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Are you using sunscreen the right way? Remember these do’s and don’ts

Sunscreen has a variety of benefits, such as reducing the risk of skin cancer and preventing sunburns. Make sure you practice proper sunscreen safety with these do’s and don'ts.
Sunscreen myths
Use sunscreen carefully. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 10 Jul 2021, 11:00 am IST
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Do you also believe that wearing sunscreen is only essential, when you’re heading to the beach or going for a swim? Well, that’s a very common misconception, when it comes to sunscreens. Applying a generous amount of sunscreen to your face and body is something you must do on a regular basis, largely to protect yourself from the UV rays and their side-effects. 

However, we all tend to make a few mistakes that can backfire and might cause skin damage. So, here are seven do’s and don’ts that sc should keep in mind:

1. Do: Choose a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30+

Sunscreen products with high SPF don’t give you more protection. An SPF 30 blocks nearly 97 percent of the UVB radiators, while SPF 50 blocks about 98 percent and SPF 100 blocks about 99 percent. SPF 30 is the minimum protection that your skin requires, but use higher SPF sunscreen, when you are stepping out for extended periods. 

Also read: Are you sunburnt? Watch out for these signs and symptoms to know

2. Do: Apply sunscreen early before going out

Your skin can take up to half an hour to absorb sunscreen to give you protection from the harsh sun rays. So, always plan and apply it at least 30 minutes before going outside. And apply enough sunscreen; this is really important! 

Sunscreen dos and don'ts
Sunscreen is one beauty essential that you just can’t afford to not have in your skin care tool box. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
3. Do: Pick the right type of sunscreen for your skin

Sunscreen falls into two categories: one is chemical (containing ingredients like octinoxate and oxybenzone that act as sun filters) and the second is physical (containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that physically protects the skin). Unfortunately, some people are allergic to chemical products, so always try a small amount of the product on your wrist to check for allergic reactions. 

4. Do: Reach for sunscreen no matter what the forecast

Use sunscreen every single day, because UV rays can damage your skin, even if it’s cloudy outside. Sunscreen should be applied before running errands, taking a walk— and in every season.

5. Don’t: Apply sunscreen only on the face

Every inch of exposed skin should be covered with sunscreen every single day. Don’t forget to apply it to your ears, hands, arms, legs, and scalp. These areas are not only prone to skin ageing, because of sun exposure. In fact, the risk of melanoma (skin cancer) is also tremendously high in these parts of the body. 

Sunscreen dos and don'ts
Apply sunscreen on your visible body parts as well to prevent it from UV rays. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
6. Don’t: Apply sunscreen once a day

Expecting one application of sunscreen to last all day long is completely wrong. Sunscreen rubs off quite easily, because of sweating or contact with water. To make the most of your sunscreen, reapply it every two hours. 

7. Don’t: Think that dark skin protects you from UV rays

Do you literally believe that because your skin is darker, therefore, it is not susceptible to skin cancer? Or do you think you don’t need as much sunscreen in comparison to fair skin? Sorry to break it to you, but you are highly mistaken ladies! The truth is UVA and UVB rays that cause skin cancer as well as visible signs of ageing affect everyone. So, don’t skip the sunscreen, no matter what the skin tone. 

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While remembering these do’s and don’ts of sunscreen can protect your skin, it is also highly advisable to keep your skin covered as much as possible to protect yourself against skin ailments, caused by the exposure to the sun. 

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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