We all know that sunscreen is super important.
We know that the sun’s rays make us age faster, give us spots, darken our skin and are even responsible for dreaded cancer.
But still, nobody likes using sunscreen.
And this is the most under-used product in almost every woman’s regimen.
That’s because it doesn’t feel very good. And you don’t see any immediate ‘results’.
But since sunscreen is a MUST, you buy a product that contains SPF, do a quick and crappy job of slapping it over your face (and body, hopefully) and move on with your life. As long as you have it on, you’re protected right? You couldn’t be more wrong.
Mistake No.1: You are using way too little.
It’s like saying, “But I drink 1 glass of water everyday.” But honey, you need a minimum of 8 glasses! Same rule applies to sunscreen. We use just a teeny squeeze and think we’re good. But you actually need a hell of a lot. Here’s how much you really need:
Face: 1 tsp.
Neck and chest: 1tsp.
Arm: 1 tsp (each).
Leg: 2 tsp (each).
Mistake No.2: Your moisturizer or makeup has SPF so you don’t use a separate sunscreen.
Just because your moisturizer or makeup contains SPF, does not mean you don’t need a separate sunscreen. You definitely need a sunscreen over and above that.
Think about it, you use a pea-sized amount of moisturizer or makeup. But when it comes to sunscreen, you need 1 whole teaspoon just for your face to be protected. So that SPF (even if it is 30 or more) in your moisturizer just ain’t going to do anything. It’s literally useless.
Mistake No.3: You are using less than SPF 30.
Your sunscreen should contain at least SPF 30. That’s the minimum.
SPF 30 blocks out about 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. And why would you want to block any less? By using a lower SPF, you’re protecting your skin less and that makes absolutely no sense!
Tip: Make sure your sunscreen has ‘broad spectrum’ written on it. This means that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Both of which are bad for you.
Mistake No.4: You only use it on sunny days.
The sun has a simple game plan: “You can run, but you cannot hide.”
It will find you. Wherever you are. Through the dark rain clouds. On a foggy day. Through the snow. Through a window. In the car (despite the tinted shades). In a mall. In your bedroom. In a bathroom… YOU ARE NOT SAFE ANYWHERE.
And that teeny-tiny bit of exposure everyday really adds up. And before you know it, your skin is damaged. But you have no clue how or why.
So don’t be fooled by the weather or the fact that you’re indoors, you need sunscreen every single day. 365 days of the year. No debate.
Mistake No.5: You don’t use sunscreen when you get pimples.
So you got a pimple (or ten) and are vigorously dabbing acne treatments to dry the buggers off. And you don’t want anything oily on your skin, so sunscreen is out of the question. Bad idea!!!
Acne treatments make your skin super sensitive, so it’s more likely to burn in the sun. What’s even worse is that this can lead to permanent marks on your face. Yikes!
So even if you’re breaking out, make sure you use sunscreen. In fact, if your sunscreen contains zinc oxide, it will help dry out and heal your pimple faster. So DO NOT ditch the sunscreen. Just pick one that says ‘non-comedogenic’ because that means that the product is designed to not clog your pores or cause breakouts.
Mistake No.6: You rub your sunscreen into your skin.
Sunscreen is a barrier. Its job is to ‘sit’ on your skin and act as a wall preventing the harmful UV rays from entering your skin. So you don’t have to rub it in. Your skin does not need to absorb it.
You just have to layer it over your skin by patting it gently so it sticks. That makes it far more effective than rubbing it in.
Mistake No.7: You skip sunscreen because you need Vitamin D.
Your skin makes Vitamin D for about 15 minutes and then it’s done for the day. If it kept making Vitamin D, it would reach toxic levels.
So all you need is 15 minutes in the sun. But considering that most people are not applying enough sunscreen – your skin is most probably making enough Vitamin D anyways.
If you must step out without sunscreen, then do it between 7am-9am. That way you will get your fill of Vitamin D without really harming your skin. But remember, when the clock strikes 9am, make sure your sunscreen is on!
So now that you know how to make your sunscreen do its job properly, it’s time to have fun in the sun!