June 13, 2017
Because your sunscreen is only as good as your application…
You know the drill: You need to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF (UVB) 30+ and high UVA protection. Before you pack and go, learn how to apply your cream for the full benefits. These expert application tips are essential pre-holiday reading:
If you burnt last year, you'll be more sensitive to burning this year
Clare O'Connor, Boots Suncare Expert says you need to use your sunscreen from day one of your holiday. "The effects of the sun are cumulative, so if you burn an area of skin, it will be more sensitive to burning next year". If like most people you want an even tan with no blotchy areas, Clare says "it is essential to be fully protected from the first day".
Measure around 3 tablespoons of sunscreen for your whole body
You need to use enough, but not too much! Apply Clare's measurement to take the guesswork out of it: "Around three tablespoons of product is enough to cover your whole body. But be careful not to over-rub your lotion! If it starts to ball up, you've rubbed too hard so remove any residue and smooth on a new layer – more gently."
Apply it BEFORE you get to the beach
Sunscreen does work as soon as it's applied, but this doesn't mean you shouldn't apply it before you get into the sun.It is important to allow some time before you go outside as your skin takes a while to absorb it. This will help ensure that when you undress/lie on a towel/start moving around it is less likely to be rubbed off – which will compromise your protection.
Reapply every 2 hours, and more if you're a water baby
Repeat application shouldn't be forgotten. "Think of your skin as a sponge that needs constant 'topping up' to keep it moisturized. Reapply at least every 2 hours, and more if you are in and out of water or doing exercise.
Remember to still apply sunscreen when it's cloudy
Dr. Stefanie Williams. Founder and Medical Director at European Dermatology London says that while you may not get sunburnt when it's cloudy, your skin can still be exposed to significant amounts of UVA without even noticing. "UVA can penetrate window glass and clouds. I always recommend the same sun protection level of broad-spectrum SPF 30-50 whether the sun is out or not."
Be careful of citrus fruits dissolving your sunscreen
Partial to a Gin Fizz or fruit cocktail by the pool? Be careful: citric acid can break down certain sunscreen formula. New York skin doc David Bank recently told Allure "Citric acid can change the pH of an active sunscreen agent and deactivate it". So be diligent about reapplication around your mouth and look for a lip block "that has zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient" which should resist the chemical reaction.
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