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SPF Sunscreen Smarts: The 5 Rules for Every Skin Type

Dorothy Tan

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If there’s one must-have that’s universal for any skin type, it’s SPF sunscreen. Sure, you probably know  already that you should  be applying it to exposed skin parts daily—even when the forecast calls for rain—but you may not be maximizing your protection. Once UV rays sneak in, you’ll be at risk for skin cancer and premature aging, by the way of wrinkles, lines and brown spots (yes, this isn’t just for your face, it goes for your body too). Read on for tips on making the most of your SPF sunscreen application:

1. Carve out enough time to apply sunscreen: About 20 minutes before you step in sun is a good rule of thumb for any type of formula. This will allow it to absorb into your skin and won’t rub off on your clothes. 

2. Squeeze out an ample amount: If you’re spending the day in a swimsuit, you’ll need a shot-glass worth of lotion (about an ounce and a half) to cover your entire body.

3. Massage in sunscreen after you shower, towel off and are in the buff: If you’re wearing a bikini or one-piece, cover every inch—including your back and hard-to-reach spots where skin cancer lesions are more common—with a light coating of lotion. If you’re just going sleeveless or showing leg, make sure those spots are well-covered.

4. Swap out a separate formula for your face: Your daily routine should include a facial SPF sunscreen. If you’re beaching it, apply it evenly to neck, ears and on your scalp as well. 

5. Work a fresh application into your schedule: Planning to spend sunrise to sunset hanging around? Re-apply every two hours. If you’re sweating it out courtside or spending time in the surf, it will wear away faster, so do it every 30 minutes.

So now that you're prepared, have a great time at the beach with your family and friends!


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