I cannot tell you how many times I have been told “I always wear sunscreen but I still get a sun burn” or “what is a good sunscreen because I always burn even when I use mine” or something similar. So why do so many people still get a sunburn when they apply sunscreen? Here is your answer.
1. We trust sunscreen too much! There is no sunscreen in the universe that protects as effectively as sun protective clothing. In my opinion it’s much easier and that’s why. Throwing on a long sleeve swim shirt is simple. Wearing sunscreen is complicated. With sunscreen you need the right amount applied, the right frequency of applications, the right sunscreen out of millions to pick from. So get your swimshirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses ready this Summer! And don’t worry, you won’t be too hot. As a matter of fact, you will be cooler because the sun won’t be hitting your skin. It’s like a perma-shade you wear.
2. We didn’t re-apply properly. When outdoors we need to re-apply at least every 2 hours. When participating in water activities we need to apply more frequently according to directions on your sunscreen bottle, usually every 60-80 minutes.
3. We just didn’t use enough sunscreen. Most adults need a full shot glass of sunscreen to cover the body adequately. Think about how long you would have to spray a can of sunscreen to fill a shot glass. Are you using enough?
4. We used expired sunscreen. Did you know sunscreen expires? How many times have you reached in the boat cabinet or poolhouse cabinet and grabbed sunscreen from last year because you hadn’t really thought about buying more yet? Guilty? Better check your expiration dates.
5. We used a sub-par sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends at least a 30 SPF, broad spectrum(UVA/UVB), water resistant and physical blocker (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). I also recommend one that protects against infrared and blue light for your face like the colorscience face shield.
6. We didn’t give the sunscreen time. It takes at least 15 minutes after application of sunscreen before it’s absorbed and protecting you. You need to apply indoors or in the shade and wait that 15 minutes before sun exposure because I’m telling you, in the course of a day those 15 minutes add up.
May is skin cancer awareness month and we are celebrating at Johnson Dermatology. If you haven’t had a full body skin exam to screen for skin cancers in the past year you should schedule an appointment. Just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like a good sunscreen for this Summer you can e-mail Brooke@johnsondermatology.com for a free consult. If there is anything else we can do for you just let us know. As Dr. Sandy always says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” so in this case make sure you get that one ounce of sunscreen for your body during all your outdoor activities this Summer!
Stay Skintastic, Nina