Are you getting the most out of your sunscreen? The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, and make sure it is labeled 'broad spectrum'. Which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
But even if you buy the best protection, it turns out, one of the most common mistakes is you may not be using enough.
"You must put on one ounce of sunscreen, that's the amount in a shot glass, to cover your whole body. Most people don't put on that much. If you're putting it on too thin, you're not getting an SPF 30, you're getting more like an SPF10, so sometimes it's easier to put on a higher potency to get you to 30, but you want to put on a nice, thick coat," says dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang.
Dr. Piliang adds that another common mistake people make, is they wait to put on sunscreen when they get to the pool or the beach. Instead, you need to put it on at least 10 or 15 minutes before you go outside to give it a chance to absorb in the skin. Then, don't forget, sunscreen should be reapplied at least every 2 hours, especially if you're swimming or sweating in the heat.
By the way, if you have the same bottle of sunscreen you've used for years, that's a common problem too. Be sure to check the expiration date. If it's expired, it's not giving you any protection anymore.
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