sunscreen mistakesJust applying sunscreen isn’t enough to properly protect your skin from sun damage. Even people who remember to always wear sunscreen when hitting the beach or outdoors are at risk for sun damage, including sunburn and, over time, the formation of wrinkles. Below are five common sunscreen mistakes to avoid — and how to better protect your skin’s natural glow.

Mistake #1: You’re not using enough sunscreen.

Dermatologists recommend applying one ounce of sunscreen to adequately cover all the areas of the body that are usually exposed to sun, including the face, legs and arms. If you have trouble visualizing one ounce, think of the size of a shot glass. If you use spray sunscreen, spray the sunscreen into your hands and then apply it to your body. This gives you a better idea as to how much sunscreen you are using.

Mistake #2: You’re not reapplying sunscreen.

If you’re like most people who use sunscreen, you remember to apply some before heading out the door and then forget to reapply throughout the day. Most sunscreens only offer proper sun protection for about two hours. Remember to also reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating heavily. Make sure to read the instructions on the sunscreen bottle to find out specific instructions on reapplying.

Mistake #3: You only apply sunscreen on sunny days.

Don’t let the overcast and cold breeze fool you; you are still at risk for sun damage, including a sunburn. Even on cloudy, wintery days, up to 80 percent of UV rays can reach your skin. Snow, sand and water reflect the sun’s rays, and therefore increase the need for sunscreen.

Mistake #4: You’ve been using the same bottle for the past three summers.

Over time, sunscreens lose their original strength, so it’s important to look at the expiration date. If there is no expiration date, write the date of purchase on the bottle so you know when to throw it out. Pay attention to changes in color, consistency or other signs that may tell you it’s time to buy a new bottle.

Mistake #5: You’re not using broad spectrum sunscreen.

The sun emits two types of rays, UVA and UVB, both which can cause different harm to your skin. Broad spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Always wear broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 blocks 97 percent of the sun’s rays.

Repair Sun Damage with Laser Skin Treatments

Even the slightest sun protection slip-up can cause unsightly harm to you skin. The texture and color of your facial skin can change, or you may see wrinkles and blemishes form. If this sounds familiar, consider reaching out to Dr. Joseph Michaels. As a leading plastic surgeon, Dr. Michaels offers advanced techniques for facial resurfacing and rejuvenation, including chemical peels and laser treatments. Schedule your skin treatment appointment today by calling (301) 468-5991 or (703) 957-8610.

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