A sunscreen helps to protect your skin from sunburn, early skin aging and skin cancer. Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. The sun emits harmful UV rays year-round. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin.
Snow, sand, and water increase the need for sunscreen because they reflect the sun’s rays
It is very unlikely that you’re applying too much sunscreen — most people don’t apply enough, which is why undesirable sunburns and tanning can occur despite sunscreen application. To achieve the Sun Protection Factor (SPF, which protects against the sun’s UVB radiation) reflected on a bottle of sunscreen, you should use the equivalent of a shot glass of sunscreen to the exposed areas of the face and body – a nickel-sized dollop to the face alone. Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than advertised. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 oz. bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should also be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal.
- Don’t forget to apply to the tops of your feet, your neck and your ears
If you’re using a spray, apply until an even sheen appears on the skin. Remember that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently after swimming, heavy perspiration, or toweling off. Also remember, no matter how much sunscreen you apply, the SPF should be 15 or higher for adequate protection – and ideally 30 or higher for extended time spent outdoors.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
Source: skincancer.org & American Academy of Dermatology