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Dangerous sunscreen faux pas

You may think you’re doing all you can to protect your skin, but you might be overlooking some crucial steps. The result? You may get burned. Check if you’re guilty of any of the following sunscreen mistakes.

Woman applying sunscreen

You slip, slap and slop on the suncreen diligently before you get dressed in the morning, but you may still be committing errors that could risk your health. Are you making any of these sunscreen mistakes?

You wear SPF 15

Although this is the minimum SPF recommended, you’re likely better off wearing a higher SPF. In fact, most dermatologists recommend using an SPF 30 product, and that’s in part because many people apply too little sunscreen, so their SPF 15 might actually be providing an SPF of only 8.

Your sunscreen product lasts you all summer long

Remember how we just said most people apply too little sunscreen? If you’re using a shot glass full each time, one bottle should last you only about a week or two — definitely not until the end of summer! It’s always better to err to the side of caution and use more rather than less when it comes to SPF.

You apply sunscreen only to exposed skin

You’re better off applying sunscreen as thoroughly as possible. We’ve heard of cases in which people have developed melanoma by sun exposure through their bathing suits, so don’t count on clothing to protect your skin. Get someone to help completely cover your back with sunscreen, don’t miss areas such as in between your toes, on your scalp (especially where you part your hair), your ears — every little bit of skin from head to toe.

You swim and don’t reapply

Your suncreen is water-resistant, so you sometimes skip reapplying it after being in the water or playing a sport during which you’ve sweat a lot. Remember, though, that water-resistant does not mean waterproof, so it’s always best to reapply sun protection if you’ve been in the water or have been perspiring heavily.

You apply sunscreen and then step out for the day

Chemical sunscreens, which work by absorbing the sun’s UV rays, need at least 30 minutes to be absorbed by your skin before they become effective at protecting skin exposed to the sun. So if you’re applying sunscreen right before leaving the house, you could still be putting your skin at risk.

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