Monday mornings seem to be the busiest time for dermatologists during the summer months. Frustrated, sunburned patients have spent their weekends at beaches, pools, and themes parks and have come home sunburned. These patients usually complain that their sunscreen did not work. They used an SPF 15 or 30 all over and still got burned. But, was the sunscreen applied correctly? Yes, there are proper ways to apply sunscreen. Here are some ways to apply your sunscreen to get maximum protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
First, and most importantly, you have to use the right type of sunscreen. Secondly, you must reapply it more than you think. The amount that you need for your face and the amount that you need for your entire body also vary.
An amount of sunscreen the size of a quarter is sufficient for facial protection. The amount for your body is at minimum four times that. For your body, you need about an ounce of sunscreen. If the bottle of sunscreen is six ounces, the best you should get out of the bottle is 6 applications.
Reapply your sunscreen every three to four hours at least. That means that, if you are spending six hours in the sun, with a six-ounce bottle of sunscreen, you need to use at least half of it. Most often, people do not reapply sunscreen at all. Apply enough sunscreen, and you will significantly reduce your chances of burning.
When was the last time you used a whole bottle of sunscreen in just one weekend? No matter what SPF the sunscreen, reapplication is necessary. Even if the label indicates that the product is waterproof and sweat-proof, it is not. You need to reapply it often. There is no sunscreen that exists that will not get washed off by your repeated motion in the water.
The take-away lesson here is to reapply every time you come out of the water. If you are not going in the water, you need to reapply the entire amount every three to four hours maximum. You perspire in the sun even when you are doing nothing but lying there. If you are engaging in athletics where you perspire, you need to reapply every chance you get.