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How to apply sunscreen to get maximum protection

Most of you know that you are meant to wear sunscreen when you are lying on the beach or playing a round of golf in the sun all day. A fact that most of us are not aware of is that you have to wear sunscreen when you are going to be in the sun for longer than 20 minutes. It takes 15 minutes before the sun starts to damage your skin.

You might be thinking that you do not have to wear sunscreen in winter or when it is overcast because you cannot see the sun. This is incorrect! The UV rays of the sun can beam through the clouds so it is still going to damage your skin. Let’s find out how to apply sunscreen correctly and save your skin from aging and other skin diseases.About 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Choosing the right sunscreen

There are a few factors you need to take into consideration when buying a sunscreen.

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1. Look at the SPF factor

SPF stands for Sun Protective Factor. The number is going to indicate to you how long you are able to stay in the sun without burning as opposed to when you are not wearing a sunscreen. All you is take the SPF number and times it by 10. Which means that an SPF of 15 will last you 150 minutes before you need to reapply.

Please keep in mind that the higher the SPF, the more chemicals there are in the product. An SPF of 15 is more than sufficient on the skin and there are fewer chemicals being absorbed by your skin.

2. Choose a Broad-spectrum sunscreen

This will ensure that the sunscreen will protect your skin from all the UV rays. UVA causes aging in the skin. UVB causes the skin to burn and UVC is cancer causing rays. Have a look at the label and it will tell you which Rays the product protects your skin from.

3. Look for a water-resistant product

This will allow the product to stay on your skin longer when it is exposed to the sea, pool or something as simple as your sweat. It is important to note that there is no product out there that can be waterproof or sweat proof. It is not possible so if a product tells you that it is waterproof, they are lying to you.

4. Decide how you want to apply the sunscreen

There are a few different types of applicators when it comes to sunscreen products. You need to decide if you want to use a lotion, gel or spray. It does not make a difference which type of sunscreen you decide to use however, you need to make sure you reapply when you need to and you apply a thick even coating to the skin.

A spray is best suited for hairy areas while the cream is best for dry skin. Your gel is best suited for your oily and acne prone skin types. It is better to use a spray under makeup or find a foundation that has an SPF already in the product.

Once you have found the perfect sunscreen for you, buy a small tube or bottle and test the product on your wrist. If you see a skin reaction, rinse the product off with cold water and dry your skin with a clean towel. Repeat this process until you find a product that does not irritate your skin.

Itching, burning, redness or blisters are all signs of an allergic reaction to the product. Products that contain Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are less likely to cause allergic reactions to the skin. Ask your doctor to recommend a sunscreen if you cannot find the right one at your local store or pharmacy.

How to apply sunscreen

1. Apply the product before going out into the sun!

The product takes the time to bind with your skin and protects your skin from the sun. The sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before you go into the sun to allow the product to activate completely. It might be a bit harder to apply sunscreen so early on children. You can apply it before going out the house or in the car on the way to the beach or school.

2. Use enough sunscreen

This is the biggest mistake most people make when applying their sunscreen. Adults in general need about a palmful or a full shot glass of sunscreen to protect the skin from the sun. Make sure that you rub the cream or gel into your skin until you cannot see white on your skin anymore. If you are using a spray, make sure that you apply a generous amount and try not to inhale the fumes imitated from the can.

3. Do not leave skin out

You need to make sure that every part of the skin that is exposed to the sun has been covered with sunscreen. Do not forget underneath your feet, back and front of your hands, behind your knees, your neck, lips and your eyelids. These are areas people forget to cover up and end up burning parts of their bodies.“Hats, giant shades and 60-plus sunblock are part of my summer repertoire. I don’t want wrinkles, but it’s skin cancer I truly fear.”
– Janine Di Giovanni


Try to keep your body in the shade as much as possible. Wear a hat to ensure that your scalp does not get burnt and do not forget to reapply your sunscreen at least every 150 minutes or after you have gotten out of the water. Try your best to stay out of the sun during peak hours which is between 10 am and 2 pm.

This is when the sun is the strongest and the damage to your skin can become permanent. Find shade during this time and enjoy a good book on the beach, nice cocktail or even take in the scenery. Once it is safe again, you can go back out into the sun.

A tan might give your skin a glow for a while but they do tend to fade. Problem is, the sun damage does not fade and over time you will notice age spots, freckles, premature aging, skin conditions or even skin cancer. Now when you know how to apply sunscreen correctly please tell me in comments below your best tip.