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By now, you’ve heard us tell you time and time again that applying sunscreen should be part of your daily skin care routine. And because summer is in full swing, we’re here to give you a refresher course on all things sun protection, as you’ll likely be spending more time outside now than you do during the rest of the year. And while you might be pretty diligent about applying sunscreen to your face, arms, and legs before slipping into a tank top and shorts, there are a few areas on your body that you could be overlooking. Here, get a rundown on basic sun protection measures you should be taking as well as what areas you should make sure to apply sunscreen to before heading out for the day.
Before we get to where you should be applying sunscreen, let’s cover a few of the basics first. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 (or higher) as directed daily. But that’s not all. You should also reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. And, there are a few other sun protection measures you should take as well. Limit your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are peak hours), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas by wearing long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
When it comes to applying sunscreen, keep the following rule in mind. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you should apply at least an ounce of sunscreen to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Consider using a moisturizer with SPF on your face to cut back on the number of steps in your beauty routine. Try the L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Brightening Day Lotion SPF 30, a facial moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF. Pack it with you in your purse so that you can reapply throughout the day as directed. According to the AAD, you may want to consider using a spray sunscreen on hard-to-reach areas such as your back.
You might be a pro at applying sunscreen to your face and large exposed areas like your arms and legs, but you could be forgetting a few other spots. According to the AAD, it’s important to remember to apply sunscreen to your neck, ears, and tops of your feet. Your lips and your scalp need sun protection, too. Stock up on a lip balm formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF to help protect your pout and throw on a broad-brimmed hat to cover your scalp. Remember, reapply sunscreen at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating—and be sure to seek shade and cover up any other exposed areas when you’re outside.
Of course, even the best laid plans can go awry. If you happen to get a sunburn, there are a few steps you can take. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the first thing you should do is head indoors, as you don’t want to expose your skin to any more sun. Then, according to the AAD, take frequent cool baths and showers to help get relief. Avoid staying in the tub for too long, which can be drying—and avoid harsh soap, which could irritate your skin further. Using a moisturizer formulated with aloe vera could also help provide some soothing relief. Finally, wear loose, soft, breathable clothing to help avoid further skin irritation.
The recap: Applying sunscreen should be part of your daily skin care routine, as should other sun protection measures such as limiting your amount of time spent in the sun. Remember to apply sunscreen to areas like your neck, ears, and the tops of your feet—and don’t forget about protecting your lips or scalp, either.
Now that you’re a sun protection pro, check out our article, 6 Skin Care Hacks to Help You Stay Sun Safe This Summer, for more easy tips.