14 Most Common Mistakes with Sun Protection

Come from: http://www.answers.com/article/1234782/14-most-common-mistakes-with-sun-protection 2014/10/24

Most folks understand the need for protecting themselves from excessive exposure from the sun. This is especially true in those situations where someone has firsthand experience or knowledge of the harm that the sun can cause, from uncomfortable sunburn to skin cancer. Unfortunately, while a majority of people take some sort of preventive measure when out in the sun, often the type of protection utilized or followed is inadequate. In such instances, a person unknowingly exposes themselves to the risks they are attempting to minimize. Here are just a few of the most common mistakes that are made.

Not Applying Enough Sunscreen

The most common mistake is simply not putting on enough sunscreen. You should apply a liberal dose of sunscreen to your body in proper intervals. At a minimum, it's recommended that you use at least an ounce of sunscreen with each application.

Not Applying Protective Sunscreen Often Enough

Even for those that do apply the proper amount of sunscreen, many do not apply it often enough. In fact, a majority of people only apply sunscreen once per outing and expect it to last all day. Suffice to say it doesn't. You should put on a new application of sunscreen at least every two hours.

Improper Application

So you say that you're applying the proper amounts of sunscreen and doing so on a regular basis, yet you are still getting burned. Most likely, you are not applying your sunscreen properly. Instead of rubbing it into your skin like regular lotion, you actually want to leave a thin layer on your skin. Rubbing it in actually reduces sunscreen effectiveness.

Applying Sunscreen Too Late

It takes sunscreen lotion about 30 minutes to properly settle with your skin to create a protective coating, so you want to apply it before you head out. Otherwise, if you wait until you are exposed to the sun, you will simply be burning yourself until your sunscreen is set a half hour later.

Taking OTC Medications

Many people do not realize that certain kinds of over-the-counter medications can adversely affect sunscreen, decreasing its effectiveness. These medications include such common selections as ibuprofen, Advil and Benadryl. Also, certain antibiotics and antihistamines can also cause a problem. You will want to avoid taking these meds if you are planning on a day out in the sun.

Watch the Beverage

Medications are not the only thing that can interfere with your sunscreen. So can the type of beverage you are drinking while out and about. Any drink that can enhance the skin's photosensitivity, such as citrus based drinks, will counteract any sunscreen you may have applied. The good thing here is that the drink (or the peels/juices of the fruit) has to come in contact with the skin to actually be a problem. Essentially, don't spill any on yourself while sunbathing.

Not Understanding What You are Protecting Against

If you simply believe that applying a sunscreen with the highest SPF number is the solution to not getting burned, then you are mistaken. A high SPF is not necessarily adequate for UVA protection and is actually crafted for UVB defense. UVB typically causes more burns, but UVA is just as harmful. The higher the SPF value, the less protection you will have against UVA. As such, a sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 50 is recommended for optimal protection against both types of UV.

Failing to Read the Instructions/Specifications

Even if you know exactly what you want to protect against, there are a lot of sun protection products on the market that have all kinds of specific characteristics. If you don't take the time to read exactly what it is you're buying, you are likely to get a product that is not suitable to your needs. Take the time to read the fine print.

Vigorous Activity

If you are out in the sun and involved in some type of vigorous activity that makes you sweat, this will typically wash away or otherwise dilute any applied sunscreen. In these situations, you will want to keep this in mind and either reapply more frequently or opt for a water resistant variety of sunscreen.

Using Outdated Products

While sunscreen isn't food and it won't spoil, it can outlast its period of efficacy. You will notice that sunscreen products have an expiration date. If you are using a product beyond the indicated time period, you will find that the contents probably do not offer the same degree of protection as advertised or expected.

Only Applying in Summer

Remember, sunscreen isn't just for those hot, summer days. Your skin can also be vulnerable to the sun's rays in the fall and winter - especially if you're out by the water or snow, where the surface is extra reflective.

Forgetting to Moisturize

Use a moisturizing sunscreen in the winter days. Ingredients like lanolin or glycerin will help protect your skin from the harsh winter conditions as well as the UV rays.

Forgetting the Lips

Lips are super sensitive parts of the body, so always remember to take care of them when spending a day in the sun. A lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher is recommended, and remember to reapply every couple of hours.

Missing Shady Parts

Just because certain body parts may seem more shaded than others, it doesn't mean they don't need protection too. Sun has a way of sneaking around all angles, especially where there are reflective surfaces nearby.

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