Delaying aging and preventing skin cancer in a single step can truly be considered an important step when it comes to modern skin care. However, even with increased knowledge, we can still fall short in terms of the actual protection we are getting. Whether we have an overly relaxed attitude or we hold onto a series of myths, taking unnecessary risks should not be an option.

Among the sunscreen rules that have come to be well known is that of selecting a broad spectrum sunscreen which protects against both UVA and UVB rays. However, although the issue of selecting the right type of sunscreen for you can be easily fixed through a few trials and errors, when it comes to applying it, things become a little more complex. That’s because we are often more concerned about applying it than making sure we have everything right. Not using enough sunscreen is a real problem as it can greatly diminish the protection we are getting.

Experts recommend using about 1 ounce of sunscreen or a shot glass full to cover our entire body. However, it is not only the right amount that should be your concern. The formula you choose is also important. The way you apply it can also diminish its efficiency.

If you rub it vigorously to speed up the process, you might reduce its efficacy by as much as 25%, so make sure that you are gentle enough. While it can be easy to determine the right amount of cream you should use, if you prefer spray formulas, it is believed that you need about 15 to 20 seconds of continuous spray to match the 1 ounce equivalent for cream.

Another detrimental habit that many women have, is using lip gloss all day long. During summer this habit can be particularly problematic as it can easily cause your lips to burn, especially since they don’t have melanin to protect them. The nice sheen can also facilitate burning, so skipping it and using a lip balm with SPF is highly advisable. If you don’t want to give up lip gloss, make sure to choose one with SPF and don’t forget to reapply. If the necessary amount of time to reapply sunscreen is about every 2 hours or more if you are swimming and sweating, even if you are using a waterproof formula, lip balm needs reapplying after you eat or drink.

Not being aware of sun sensitivity is another common reason why people tend to not be as diligent about their sunscreen habits as they should be. The truth is that many medications have sun sensitivity as a side effect. Typical examples include blood pressure medication, birth control pills, certain antibiotics or even natural remedies such as St John’s wort. Avoiding sun as much as possible when using some of these medications might be a good choice.

Relying on makeup with SPF is another mistake many women tend to make. But just because some of the makeup products you use have SPF doesn’t mean that it’s ok to skip sunscreen. It is estimated that you would have to apply seven times the amount of foundation you normally use to be able to get the same benefits that applying sunscreen on bare skin offers.

Applying sunscreen even when it’s cloudy is another step that should not be neglected as a whopping 80% of UV rays still hit your skin even if you can’t see the sun. Also make sure you hit all small areas such as the back of the ears, behind the knees, your heels, your toes and so on.

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