Rain Or Shine Why We Should Always Slather On A Sunscreen Article

10 mistakes to avoid when applying sunscreen

We all know that applying sunscreen is the best way to protect us from the UV rays that age our skin. But there's more to applying your SPF than you might think. Recognise any of these classic mistakes?


Not re-applying a sunscreen

If you have very fair skin, you should apply a sunscreen at least every two hours, while every three to four hours will do for olive or black skin. Re-apply your sunscreen after swimming, too, even if you're using a waterproof formula.

Not using enough

The idea is to fully protect all exposed areas, so really slather on your sunscreen. This is not the time to be stingy.

Not choosing the right SPF for your skin

Don't grab any old sunscreen off the shelf. Choose a sun protection factor suited to your skin type; for example, going for a higher SPF if you tend to burn easily. However, for most people, an SPF 50 is not usually necessary; 30 generally does the trick.

Using up last year's leftovers

The average sunscreen shelf life is one year, after which time the active ingredients are past their prime. To be sure of avoiding sunburnt skin, don't resort to applying last year's sunscreen.

Not protecting your hands

Our hands quickly show our age and need just as much attention as our faces. Re-apply your sunscreen every time you wash your hands. It's also a good idea to choose a hand cream that both moisturises and protects from the sun.

Only applying sunscreen once you feel hot

Darker skins are just as sensitive to sunlight as fairer skins. However, it is harder to detect UV damage, so be on your guard.

Assuming that olive or black skin doesn't need protecting

Darker skins are just as sensitive to sunlight as fairer skins. However, it is harder to detect UV damage, so be on your guard.

Not applying sunscreen on overcast days

In fact, 80% of sunlight passes through clouds. So rain or shine, keep applying your sunscreen.

Using a sunscreen that only blocks UVB rays

UVA rays are also dangerously harmful... Some sunscreens protect against infrared rays, as well as UVA and UVB. We say, go the whole hog when protecting your skin; there's no such thing as too careful.

Thinking that sunscreen alone is enough

You know what they say, ‘Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun'. No, we've never heard anyone say that either, but it is a bad idea to sunbathe when the sun is at its strongest; between midday and 4pm. Wear a hat and sarong, even if you've applied a sunscreen, and try to avoid full sun during these times of day.