Many of us apply sunscreen diligently when we first venture out into the sun, but how many of us regularly reapply our protection throughout the day?
Did you know that it is common for sun damage to occur later in the day when the protection of your original application begins to fade, or after a dip in the pool or at the beach? Without the proper sun protection, you’d be exposing your skin to damage, as well as sun-induced aging - such as wrinkles and dark spots - and in the worst-case scenario may turn carcinogenic.
So, wouldn’t you agree with us that it is worth the time and effort of applying and reapplying your sunscreen correctly and consistently? If you do, then, keep reading to learn how to apply sunscreen efficiently in 5 easy steps but before that, let’s talk about how much sunscreen is to be used.
How much sunscreen to use
According to the Cancer Council Australia, a global leader in funding and conducting cancer research, sunscreen users should apply at least 1 teaspoon (5ml) of sunscreen to each arm, leg, front of the body, back of the body and face (including the neck and ears). Yes, you heard it right. That is the recommended amount to use for effective sun protection.
In total, one full-body application should be equivalent to 7 teaspoons (32m). Otherwise, you could always read the label on the bottle and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. With that established, follow these 5 simple steps to easily apply sunscreen on your face and body:
Step-by-step guide to applying sunscreen
Step 1: Apply sunscreen before leaving the house
Sunscreen should be used every day and the recommended approach by the Cancer Council is to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside to allow the sunscreen some time to bond to your skin.
Even when the sky is heavily overcast, up to 80% of the sun's UV radiation reaches the earth. So, do not go unprotected on a gloomy day as it will lead to skin damage and skin cancer. Remember incidental sun exposure builds up rapidly over a lifetime hence, it is essential for you to always apply sunscreen.
Step 2: Dot the sunscreen all over your face and body
To achieve uniform coverage on all areas of the skin, apply sunscreen by dotting it on. You may do this right from the bottle by squeezing a small amount at a time. If you're using a spray, spritz it all over your body.
Step 3: Massage the sunscreen into your skin
Yes, there is a proper technique to apply sunscreen, and it is only by gently massaging the sunscreen into your skin in a circular motion with your hands to ensure that it is fully absorbed and that no streaks remain.
As research by The Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust which includes experts in sunburn, looked at how sunscreens ward off cancer-causing radiation revealed that when sunscreen was rubbed into the skin, it provided almost zero protection since the sun protection collected in lines and sweat glands. Try to apply the lotion onto the surface of the skin as a barrier instead of working it into the skin.
Furthermore, tugging and stretching your skin too much during application might create unwanted friction and cause the skin to sag later on.
Step 4: Add a few extra dots to the areas you missed
Skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body, including areas that have not been exposed to UV radiation. So, after gently applying your initial sunscreen, massage a few extra dots of sunscreen to small areas that haven't received sufficient coverage.
Here are some of the most overlooked spots:
- Back of neck
- Tops of feet
- Along the hairline
- Areas of the head exposed by balding or thinning hair
Step 5: Reapply!
If you will be exposed to the sun throughout the day, you will need to reapply your sun protection every 2 hours. The reason being sunscreen degrades as it blocks UV radiation from the sun. However, if you are sweating or swimming, you will need to reapply more often. This will guarantee that you maintain an adequate level of UV protection to keep you safe from the sun.
⭐ Pro tip: If you're prone to forgetting, set up a recurring reminder on your phone.
We hope this guide clarifies the key points for you to embark on a sun-safe life! Keep in mind that, while essential, sunscreen alone is insufficient. Seek shade wherever possible and protect yourself from the sun by wearing sun-safe clothes or a board-brim sun hat! Click here to read and learn how to prevent skin damage with sun protect hats.
Not sure where or which brand to get sun protection from? Sunscreens from the Cancer Council Australia are highly recommended!
The manufacture of Cancer Council Australia’s sunscreens is strictly regulated by the Australian Government's Therapeutic Goods Administration. The TGA's sunscreen regulations are among the strictest in the world. All batches of sunscreen are thoroughly tested to ensure the sunscreens:
- are safe to use
- the TGA-approved formula is adhered to
- the SPF claims on the bottle are exceeded, and
- that the quantity of approved active ingredients is present before they are released to the public.
Furthermore, they have a broad spectrum of sunscreens in a range of innovative formulas and packaging to suit every lifestyle. Which are endorsed by the Australian Cancer Council.
So, explore our Cancer Council sunscreen products rated between SPF30+ and 50+ that will keep you sun-safe here and take a look at our best sellers below:
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