Sun Safety 101: How to Apply Sunscreen the Right WayApril 08, 2016
Damage from UV rays can take a major toll on the skin, from enhancing age spots to speeding up the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. That means it’s vital to wear sunscreen 365 days a year, even when the sun isn’t shining. But don’t just lather it on and assume you’ll be sunburn-free. Here, we describe how to apply sunscreen the right way.
Step 1: Choose wisely.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) advises choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that is water-resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage. Don’t forget to take a glance at the expiration date, too. The Food Drug Administration warns that some of the active ingredients in sun block can weaken over time.
Step 2: Time it right.
The best time to apply sunscreen is 15 minutes before stepping outside, according to the AAD. It takes most formulas this long to properly absorb into the skin, so if you wait until you’re outdoors, your skin is unprotected.
Step 3: Measure it out.
Many bottles instruct the user to only use one ounce per usage, basically the size of a shot glass. This dollop of sunscreen should be enough to adequately cover most adults in a thin, even layer.
Step 4: Don’t skimp.
Be sure to cover everything. Some commonly missed areas include: the tip of the nose, around the eyes, the tops of the feet, the lips, and around the scalp. Take your time to avoid skipping these easily overlooked spots.