Tips on how to put on sunscreen
Deep down, we all inherently know that we should put on sunscreen when we go outside in the sun, but we often have lots of excuses as to why we don’t wear it, such as “I will only be in the sun a short while “or “I am driving so there’s no need”. When we do put it on, we may not be using the right sunscreen, or might not be applying it correctly and missing key areas of our face or body.
To decrease the risk of skin cancer and other health issues, it is important to understand how to apply sunscreen correctly. Continue reading to discover which methods to use to keep you covered year-round.
Why should I apply sunscreen correctly?
Applying sunscreen would appear to be straightforward, but we often neglect the sides of our face and neck and sometimes even forget the rest of our body. These forgotten areas may be catching the sun and are vulnerable to sunburn, accelerating the development of wrinkles and increasing the risk of skin cancer from the sun’s powerful UVA and UVB rays.
Six simple steps to apply sunscreen
- The best way to put on sunscreen is, first of all, to start with the sides of the face. Start with the temples and run the cream down with your fingers in front of the ear, at least four fingers breadth, to the jawline at the corner of the jaw, and then down the neck, below the ear and just in front of the ear on each side.
- Apply a little bit to the centre of the neck and down on to the décolletage area and around the collarbones (clavicles). If you are walking outside, then you may want to put a little bit on the back of your neck, as well as on your upper back and shoulders, particularly if you are wearing a sleeveless t-shirt.
- Then, go back to the face. After you have done the sides of your face and the front of your neck, the third movement is to do the forehead, the glabella region between the eyebrows, the bridge, the sides of the nose and the under-eye areas. Above the eyes, you can go just into the eyebrows and across them, but be careful not to go down too low on to the upper eyelids, as the sunscreen can run into your eyes and sting.
- Do the front of your cheeks, blending the sunscreen into the sides of your nose, beneath the lower eyelid and into the lateral cheek (upper cheek), where you have already put the sunscreen, and then come down.
- The fifth step will be to apply the sunscreen around the mouth, to the sides of the mouth, the area just above the upper lip beneath the nose, and then the chin, making sure that you cover the whole area.
- You can then apply sunscreen to your hands and cover as much of your forearms as you want, depending on how much skin is exposed. You can also put it on your ankles and cover your shins and the backs of your calves.
What SPF should I use?
UV light is powerful, even on days when there is cloud cover. It is also extra strong when you are near water, which reflects the sun upwards, towards your face and neck. As such, applying sunscreen all year-round is essential in protecting yourself.
We recommend using SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen, to protect against UVA and UVB rays from November to April, and then using SPF 50 from the beginning of May to the end of October.
How often should I apply sunscreen?
You should apply sunscreen about 10 to 15 minutes before going out. The sunscreen will not last all day, so you should reapply towards the middle of the day and any time you enter water. If you’re out all day or later, you should put sunscreen on again in the early evening.