Sunscreen plays a vital role in shielding you from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. As per the United States Food and Drug Administration, a good sunscreen with adequate UVA and UVB blocking can save you from suntan, sunburns, and signs of ageing and reduce the danger of skin cancer.
Unfortunately, despite these benefits, not everyone applies their sunscreen properly.
People using sunscreen often make mistakes like applying too little, skipping important spots, not reapplying it, or even waiting for the sun to come out before using. These are only a few of the common mistakes people make. When you do this, you make your skin vulnerable to the harmful UV rays that wreak havoc. Ideally, one should go for a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen that is water-resistant. However, your job does not end here. Sunscreen application must be diligent. Below you'll find a few sunscreen slipups that we all end up making:
- Applying the sunscreen just before stepping out in the sun
People believe that they must slather on sunscreen just before stepping out into the sun to get maximum protection. While this is a big misconception. Ideally, one should apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before stepping out. This is because it takes a while before your skin can successfully absorb the sunscreen's protective ingredients.
- Overlooking the benefits of mineral sunscreens
Most people believe that it is enough if the sunscreen ingredients absorb the UV rays. But that is a myth. There are two types of sunscreens available: mineral (or physical) and chemical. Chemical sunscreen absorbs the rays, and then the sunscreen dissipates the UV rays through a chemical reaction. On the other hand, mineral sunscreen will sit on the top of the skin and reflect UV rays from the skin's surface. They contain two natural minerals, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The potent ingredients make the mineral/physical sunscreens better. While both are good for the skin, in summer, we suggest opting for a mineral-rich sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. It protects your skin against harmful UVA/UVB rays and reduces the chances of tanning and premature ageing.
For a sweat-proof and natural formula, try Lotus Herbals Safe Sun Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 PA++. This mineral-rich sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection and regulates pigmentation. The black plum extracts help rejuvenates dull skin by flushing out the toxins.
- Being stingy about the amount
Many people buy expensive sunscreen and then use it sparingly. It is a big mistake. For the SPF to be effective, dabbing a small quantity is not the solution. Applying little sunscreen leaves streaks and results in a reduced SPF. Don't be rushed while applying sunscreen, be attentive and cover all the exposed areas repeatedly for the best coverage. For optimum protection, follow the two-finger method. Squeeze the sunscreen in two lines on your index and middle finger and apply it evenly over your face.
Invest in a lightweight, invisible, non-sticky matte sunscreen like Lotus Herbals Safe Sun Vitamin-C MatteGEL Daily Sunscreen SPF 50 that leaves no white cast. Packed with the benefits of Vitamin C, this sunscreen provides broad coverage, and its anti-pollution property protects your skin from external aggressors.
- Missing out on significant areas of the body
People only focus on their faces and necks, believing that is enough. In actuality, all parts of the body that are exposed to the sun should be covered. Apply sunscreen generously all over the exposed areas. It's imperative to apply sunscreen to every area that will be unprotected and exposed to the sun. People tend to miss a few common spots, such as their eyelids. This is one of the most critical parts because eyelid skin has the maximum occurrence of skin cancer per unit area.
Lips, too, like eyelids, are another often-overlooked part of the face that is susceptible to damage due to limited melanin. Melanin is the shielding pigment that gives colour to hair, skin and eyes. The solution is using lipstick or lip balm with SPF 15 or more. Try Lotus Herbals LIP THERAPY Cherry. Loaded with Shea and kokum butter, this lip balm provides unparalleled protection and nourishment.
- Not reapplying sunscreen
Sunscreen is not magical and does not offer lasting protection to the skin. Many people are unaware that not reapplying sunscreen will leave the skin vulnerable. Only a percentage of sunscreen users reapply sunscreen as directed. Ideally, it needs to be reapplied every two hours and even more so if you are swimming or sweating uncontrollably. People think just because their sunscreens are water-resistant, they needn't reapply from time to time. Even the water-resistant sunscreens have a time limit, as stated on the tube – either up to 40 or 80 minutes. Re-applying also ensures optimum protection.
- Ignoring the expiry date or best before date on the product
Everything has a shelf life, and sunscreen is not the exception. Check the use-by date, expiry date or best before date and throw the bottle before that. If you have not been doing this, you may have risked your skin. If there is no expiry date on the bottle, assume it to be around three years from the manufacturing date. Whatever you do, do not use this product endlessly.
A good sunscreen does wonders for you. Apply it properly to benefit from it and protect your exposed areas from the ill effects of UV rays.