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How to and How Not to Apply Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a lot like toothpaste. If you don’t use enough (or don’t use it the right way) it’s not going to work. Are you spending a significant time in the sun in the upcoming weeks or months?

Use these 7 tips to apply sunscreen the correct way:

1. Dot sunscreen directly onto your face. Instead of squeezing a giant blob onto your hands and applying it. It is better if you dot your skin and rub it in circles until it’s absorbed into the skin.

2. Reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes. Sunscreen will stop working within a few hours; that means the stuff simply stops working, so you have to use more every couple hours. Think of it like mouthwash.

3. Put sunscreen on first, then your moisturizer. It is important to get your sunscreen working, then apply your moisturizer.

4. Use sunscreen daily. You get the majority of your vitamin D from walking to the car into the mall, so don’t use the “vitamin D excuse” as a reason not to apply sunscreen!

5. Apply It Thick. Use a tablespoon of sunscreen (of at least an SPF 50) on your face, and about two ounces for your body. Unless you slather on a thick layer, you’re probably just getting an SPF 30 out of your SPF 50.

6. Apply sunscreen before you go into the sun. Chemical sunscreens need time to be absorbed into the skin to work. So they require a head start of about 20 minutes.

7. Use zinc oxide if you need immediate sun protection.  Zinc oxide blocks the sun’s UV rays faster than sunscreen ingredients and should always be a ‘go to’ for redheads.