Do’s & Don’ts of Sunscreen

By Kevin D
Do’s & Don’ts of Sunscreen

Summer has arrived in full swing. So, naturally, this means a lot of beach time and sunbathing. 
But amidst all the fun, it’s also important to know the must-follow rules for sunscreen application. 
For example, most people are under the impression that the higher the SPF (Sun Protection Factor), the better the protection. Some people are also confused about the exact time, dosage, and types of sunscreens.

This blog sheds light on all those queries and more. You’ll be much better informed when you reach the end than your current standing.

Let’s start. 

Do's of Sunscreen

Buy a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

The sun's rays reach the Earth as ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The radiations break down into wavelengths, including:

  • UVA
  • UVB
  • UVC

UVA and UVB are the two wavelengths causing havoc on Earth. 
UVA rays cause various skin damage and age your skin. On the other hand, UVB rays are known for burning the skin. 

UVC rays get absorbed by the atmosphere.

That said, it’s always the best choice to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that reduces the effects of both rays. 

Know the Dosage Beforehand

One common confusion people complain of is the amount of sunscreen they need for proper protection. 

You need to understand that the dosage has less to do with the SPF coverage and more with the area. For example, if you’re applying sunscreen on your face, go for at least a dollar-sized amount. 

An ounce of sunscreen lotion will be enough if you aim for full-body coverage. 

Apply At Least 15 Minutes Before Going Out

Yet another mistake people make is applying sunscreen right when they have to step out in the sun. But since the sunscreen’s SPF takes some time to set into effect, they might still feel their skin burning or, worst – with big, red patches of sun tan. 

To avoid this, you should apply sunscreen approximately 15 minutes before going out. 

Pro tip: keep the sunscreen where you usually get dressed. This way, you can apply the protection while getting ready. 

Use a Sunscreen with At Least 30 SPF 

The minimum protection that your skin needs is an SPF of 30 or above. But there are specifications on using sunscreen of more than 30. So, if you intend to stay outdoors for a long time, choose a product with a higher SPF. Sunscreens with SPF30 are suitable for shorter trips. 

Cover All Areas Exposed to the Sun

Your face is not the only part that the sun's rays touch. Instead, some body parts are more exposed to the sun than you can imagine. These include your:

  • Hands
  • Forearms
  • Thighs
  • Ears

Not only are these areas prone to aging effects, but the risk of skin cancer is also high if left unprotected. 

Don’ts of Sunscreen

Don’t Keep Using After Expiry

You might get told that sunscreens don’t expire. But that’s far from the truth. In fact, sunscreens DO expire, and continuing to use an expired product can do more harm than good. 

To reiterate, a sunscreen that’s crossed its usage limit:

  • Fails to provide the stated sun protection advantages
  • Puts your skin at a higher risk of skin cancer

Don’t Think Sunscreen Is Only for Fair-Skinned People

“Dark-skinned people don’t need sunscreen.” 

This is an opinion you might hear from people who don’t know anything better.  But although the chances of getting skin cancer are pretty low in dark-skinned individuals, it doesn’t make them risk-free. 

Remember, the UV rays spare no one, and penetrate all skin types, regardless of the color. 

Moreover, even though you won’t get sunburnt as quickly as fair-skinned do, the fact remains – you will get sunburned. It doesn’t show as much, making it even harder to notice. But that’s all the more reason to start using sunscreen. 

Don’t Let SPF60+ Values Fool You

The United States Food and Drug Administration regards products with a higher SPF as ‘misleading.’ As a result, they have proposed a ban on the sale of sunscreens with SPF values greater than 60. 

One of the reasons the FDA has labeled SPF60+ products as misleading is because people tend to apply too little sunscreen and stay in the sun for too long.
The high SPF value makes one think they have the necessary protection to shed away the harmful rays. But it does an adverse effect. 

Therefore, applying sunscreen with SPF30 values is highly recommended, keeping the tropical weather in mind. And even if you plan an extended day trip outside, go for an SPF value of 50. 

Don’t Consider Makeup as Your Sunscreen

Some makeup products, such as compact powder and foundation, have SPF. But that amount is negligible and never a substitute for sunscreen products. 

Moreover, it’s rare that you fully load yourself with makeup. Therefore, even if you consider applying SPF makeup, that would mean applying heavy makeup, which isn’t possible on regular work days. That’s why using sun protection is advisable before putting on makeup. 

Don’t Rely on Spray-on for Full Protection 

It’s understandable why people shy away from using lotion-based sunscreen products. The next-best product is using sunscreen sprays. And not without reason. Spray-on is:

  • Quick to apply
  • Handy
  • Less sticky on the skin

But here’s the other side of the picture: the amount you apply is never even and barely covers all areas. 

You’re always bound to miss some crucial spots and won’t even realize it. So, relying on a spray-on can give you a false sense of protection. 

The best approach is to use lotion-based sunscreens, which you can see being visible on the applied areas. 

Pro-tip: use the spray-on for your scalp because it might get messy with a lotion sunscreen. 

The Final Word

Sunscreens protect your skin from getting an unsightly tan and various skin diseases. And yet still, you should remember that healthy doses of sun rays are crucial to fulfilling your body’s need for Vitamin D. 

Knowing the right amount, type, and measures can help you maintain beautiful skin. So, use your preferred sunscreen product in moderation, and say yes to a radiant YOU. 

About Author

Kevin D Kevin D - Writer at

Kevin D. is a Chicago-based ghostwriter who finds pleasure in writing about different niches. Though gaming and tech blogs are his strong feat, he equally enjoys writing about trending fashion. Apart from writing and researching, Kevin takes a keen interest in refining his cooking skills, which he feels are the sole survival method.

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