Wearing sunscreen can protect your body from harmful UV rays, but only if you apply it in the right way. If you slap some on your chest and jump right into the pool, you are not going to get the true benefits of the sunscreen. In order to keep yourself and your family safe in the sun, follow this guide to learn the right way to apply sunscreen.
1 – Start Early (15-30 Minutes in Advance)
Put on your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors, preferably 30 minutes or longer. This will give the sunscreen a chance to absorb into your skin and provide a smooth layer of protection.
2 – Apply a Thin, Even Layer
When you start to apply sunscreen, take the “less is more” approach. All you need is a thin, even layer of lotion, similar to what you may apply if you were using body lotion. The average adult only needs about an ounce of sunscreen to cover his entire body. That’s close to what might fit in a regular shot glass. If you’re filling your whole hand with lotion, you’re wasting money and time.
3 – Cover Your Entire Body
Do not leave any part of your body exposed to the sun, even if you think it will be covered by your swimsuit. To ensure this happens, you may want to apply the sun screen when you are naked so that you know you reach every corner. Don’t forget about the crevices behind the ears, under the arms, behind the knees, etc. These can get burned just as much as anything else. If you let the lotion sit while you are naked, you can move your swimsuit around without exposing an unprotected area to the sun.
Facial Sunscreen Application
When it comes time to cover your face, try not to use too much sun screen – especially if you are prone to breakouts. If you have to use medication on your face, you may need to talk to your doctor about which products are right for you. You could also invest in facial sunscreen, which is not as harsh as what you may use on your body.
Remember to get lip balm (not lip gloss or lipstick) to protect your lips from sun damage as well. Check the SPF value on the lip balm to get the best protection possible.
4 – Reapply as Needed
Reapply your sunscreen every two hours if you plan to be in the sun longer than that. Avoid getting in the water while the sunscreen settles back in so you do not wash it away. If you are doing something that requires a lot of activity, you may want to reapply every 30 minutes. As you sweat, the sunscreen will pour out of your skin, forcing you to reapply it more often.
When you use sunscreen the right way, you don’t have to worry about unexpected and unsightly sunburns. There is nothing worse than coming home from the beach to discover a bright red back piece you do not want to sleep on. Invest in the right protection from the start, and you will be able to enjoy your pool and beach adventures.