Pick a sunscreen that’s easy to apply. Grab a lotion or gel if you’re sharing the task, or a spray if you’re on your own and need to aim the product at your own back. Whichever style you choose, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests picking a product rated at a sun protect factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. If you freckle or burn easily, choose a higher SPF sunscreen.
Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes before heading outside. Using a circular motion, rub a liberal amount of suntan lotion into your skin. On average, one application of sunscreen should fill a shot glass, advises the American Academy of Dermatology. Make sure to apply sunscreen to hard to see areas including behind your shoulders, the tops of your ears, the back of your hands and the back of your legs. If you have a lotion-buddy, ask for help. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping your complexion beautiful by using a face-specific sunscreen for your cheeks, forehead and chin.
Reapply sunscreen throughout the day. If you’re sweating from shoveling snow, raking leaves or from taking a dip in the pool, sunscreen will wash away. Dry the moisture of perspiration or water from your skin and rub on sunscreen every 40 minutes.
Sunscreen usually expires after three years. Just because your favorite suntan lotion that was tucked away in the bathroom closet still smells like coconuts or reminds you of a vacation to the Caribbean, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. Before slathering it on, check the expiration date.
Protection from the sun isn’t just for summer. Protect your skin year-round from UV rays, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Some makeup manufacturers advertise the inclusion of SPF in their products. Before trusting the makeup to completely protect your skin year-round, make sure it has a minimum SPF of 15.
Finish your look with additional protection from the sun. Sporting a funky wide-brim hat, cute sunglasses and shimmery lip balm infused with SPF keeps helps ward off damaging UV sun rays anytime of the year.
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Sources and Suggested Further Reading:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Questions & Answers on Skin Cancer Prevention
American Academy of Dermatology: Facts About Sunscreens