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Read Up on These 4 Biggest Sunscreen Mistakes

Applying sunscreen should be part of our daily routine. Whether the sun is shining or not, it is important to understand the benefits of wearing sunscreen and how to choose the correct protection to avoid sun damage. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help you avoid these four mistakes.


The Importance of Sunscreen

Many people think sunscreen is only used by those who live in warm, sunny places year-round. Sunscreen should actually be used year-round whether you live in a hot or cold climate. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause skin damage even on days you cannot visibly see the sun. Therefore, it is important to get into a daily habit of applying sunscreen before you step outside. Always make sure to avoid these four sunscreen mistakes to keep yourself protected.


Avoid These Sunscreen Mistakes

Common sunscreen mistakes include: ignoring the label, not using enough, applying it only on sunny days, and using an old bottle. Reading labels on packages and products you buy is important. You can learn ingredients, warnings, and other important information from reading them. When reading a label on a bottle of sunscreen, you want to be sure you are buying what will best protect you. The label should read broad-spectrum, water-resistant, and have an SPF of 30 or higher. Broad-spectrum sunscreens directly combat the sun’s UV rays. Water-resistant sunscreen allows you to still be protected when getting in water. It is recommended to reapply it more often when swimming is involved. Lastly, the higher the SPF, the more protection you will have against the sun’s UV rays.

Sunscreen Application

Once you have found the right sunscreen for yourself, it is important to make sure you apply enough of it before heading outside. A thin layer will not fully protect you. Instead, apply roughly one ounce of sunscreen. When applying, do so before heading outside to give it time to soak in. Then, it can begin protecting you immediately by the time you go outside.


When To Use Sunscreen

As mentioned above, the sun’s damaging UV rays do not care if you live in a hot or cold climate. The sun can cause just as much damage from hiding behind a cloud as it can when it is visibly shining. Sunscreen should be applied every day as part of your daily routine before you head outside. This way, you are protected in both scenarios. Keep in mind that the sun is hottest from 10 am – 4 pm every day, even if it’s behind a cloud. During this time, extra precautions should be taken to avoid sun damage.


Expired Sunscreen

Lastly, just as you would not take old medications, do not use old sunscreen! If it is expired or does not have an expiration date, it is a good idea to throw them out and buy new bottles. Just as old medications will not fully do their job, old sunscreens will not either.


Still Have Questions?

If you have questions or concerns about how to avoid these four sunscreen mistakes, the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas, get in touch with us.

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