My Skin Centre

How to Apply Sunscreen

When packing for a day out at the beach, a bottle of sunscreen will probably make its way into your bag. Even though you may think you are doing the right thing, 4 out of every 5 Australians are still using sunscreen the wrong way. Compared to other countries, Australia has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer.

When sunscreen is combined with other sun protection measures it can reduce the likelihood of both skin cancer and premature ageing. In the following article we explain how you should be applying your sunscreen:

What to Look For

You should be looking for a water resistant sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30+, this will filter 96.7% of UVB. An even better alternative is SPF 50+ which will filter at least 98%. If you choose a broad spectrum sunscreen you will also be protected from UVA rays.

Sunscreens come in different varieties including sensitive, kids, non greasy, sport and spray on.

You Need More Than You Think

The application is where most people fall short. You should always read the label and follow the directions carefully. As a general rule, adults need a shot glass full of sunscreen for their body.

This is equal to 1 teaspoon for the head and neck, 1 teaspoon for each limb, and 1 teaspoon for the front and back areas. Don’t forget those often neglected areas such as the ears and tops of the feet.

Apply More Often

It isn’t only those hot days that can damage your skin, and depending on where you live, sunscreen may even be required during the winter months.

Slopping on your sunscreen right before you step outside isn’t going to give you the coverage you need. The product actually needs some time to work, so try to wait 20 minutes before venturing outdoors. Remember to reapply at least every 2 hours, or every 80 minutes if you are in the water or sweating.

How to Use Spray on Sunscreen

Spray on sunscreen has become more and more popular, and this is because application is so simple. You do need to be careful that you are covered, and you still might have to spread it with your hands. Spray from about 10cm, ensuring your skin glistens.

Allergic Reactions

People can be allergic to almost anything, and sunscreen is no exception. The most common reaction is called contact dermatitis, which can present itself as a rash or burning sensation. This could be caused by a number of things including fragrances or key ingredients such as oxybenzone.

If you notice an allergic reaction, you should wash off the sunscreen straight away. Sometimes it might take a few days before your skin reacts, which is why a patch test is recommended. If you have sensitive skin, there are fragrance free varieties available. It may take time to find the right product. If you have any concerns please consult your doctor.

In Australia, it makes sense to include sunscreen as part of your daily routine. It can even be worn under makeup!

If you are worried about your skin, book in for a full body skin and mole check and our friendly professionals will be able to assess you for any damage.