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Think you know how to apply sunscreen properly? Take it from me, it’s harder than it looks. I should I know, my thirty-something year old self just burnt myself crispy using old sunscreen. Such. A. Fail. With this in mind, and saving your gorgeous selves from wrinkles, age spots, or worse things like skin cancer in the future, let me take you through a few steps that will see you get the most out of your sunscreen this summer.
Start with your face and neck, this allows the longest amount of time for the sunscreen to take effect on what is an exposed area of skin for most of us. Then apply to your arms and chest, apply liberally, move to your legs being careful to reach all the areas behind. Speaking of which have someone apply sunscreen to your back whenever possible, this reduces the risk of missing areas. read on for guides on how much you should be using.
An average sized adult will need to use approx 35ml of sunscreen* for every single application. During every beach camping trip, we find that our family will go through two-three bottles of sunscreen for up to seven adults plus kids. Apply liberally and regularly for the best results.
SunSmart recommends applying half a teaspoon per arm and for your face and neck. You would increase this amount to a full teaspoon for each leg, the front and back of your body. And yes, that’s per section not all together and it’s based on an average sized adult, so if you’re bigger than that, apply more.
Applying before going into the sun is essential to allow the sunscreen to absorb and there’s a better chance of you not sweating it off before it has the chance. This is not just a myth the grown-ups tell the kids so they can keep them out of the pool a little while longer. It’s true. Give your sunscreen time to do its thing and you’ve set the foundation for the whole day with a good first application. However…
It doesn’t matter if the bottle says four hours of protection or two, always ‘apply yourself to reapply your sunscreen’ every two hours. This will mean that you’ll need to take that same 20 minutes block before returning into water or doing any excessive sweating if you can. Sure, in a perfect world, right? But that’s why we apply more regularly, we hope it tops it up enough to cover all probable mistakes you’ll make with application.
This one will get you in trouble every single time. Expiry dates for sunscreen aren’t like for milk, you can’t sniff it and determine that it’s still good. It’s safe to assume that all expired sunscreen has a diminished usefulness at least. It may not work at all after a longer period of time. Same goes for bottles left in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees.
Even the best sunscreens aren’t wipe or sweat resistant. Especially if you’re guilty of not giving them enough time to soak in. This summer my sister and I were wearing hats and still getting our foreheads burnt while swimming. It turns out the material in the hat was wiping the sunscreen from our foreheads leaving them exposed to the full force of the sun when we removed them. When swimming the areas around your eyes and nose get wiped the most often, when sweating your brow and neck. So keep that in mind and apply to those areas more often if you think of it.
Information from SunSmart. To download the SunSmart fact sheet for ALL the things, go here.
Melissa is the Leave Home Blog Boss. She is living the high life in her hometown, didn’t finish her marketing degree & drinks too much on a Thursday night. Blogging since 2009, Melissa decided to put everything she knows into making The Leave Home Blog a light & easy how-to guide for being a grown up.