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28th August 2019

How much sunscreen should I apply?

Sunscreen is one of the best ways to help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun, including premature ageing and skin cancers.

Applying a good quality SPF50+ sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outdoors is a must at every point in the year, but especially during summer.

Make sure to apply at least one teaspoon to each limb as well as a half-teaspoon each to the face, neck, and ears[1] . Reapply every two hours, or as indicated on the label, as well as after swimming, sweating, exercise and  towel drying for maximum efficacy.

 

When SPF is measured experimentally, it’s applied to the skin at a specific dosage of about seven teaspoons for the average adult[1],but studies show most people use much less than this[2]. If you’re using less than the recommended amount of sunscreen, you’re going to fall short of the SPF on the label.

Commonly Missed Areas

Even those of us who think we are being diligent about applying SPF may be making the mistake of missing important areas of the face and body and getting sun-damaged despite our best efforts. Some commonly missed areas of the body are the bridge of the nose, the ears, the upper back and shoulders, and the feet, so take extra care when slathering on the lotion to hit every bit of exposed skin. Get a friend to help for those harder to reach areas.

The SPF on the label tells you the maximum UVB protection it provides under ideal conditions, but it’s up to you to make sure you’re applying enough and taking other precautions to minimise UV damage, particularly during the summer months when UV levels can soar. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk.

 

As well as protecting us from sun damage, what are the other benefits of using SunSense Sunscreen?

All of our SunSense sunscreens have been formulated with Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide), which helps to improve skin texture and moisturises. Another product we have is SunSense Anti Ageing Face SPF 50+ which is formulated with AHA’s to help visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles whilst protecting from the sun.

It’s also important to protect our lips with a broad spectrum lip balm like SunSense Lip Balm SPF 50+ as the lips don’t produce melanin like the skin does and lack the outer layer of skin so are less protected[3].

 

References

1] Schneider J. The teaspoon rule of applying sunscreen. Arch Dermatol 2002;138(6):838–9.

2] Petersen B, Wulf HC. Application of sunscreen − theory and reality. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2014;30(2-3):96–101.

3] Medical News Today. Why do lips burn easily? [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2017 Oct 2019]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319004.php

 

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