7 Skincare Mistakes That Lead To Sun Damage

Nobody wants to get sunburns, skin damage or skin cancer. We all want to keep ourselves safe. Still, there are common mistakes many people make when it comes to sun protection. By avoiding these mistakes, we can enjoy our time in the sun without putting ourselves at risk.

1. You only wear sunscreen on sunny days

Most people assume they’re protected from the sun on cloudy days, but guess what? 80% of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin on cloudy days. The safest bet is to wear sunscreen every day you’ll be outside. If you’re going to be near water, snow, or sand, be even more vigilant. Those elements reflect the sun’s rays, increasing the chance of sun damage.

2. You’re not using enough sunscreen

When manufacturers test sunscreen, they apply liberal amounts that go far beyond what the typical person uses. As a result, the real SPF of a sunscreen may be 1/3 of its labeled value. By applying generously, you can increase your SPF protection.

3. You’re relying on sunscreen entirely for sun protection

When spending time in the sun, you’ll likely be wearing a swimsuit or minimal clothing. One thing to consider: clothing is a great form of sun protection. Rash guards, swim shirts, and long-sleeved cover-ups can help protect your skin against UV rays. Just remember that all clothing is not created equal. Synthetic fibers in darker colors that cover your skin without stretching are the most effective.

4. You’re going outside during the hottest part of the day

UV exposure is likely to be at its worst between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If it’s possible to avoid being too much in the sun during those hours, your risk of sun damage decreases. If you must be outside during those hours, be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing.

5. You don’t seek out shade

Did you know that most instances of skin cancer occur on the head or face? By wearing a wide-brimmed hat, you can protect yourself more than by wearing sunscreen alone. By sitting under a shady tree or opting for the shady table when sitting on a patio, you’ll receive less direct UV damage. Don’t make the mistake of relying on shade too much, though. While it’s better than direct sunlight, shade does not block UV rays entirely.

6. You’re not reapplying your sunscreen throughout the day.

If you’re staying out in the sun for hours but only applied your sunscreen once, there could be a sunburn or sun damage in your future. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours on a regular day. If you swim or sweat a lot, reapply it more frequently.

7. You skip your lips.

You remembered all those easy-to-forget body parts like your ears and toes. You slathered sunscreen all over your body. Still, something is missing. Lips are vulnerable to UV damage because they have a thinner protective layer of cells. When applying sunscreen, it’s important to protect your lips by choosing a lip balm or lipstick with an SPF of at least 30. Then you can ensure you’re covered from head to toe.

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