The Right Way to Apply Sunscreen

Sun exposure speeds up the aging process and makes your skin more prone to wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen protects your skin from this aged appearance and more serious conditions like skin cancer. To keep you and your skin healthy, follow these tips the next time you apply sunscreen.

Tips for Proper Application

1. Apply Sunscreen Before You Hit the Beach

It takes about 15 minutes for sunscreen to fully absorb into your skin. If you’re applying your sunscreen once you are already outside in the sun, that is an extra 15 minutes or more your skin has spent unprotected under the heat.

2. Shot Glass Rule

Most adults need 1 ounce of sunscreen to properly coat their entire body; this is about enough to fill a shot glass. Don’t be afraid to use more, however, if you feel like you missed a spot or don’t have a decent coating – the more the better when it comes to protecting your skin!

3. Cover All Bare Skin

There are three areas people always seem to miss when applying their sunscreen: the tops of the feet, areas, and head. This includes your scalp if you are bald or have thinning hair; if you do not want to use sunscreen, you should instead opt for a wide-brimmed hat. The entire neck and face needs a sunscreen application too so look for a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15.

4. Reapply Frequently

You should be reapplying your sunscreen every two hours or more if you swim or are sweating excessively. One of the main reasons people get sunburns is that they forget to reapply, and this leaves your skin exposed to harmful UV rays. Swimming washes off your protective sunscreen layer so make sure to reapply each time you come back from the water.

5. Sunscreen for All Seasons

It’s a common misconception that you cannot get burned in the winter or on cloudy days. Unfortunately, this is not the case since the sun’s UV rays are constantly shining during the day, even if the weather isn’t looking particularly bright. Whether you are suntanning in the summer heat or enjoying a fall afternoon, remember to wear your sunscreen when you go outside.

Finding a Quality Sunscreen

To be effective, your sunscreen needs to have an SPF of at least 30, have water resistance, and provide broad-spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause skin aging while UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer so it is important that you have coverage against both types of radiation. If you’re not sure which sunscreen to choose, we can recommend a dermatologist who will help you pick the best sunscreen for your skin type.

Treat Your Sunburn at WellCare

If you forget to apply your sunscreen and develop a bad burn, our expert staff at WellCare Urgent Care Center can help. We can apply numbing cream and antibiotics to reduce the pain and heal the skin – stop by today for a consultation or meet with us online!