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Yes, wearing broad-spectrum SPF daily (and taking other sun protection measures) should be second nature to you by now—just like brushing your teeth. But be honest: How diligent are you about protecting your skin from UV rays? We get it: When you’re going about your day, it can be pretty easy to forget to reapply sunscreen. In fact, there are plenty of things that a lot of us overlook when it comes to sun care. You might not even know you’re doing it! Could you be making one of these six common sun care mistakes? Find out—and learn how to better protect your skin from the sun!
Thought you should only wear sunscreen when you’re spending the day at the beach? Think again! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you can get burned even on cloudy days. And when you spend periods of time in the sun without wearing broad-spectrum SPF, this can lead to skin damage, which can show up down the road as visible signs of aging like dark spots and wrinkles. Opt for a broad-spectrum SPF, since this will help protect against both UVA and UVB rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should use an SPF of 15 or higher on normal days and an SPF of 30 or higher on days when you’ll be spending an extended amount of time out in the sun.
Always in a rush? Reach for a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum SPF so that you can cut out a step in your skin care routine. Try the L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30. It’s formulated with glycolic acid, vitamin C, Pro-Retinol, and broad-spectrum SPF 30. Remember that applying SPF should be the last step in your skin care routine—before you put on your makeup—so cleanse, tone, apply serum, and then swipe on your moisturizer with SPF.
That teeny-tiny layer of SPF you’re putting on your face and any other exposed areas might not be enough to adequately keep you protected from the sun. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying an ounce (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
Keep your bottle of sunscreen with SPF handy by stashing it in your tote. The Skin Cancer Foundation says you should reapply every two hours or immediately after sweating a lot or swimming.
When it comes to putting on your sunscreen and covering up, there are certain areas of the body that the Skin Cancer Foundation states that people often forget about. These are the lips, ears, neck, scalp, hands, feet, and around the eyes. As far as your lips go, look for a lip balm that’s formulated with SPF. To cover your neck, ears, and scalp, the Skin Cancer Foundation advises wearing a broad-brimmed hat with a brim that’s three to four inches. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses is also a good idea.
When you’re out on a sunny day, it’s time to look for the trees! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the sun’s peak hours are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. While you should always seek shade, you should particularly do so during these hours.
Not a fan of going to the doc? We feel you. However, it’s important to make an annual trip to the dermatologist. The Skin Cancer Foundation advises seeing your derm every year for a professional skin exam (and don’t forget to check yourself from head to toe every month!).
To recap, maintaining a regular sun care routine is easy—as long as you follow a few simple steps and stick to them. Wearing a broad-spectrum SPF of 15 or higher daily is a skin care must, as is covering up often-overlooked areas like your ears and scalp and seeking shade during peak hours.