, which will leave your skin at greater risk. Always start the season with new sunscreen.
  • You don't need to apply sunscreen until you get to the beach or pool. Before you leave your house is a good time to apply sunscreen. You want it to become absorbed into your skin, so it can do its job.
  • Spray sunscreen is best. Did you know the chemicals from sprays can be inhaled by you and your kids? It's best to use the creams and lotions.
  • You only need to use sunscreen when you are going to the beach or someplace outside. You should be applying sunscreen every day. Believe it or not, when you're driving or walking your dog, the sun's rays will be penetrating your skin. The importance of sunscreen cannot be overemphasized.

Skin cancers can be deadly, and they can occur in any circumstance. Be nice to your body and give it the sunscreen protection it deserves, all year long.