Timely sunscreen tips to stay sunsafe.

Sunlight is a part of our everyday life in Central California, and in order to prevent skin cancer, many of us subscribe to wearing protective clothing and sunscreen on a daily basis. In this article, we get into the details of sun protection and how to make sure you are getting the most out of this important skincare step.

How much sunscreen is enough?

Not applying an adequate amount of sunscreen is almost as bad as not wearing any at all. Adults should apply a minimum of 1 ounce of sunscreen onto exposed skin at least 20 minutes before heading outdoors. This time allows the sunscreen to become active on your skin. The exception to this rule is when using sunscreens that contain zinc oxide which provide instant protection upon application.

TIP: Apply sunscreen first thing in the morning before you get dressed for the day. This allows time for the sunscreen to become active and makes it easier to evenly distribute the sunscreen over exposed areas.

What level of SPF is best?

Make sure that your sunscreen is broad spectrum with transparent zinc oxide. This ensures that you have coverage against both UVA and UVB rays. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a minimum SPF 30 for daily use and SPF 50 for use during outdoor activities.

TIP: SPFs over 50 only provide 1-2 per cent more protection against ultraviolet light. The increased chemicals required to establish the higher SPF may not be worth exposing yourself to, given the little enhancement in protection.

Reapplying is crucial.

The sunscreen you started off with in the morning is no longer active after a few hours. This means that during your lunch break or on your commute home, your skin is left vulnerable to sun damage if you do not reapply sunscreen. It’s good to develop the habit of reapplying sunscreen throughout the day as needed.

TIP: Keep an extra bottle of sunscreen at your desk or in your purse in order to reapply on the fly.

Don’t forget these spots.

There are areas of our skin that tend to get overlooked when it comes to sunscreen. When applying SPF, pay attention to covering spots like the ears, the hairline and scalp, the lips and the tops of the feet.

In addition to following these sunscreen application tips, we recommend scheduling annual visits to your dermatologist for a skin check. A dermatologist uses a highly trained eye and special diagnostic equipment to spot abnormalities. Trust your skin health to a skin expert; contact us today to arrange your skin cancer screening appointment.