6 Things to Know Before Applying Sunscreen

6 Things to Know Before Applying Sunscreen | Coupons.com

The fastest way to ruin a nice summer day is to forget to apply sunscreen. Instead of frolicking in the waves or enjoying a picnic in the park, you’ll be pressing cold compresses to lobster red skin. But even if you remember to apply a layer of sunscreen in the morning, there are a few extra ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your sun protection. Follow these tips now, and you’ll have a fun, burn-free summer!

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The American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) says “sunscreen is safe and can protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging” but they point out you need to make sure you are applying it correctly. Here are some of their suggestions:

1. Test Your Sunscreen

If you’re trying a new brand or formula, try a small area of the skin before lathering up. This way you can find out if there are any adverse reactions.

2. Up the Power on Your Sunscreen

Pick a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater with broad-spectrum coverage, which will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Opt for water resistant, even if you’re not going to be in the water. This will last longer when you’re sweating in the sun.

3. Apply BEFORE You’re in the Sun

Before stepping outside, apply your sunscreen generously. I didn’t realize it, but according to the AAD, it takes about 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen which means it can take that long for protection to kick-in.

4. Don’t Skimp When Applying

Don’t be shy when applying sunscreen. On average adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen (which is about the amount you can hold in the palm of your hand) to adequately cover all exposed skin. Make sure you rub the sunscreen in well.

5. Apply Sunscreen EVERYWHERE

Don’t forget areas like the back of your neck, ears and the top of your feet in addition to typical places like your face, legs and arms. All bare skin should be covered. If you have bald spots or thinning hair, you can apply sunscreen or wear a wide-brimmed hat. Don’t forget the lips! Lip balms with SPF of at least 15 will work.

6. Buy New Sunscreen Every Year — And Use It!

Always check the expiration date of your product.  Sunburns are usually caused by not using enough sunscreen or not reapplying after the proper amount of time or activity. Don’t assume if the sun isn’t out that the harmful UVA rays aren’t hard at work. You can get exposure and damage even on a cloudy day and in the winter.

For more information on sunscreen, Consumer Reports just released their 2017 Sunscreen Report.