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You diligently put your sunscreen on every morning, and take it with you. That makes you sunscreen-savvy, right?

5 Important, Yet Often-Overlooked Facts About Sunscreen Follow Me on Pinterest




Not necessarily. Most people don’t use sunscreen the way it should be used for maximum effectiveness. You’re probably making one or more of these common mistakes and missing out on some of the sun protection you could be getting.

Here’s how to get the most out of your sunscreen:




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1. Sunscreen Expires

5 Important, Yet Often-Overlooked Facts About Sunscreen - Sunscreen That Has Expired Cannot Provide You With Any Protection From The Sun Follow Me on Pinterest




“Best if used by” dates on sunscreen should be taken seriously. Sunscreen only has a shelf life of six months. If yours is past its expiration date, the filters in it are probably no longer functional, so the sunscreen cannot offer you any protection from the sun.

If you still have sunscreen from last summer (or any time more than six months ago), throw it away and replace it with a new bottle.

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2. You Need 1 Fluid Ounce Of Sunscreen To Cover Your Body

5 Important, Yet Often-Overlooked Facts About Sunscreen - You Need 1 Fluid Ounce Of Sunscreen (Approximately The Amount Of Liquid A Shot Glass Will Hold) To Cover Your Whole Body Properly Follow Me on Pinterest




One fluid ounce is the amount of liquid a shot glass will hold. (It’s also about the same volume as an egg, or a golf ball.) That’s how much sunscreen you need to cover your whole body properly.

Don’t skimp when applying sunscreen – the more you use, the more thoroughly protected your skin is.

In addition, sunscreen is meant to be put on 20-30 minutes before you go out into the sun, not when you get to your outdoor destination. Sunscreen only works if your skin has absorbed the chemicals from the sunscreen that block UV rays, and that takes time.

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3. Any Exposed Skin Can Get A Burn

5 Important, Yet Often-Overlooked Facts About Sunscreen - Any Areas Of Sun Not Covered With Sunscreen Can Get A Burn Follow Me on Pinterest

Areas with exposed skin that people frequently overlook when applying sunscreen include the ears, the back of the neck, the lips, and even the scalp. (If you part your hair, the part exposes some of your scalp to the sun. I’ve had sunburns there before. It wasn’t fun.)

These small areas of skin need protection from the sun, too, so don’t forget about them when applying sunscreen. Another way to protect your ears and the back of your neck is by wearing a hat with a brim at least 4 inches wide.
 
 
4. Not All Sunscreens Have UVA Protection

5 Important, Yet Often-Overlooked Facts About Sunscreen - Make Sure The Sunscreen You Use Have UVA Protection Follow Me on Pinterest

Have you ever bought a sunscreen because it said it had SPF 60 or higher? Did you check to see if it also had UVA protection? No? If it didn’t, then it was only protecting you on a surface level.

Some sunscreens with high SPFs offer little or no protection from UVA rays.

There are two kinds of ultraviolet rays emitted by our sun, UVA and UVB rays. The ingredients that give sunscreen its SPF (Sun Protection Factor) only protect against UVB rays, not UVA rays. The former cause your skin to burn, but the latter can get into the deeper layers of your skin, where they can speed up skin aging and contribute to skin cancer.

If you use a sunscreen that doesn’t offer UVA protecting, you’re risking your long-term health.
 
 
5. Sunscreen Should Be Reapplied Periodically Throughout the Day

5 Important, Yet Often-Overlooked Facts About Sunscreen - Sunscreen Should Be Reapplied Periodically Throughout the Day Follow Me on Pinterest

No matter how diligent you are about applying sunscreen each morning, you probably aren’t applying more of it at the correct intervals.

The chemicals in sunscreen that screen out ultraviolet radiation don’t last forever – they break down in the sun. No matter what SPF your sunscreen is, you should reapply it every 2 hours, especially if you’re going to spend the entire day out in the sun.




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