Because “user-error” is the most common reason for getting a sunburn while using sunscreen, here are my tips on how to properly apply it…
1. Rub it In!
Don’t use spray sunscreen. If you do, rub it in for goodness sake! Block sunscreens usually have a higher SPF, so they can be a great choice. But again, don’t forget to rub it in.
2. Forgotten Areas.
Don’t forget areas like the top of ears, tops of feet and hands, and your hairline.
3. Direct Sunlight Areas.
Pay extra attention to areas in constant direct-sunlight, like your forehead, nose, shoulders, forearms, and quads.
Is climate change of concern to you? Look for eco friendly/reef safe and mineral sunscreens. You may note that certain locations you are going to require a type of sunscreen, whether you care about the environment or not. For instance, areas like Hawaii, Australia, and Mexico.
5. Clean Beauty.
Is clean beauty of concern to you? Look for organic, mineral sunscreens without harmful substances like oxybenzone, parabens, petroleum, phthalate, silicone, sulfate, artificial fragrances, and artificial colors.
6. SPF 30, At Least!
Try using *at least* SPF 30 everyday. SPF 50 is a safe bet for the beach. Anything higher is scientifically questionable.
You need to reapply every 2 hours. This may mean 5 applications in one day. DO IT!
8. Not Really Waterproof.
If you get wet, dry off and then immediately reapply sunscreen. Even if said sunscreen is “waterproof.”
9. Ask for Help!
Ask others for help with areas you can’t reach. I can almost guarantee that having someone you don’t know that well, rubbing sunscreen into your skin is better than the hot, prickling sensation of a sunburn.
10. Expiration Date.
Sunscreens do expire! Make sure the active ingredients in your sunscreen (which are the main UV protectors) are still active by checking the expiration date on the bottle.
Check out my other posts in this sunscreen series: