Are You Properly Using Sunscreen?

Everyone understands the importance of sunscreen, but are we using it correctly?

We all look forward to going to the beach, the pool or participating in other outdoor activities during the sunny summer months, but without properly using sunscreen to protect our skin, summer fun today can turn into serious problems down the road.  While many of us use sunscreen, not everyone uses it appropriately.


Here are some tips to ensure proper protection against harmful UV rays:

  • Don’t wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen. It is recommended that sunscreen is applied 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.
  • Make sure you re-apply. Once a day is not enough. Try to re-apply every 90 minutes.
  • Make sure to use a sunscreen with a high enough SPF. Sunscreens with a SPF of 30 block 97% of the of UV rays.
  • Use sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays. These sunscreens are usually labeled “broad spectrum” on the container.
  • Don’t forget commonly missed body parts. The locations that are most often missed are our feet, underarms, back of the neck and ears.
  • If you are planning on swimming or being physically active, make sure you are using a water-resistant sunscreen. Non-resistant versions tend to run off in the water or when you perspire.
  • Don’t only apply sunscreen on sunny days. 80% of UV rays can penetrate through the clouds on overcast days.
  • Make sure you apply enough. This can be difficult with the more popular spray-on sunscreens. When applying, hold the can 6 inches from your skin so you can see the moisture cover your skin.
  • Sunscreens expire so throw out any bottles that are a few years old
  • Don’t forget to protect your lips, but don’t use the same sunscreen you use on your body. Instead, buy a lip balm with SPF protection.

If you follow these tips the next time you are outdoors this summer, you can avoid painful burns or even more serious, long-term conditions.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.