Common Sunscreen Mistakes You Must Avoid | Tips from Your Keller, TX Dermatologist

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Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Every 1 in 5 Americans gets affected by it during their lifetime. Yet majority of cases of skin cancer could be easily prevented by protecting your skin from the harmful UV exposure. That’s why we can’t stress enough the importance of sun protection for your skin. Wearing a good quality sunscreen is actually one of the healthiest things you can do for your skin.

According to dermatologists in the Keller, TX area a good sunscreen with powerful UVA and UVB protection not only reduces the risk of skin cancer, it also protects your skin from getting burned, minimizes the development of wrinkles and reduces signs of premature aging.

Most dermatologists recommend using a mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and water-resistant formula. These sunscreens usually contain zinc and titanium and are often known as physical sunscreens. This is because they form a physical shield over the skin to prevent the UV rays from reaching it. The other type of sunscreen is the chemical sunscreens that absorb the UV rays and convert them to heat in the body. They’re slightly irritating and less moisturizing.

Other than the type or brand of sunscreen that you choose, there are other factors too that determine the overall effectiveness of the sun protection. Dermatologists emphasize that correctly applying the sunscreen is also crucial for your skin health.

Here we’re going to go through some of the most common sunscreen fails and how you can steer clear of them. So, let’s begin.

1.  You’re Not Applying Enough

There’s no such thing as too much sunscreen. If you really want to make the most of the high SPF of your product, a little dab won’t do. If you’re not going to wear enough of the sunscreen, its protective factor would be compromised. This means that an SPF 50 sunscreen won’t give you SPF 50 protection.

Dermatologists recommend that for adults, 1 ounce (one shot glass) is the right amount of sunscreen to apply all over the body, whenever you plan to wear your bathing suit. For face and front of the neck a nickel sized dollop is enough.

It can vary slightly based on the surface area of your body. Just make sure you’ve got enough cover all the exposed areas. If you’re getting a tan even after wearing sunscreen, it shows that you’re not applying the right amount.

2.  You Don’t Reapply

If you apply sunscreen every morning thinking you’ll be safe for the entire day, you’re wrong! Sunscreen cannot last that long.  Even water proof formulas and high SPFs do not guarantee a 24-hour protection. Therefore, theyask their patients to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours to keep it effective. This is because the active ingredients in the sunscreen (whether chemical or physical) keep getting consumed while blocking the UV rays.

Furthermore, sweating, swimming, washing, wiping also cause the sunscreen to was off. Thus, reapplication is required every time it wears off.

3.  You Only Wear It on Sunny Days

A lot of people wrongly assume that sun protection means keeping away from the sunlight. While this belief is not completely wrong, the truth is that your main concern is the UV rays that are actually invisible to the human eye.

Dermatologists point out that about 80% of the UV rays are present even on the cloudiest of days as clouds cannot block UV rays, especially the UVA rays. UVA rays can easily pass through clouds, haze or fog and penetrate deep in to your skin. They are the main culprit in causing premature skin aging and possibly skin cancer.

4.  You Miss the Important Spots

Just applying sun block on your face, neck, arms, legs and back isn’t enough. It’s important to apply sunscreen to every area that will be exposed to the sun. A lot of people often miss the eye lids, eyebrows, area around the hairline, ears, lips, back of the neck, etc. Dermatologists report that basal or squamous cell cancers (slow growth cancer in the outer layers of skin) most commonly affect these areas as they’re left unprotected and are frequently exposed to the sun.

Lips are especially vulnerable to sun damage as they have very little melanin in them (the natural pigment that gives some sun protection). Therefore, you should look for products like lip balms and lipsticks that come with SPF and apply it every 2 hours.

5.  You Think Wearing Makeup That Comes with SPF Is Enough for You

Although it’s great to use more makeup and skincare products that come with some SPF such as moisturizers, primers, bb creams, foundations, lip colors and powders, you should never rely on them solely. Maybe if you’re going out for a few minutes, they’re going to work fine. But for longer durations especially if you work outdoors or have a beach party to attend, you need more sun protection that these products cannot offer.

This is because they usually don’t come with higher SPFs and even if they do, you don’t slather them on to your skin the way you put on your sunscreen. That’s why dermatologists in the Keller, TX area advise to use a sunscreen in addition to other products that provide sun protection. Also, you should always put your sunscreen first, let it sink in and then apply makeup.

6.  You Think You Don’t Need a Sunscreen because You’re Darker

It’s true that darker complexions are less prone to sun damage but your skin color alone is not enough to protect you from the risk of developing melanomas or other skin cancers. This is especially important for people who are frequently exposed to the sun.

According to dermatologists in the Keller, TX area, the recommendation of regularly using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapplying it every 2 hours is for everyone regardless of the skin tone.

Sunscreen is the most important factor in providing maximum sun protection to your skin and preventing the development of a number of skin problems, especially skin cancers.

If you’re facing any skin issues and want to consult the best dermatologists in the Keller, TX area, get in touch with Compassion Dermatology today. We have a highly skilled team of dermatology professionals who are up to date with all skincare procedures and services.