GMC Blog

Sunscreen Application Tips

While enjoying a day out during the summer, it is easy to get distracted by all the fun and forget about the importance of wearing the appropriate amount of sunscreen. For many people and in many situations, sunscreen is the first and only line of defense against the harmful ultraviolent rays of the sun, which can cause both skin cancer growths and early signs of aging like deep creases and wrinkles. To ensure you are getting the right amount of protection from your sunscreen, you have to apply it correctly. Otherwise, you could still be putting yourself at risk of burns, wrinkling, and skin cancer.

Here are five easy sunscreen application tips that everyone should know this summer:

  1. All-in-one: When you head into a pharmacy or retail store in search of sunscreen, you are bound to find a huge selection of brands and types. What are you supposed to pick out? Your preferences are your preferences, but for the most part, it is advised that you grab a sunscreen that advertises SPF (sun protection factor) 30 or more, waterproof formula, and broad-spectrum coverage (UVA and UVB ray coverage). The higher the SPF, the better it is at stopping UV rays from passing into your skin. Waterproofing agent helps it cling to your body longer after getting wet in the ocean or pool.
  2. Early application: Keep in mind that sunscreen will take roughly 15 minutes to absorb into your skin. To get the full effect of the lotion, spray, or tincture, apply it 20 minutes before stepping outside.
  3. Generosity: Be liberal and thorough when you are applying sunscreen, especially if you are planning on staying outside for a long period of time. There really is no way to put on too much sunscreen, so don’t be afraid to use more than you have in the past to be safe this time around. Typically, people apply far less than they need.
  4. Coverall: From the tips of your toes to the top of your head, sunscreen application is important. So long as a part of your skin is exposed to the sun, you should be protecting it with sunscreen. Since a summer or beach day is usually the most fun with other people, see if you can ask a friend or even a kind passerby to apply sunscreen to your back. You can protect the sensitive exposed skin of your lips with lip balm that has a good SPF rating; most lip balms will not have an SPF over 15, though.
  5. Reapply when necessary: Sunscreen is not a one-and-done type of lotion. You need to reapply it whenever you get out of the water or after you complete a physical activity that caused you to sweat noticeably. You should also reapply a coat of sunscreen every two hours you are outside. Do not be tricked by a cloudy day, either. The UV rays of the sun pierce straight through cloud cover and hit your skin as if nothing was in the way. Nothing but your sunscreen, of course.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.