Sun exposure is fine, but excess of it can be risky. Ever heard of skin cancer resulting out of improper application of the sunscreen, or choosing the wrong product? Yeah, it can cost your skin a fortune to rectify the damage. But there is sunshine out there when you are battling the darkest fears about your skin. So avoid the common mistakes and make the most out of your SPF to have risk-free fun in the sun.
Mistake 1 # You apply ‘less’ of sunscreen
Most women don’t use enough of SPF to protect themselves. In order to get the level of SPF mentioned on the label, you have to spread the lotion on your face like a layer. That’s the amount of thickness used in Food and Drug Administration tests, not the one-half or one fourth that is used.
So either protect your conscience (which is what average Indian girls do in sunscreen application) or your skin – the choice is yours! On days when you plan to frolic around at the beach, go for a higher SPF between 30 to 50. It will be a safety net for your skin.
Mistake 2 # You don’t ‘reapply’
On days, when the sun is most intense and you are sweating out or swimming, you need to reapply sunscreen after every two hours preferably.
According to research studies, 21 per cent of women don’t reapply the sunscreen, thinking dabbing it once in the morning on face is okay. In reality, it is not. Reapplying the sunscreen helps prevent against UV damage and skin cancer as the ingredients in it break down and become of no use after a few hours. If need be, set a reminder in your cell phone if you forget to reapply the sunscreen.
Mistake 3 # You apply on face, not the body
Don’t think sunscreen is meant only for the face. Apply it leniently on the back of your hands, neck and chest. These are the most ignored places to dab sunscreen on and are likely to damage your skin, even before you notice it. Discard the ‘face only’ approach for sunscreen in the interest of your skin.
[Also Read: Sunscreen For Different Skin Types]
Mistake 4 # Using self-tanners
Most of the women are of the belief that self-tanners give a base tan which doesn’t cause that much of sunburn. But for the fact that the colour the self-tanners leave on your skin is artificial. It might feel nice to get a bronzed skin using a self-tanner but they too get sun-baked. So keep your fake sun-tan away and use the natural sunscreen.
Mistake 5 # More the SPF, more sun protection is a myth
If you thought using SPF 100 would give you 100% protection from sun, you are wrong. There are many reasons why your so-called-high-SPF is to blame for sun damage too.
Firstly, it gives a false sense of one-upmanship over low SPFs as high SPFs don’t give twice the protection that an SPF 50 offers.
Secondly, high SPF has less of optimum chemical balance. To protect yourself from both UVB and UVA rays, keep applying sunscreen more with an SPF between 15 and 50.
[Also Read: Best Self Tanners for Face ]
Mistake 6 # Excessive sweat
Sweat and tons of sweat on a hot summer day has a lot to do with sunscreen getting wiped off. This makes you prone to more and more burns. So if you sweat out heavily when you are out on a summer stroll, keep applying water-resistant sunscreen every time you wipe off sweat from your face or any part of your body.
Mistake 7 # Overuse despite expiry
Most of us love to buy sunscreens at end-of-season sale. Sunscreen is never an end of season product and is meant to last 365 days. Stocking it in bulk may seem like a good investment but they are not good beyond a point.
Over a period of time, sunscreens end up losing strength. So discard them away if they are past its due date. If the sunscreen bottle or tube doesn’t have a date, throw it away after three years. Keep noticing any changes in its color or texture.
So you see the precautions one needs to take when buying a sunscreen. Always go for broad-spectrum sunscreens that have an SPF of 50 or lower. Avoid water-resistant sunscreens unless you are swimming or sweating profusely, as they are less effective. Make skin your best asset, not ruin it with wrong picking of a sunscreen that’s not compatible.