With summer in full swing, we’ve all found ourselves spending more times outdoors. Although sunscreen promises to offer our skin full protection from the sun’s harmful rays, most people don't use it correctly.
According to Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic, one of the biggest mistakes people make when putting on sunscreen is not using enough.
“So, it takes one ounce, which is a shot glass, to cover your whole body,” she explains, adding that if you use a sunscreen that is SPF 50 but only use half-an-ounce, it is the equivalent sun protection of an SPF 25 sunscreen.
Despite the debate over whether spray-on sunscreens or lotions are more effective, Piliang says that both offer similar protection. She also recommends that since the head is a commonplace for the development of cancer, it is important to apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a hat while spending time outdoors.
Those who experience allergic reactions to sunscreen or have sensitive skin can also find adequate sun protection by seeking lotions that contain titanium oxide and zinc oxide, two chemicals that sit on the surface of the skin and act as a shade rather than interacting with your cells below the surface.
Although applying the correct amount of sunscreen to exposed areas, like your hands and face, is sufficient in protecting your skin. Piliang said that wearing swim shirts – especially light-colored ones which reflect the sun’s rays – are also helpful