The Right Time and Frequency for Sunscreen Application

Sunscreen is a necessary precaution for those who spend any amount of time in sunlight. It becomes even more so during summertime when the sun shines bright and people spend more time at parks, poolside or at the beach.

Although wearing sunscreen has been proven to be essential for preventing a number of skin diseases, including skin cancer, a lot of people never get into the habit of applying a layer of protection and neglect their skin even when they engage in prolonged sun exposure.

In reality, however, even those who take the time to apply sunscreen, at least when they plan on spending the day at the pool or beach, don’t often do it as they should. They might wear the wrong SPF factor or neglect to reapply at the appropriate time, for instance, which leads to what may be perceived as unexplainable sunburn. It may seem strange to read this, but there is an appropriate time and way to apply sunscreen, and those who have ignored this and not suffered any visible damage so far are either going to over time or have had sheer luck.

Sunscreen needs to be applied in generous amounts in order to ensure the body is fully covered and protected. According to doctors, the full amount of sunscreen one applies should be able to fill a small shot glass.

Aside from getting the best and fullest sun protection possible, one should also take the time to apply sunscreen before they leave the house because while mineral sunscreens activate immediately, chemical alternatives need some time to take effect. Unless one knows exactly which kind of sun protection they are using, it is better to apply the cream before leaving the house to make sure it is working when they get outside.

Another reason why even mineral sunscreen wearers should apply their sun protection indoors as a part of their morning routine is that sunlight also penetrates inside through doors, windows and other openings. It may not be obvious, because no one gets a tan or sunburn indoors, but the rays that do penetrate are still as dangerous as they would be outdoors.

Speaking of the outdoors, one should remember to reapply their protection while enjoying the sun, as it does wear off over time, particularly when people sweat or after going in the water. So while it is recommended to first apply sunscreen 30 minutes before leaving the house, the bottle needs to go inside the beach bag afterwards and be used every two hours until the beach or pool day is done.