12 Sunscreen Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making
Summertime is here, and a lot of us are enjoying the hot sunny weather! However, over half of the young adults experience some type of sunburn every year, and many of them don’t heed the warnings about the dangers of UV rays.
But unfortunately, most of the individuals don’t know the right way to wear sunscreen; they are not aware of different types of sunscreens such as gel-based sunscreen, chemical sunscreens or physical sunscreens.
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about sun protection. That’s why we’ve put together this guide of common sunscreen mistakes you should stop making when you wear sunscreen.
Not sure what those are?
Keep reading below points while choosing sunscreen:
1. You Think All Sunscreens Are the Same
Different types of sunscreen have different SPF levels. And SPF is what measures the level of protection the sunscreen has against UV rays.
Because of this, your sunscreen should have an SPF level of at least 30. You may even want to choose a sunscreen with an SPF level of 50, 75, or even 100.
The higher you go, the more protection you get.
But that’s not the only difference between sunscreens SPF 50 or 75 or 100. Some types are made with chemicals. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies or acne, you’ll ant to choose something with natural ingredients. So you need to know “How to choose sunscreen according to your skin type?”
2. You Don’t Wear Enough
Applying a thin layer of sunscreen to your arms, legs, and face before you go outside for the day won’t give you the protection you need.
Instead, you should apply a nice, healthy layer of sunscreen to your entire body before you get dressed. Don’t forget commonly missed areas like your ears, feet, toes, hair part, and lips.
Once you step outside, the harsh sun rays will start breaking down the UV protection in your sunscreen. So bring your sunscreen with you and reapply every hour or two.
3. You Think It’s Waterproof
Some types of sunscreen are water-resistant, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely waterproof. Even water-resistant sunscreen will wash off after 40 minutes in the pool or 40 minutes of excessive sweating.
You need to reapply your sunscreen after getting out of the pool or exercising. Otherwise, you’re making one of the sunscreen mistakes leaving your skin exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays no matter which sunscreen you use.
4. You’re Using Expired Sunscreen
Many bottles of sunscreen have expiration dates written on the side. If the sunscreen is past its expiration date, you should stop using it. If it doesn’t have an expiration date, you should throw it out after three years.
Wearing expired sunscreen may not give you any UV protection. On top of that, it can irritate or harm your skin.
5. You think you don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day
Even when the sun is not shining brightly, its rays are there which can cause immediate damage to your skin. Up to 80% of sunrays can penetrate through clouds and can easily damage your skin. This is another conventional sunscreen mistakes, so even on outcast days, you can end up with severe sunburns if you spend time out in the sun without applying sunscreen. Don't forget your sunscreen next time you are going out on a cloudy day.
6. Your skin is dark, and you don’t need a sunscreen
People with dark skin also produce more melanin, which provides some protection from UV radiation. However, this protection helps to a certain extent only, thus people with darker skin tone can also get sunburned and may also develop skin cancer from UV damage.
7. You don't need sunscreen as there’s SPF in your cosmetics
The amount of SPF in your Makeup or moisturizers is not the same as what you will be getting in as sunscreen. Makeup or moisturizers with SPF protects you against a small number of UV exposures and thus doesn’t provide enough coverage.
8. You think a higher SPF allows for more extended coverage
This is again one of the most common sunscreen mistakes as SPF indicates the proportion of UVB rays that are blocked by sunscreen not how long you can stay outside in the sun. So if you are staying long in the sun or frequently you have been sweating or swimming reapplies your sunscreen after every 4 hrs.
9. Your skin cant get damaged through the car window
Windshields are made with two layers of glass lamination with a plastic layer in between so they can block UVA & UVB rays. Whereas side and rear windows are generally made from single pane glass which may block UVB rays but still lets UVA rays through. However, UVA rays are associated with premature ageing and skin cancer. Thus Sunscreen is immensely important when you go out even in a car.
10. A Beach Umbrella is enough to block the Sun
Sand reflects 17 percent of UV radiation and these reflections can’t be blocked by a beach umbrella so its smart to stay in the shade when the sun’s rays are high but make sure you applied enough sunscreen. A beach umbrella may help you to provide little coverage from the sun rays but it cant protect you entirely from UVA & UVB rays.
11. You assume expensive sunscreens work better
It’s not important that you always get what you pay for. An expensive sunscreen might seem appealing, but with sunscreens, it’s all about how effective it is against Sun effects.
12. You think most sunscreens are the same
Sunscreens can be of two types one is a physical sunscreen and the other is a chemical sunscreen.
Physical sunscreen usually has zinc oxide and titanium oxide; they tend to be more hypoallergenic and better for sensitive skin as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are large molecules that don’t get absorbed.
Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, is made with oxybenzone, avobenzone and octyl salicylate which absorb ultraviolet light and change the wavelength to prevent skin damage. They tend to be more hypoallergenic and better for sensitive skin because zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are large molecules that don’t get absorbed.
Don’t make these sunscreen mistakes and enjoy your time in the sun!
Stay Protected ! Stay Beautiful !
Health, Beauty & Wellness Writer
M.Sc. In Bioinformatics
Being in the field of writing for many years, this bioinformatician knows her work well. With great knowledge of technology and science, she is dedicated to present all the science-backed information in the possible simplest way