You are probably applying sunscreen wrong and you didn’t even know it. New research took a look at how people apply sunscreen and found most people are either missing their faces entirely or forgetting one crucial part.
How You Are Applying Sunscreen Wrong
Scientists at the University of Liverpool conducted a study involving 84 participants. The researchers wanted to see specifically how people were applying SPF to their faces. What they found was that most people were applying sunscreen and SPF moisturizers incorrectly.
Each of the participants was told to apply sunscreen and SPF moisturizers as they normally would. Afterward, they were exposed to UV radiation and had photos taken with a UV-sensitive camera.
While most participants felt they applied sunscreen correctly, they missed a crucial part: their eyelids (and sometimes their face entirely). The comparison between sunscreen and SPF moisturizer, according to the study, revealed participants missed greater areas when they applied moisturizer.
“People were applying cream (and) going out in the sun thinking they were protected,” Austin McCormick, one of the study’s authors, said. “And yet one of the most vulnerable areas was left unprotected.”
Eleven percent of participants missed their entire face when applying sunscreen. Nearly 17 percent missed their face using the moisturizer. Of those using moisturizer, 21 percent missed their eyelids, a crucial and commonly missed area of the face.
How You SHOULD Apply Sunscreen
These findings are especially important because the face (and eyelids) are high-risk areas for skin cancer. Some sun exposure is good for you but, if you are applying SPF, you are probably spending an extended period of time outdoors. So, it is important to know how to correctly apply the product.
- Most adults need one ounce of sunscreen to completely cover their body. That’s about enough to fill a shot glass.
- Be sure you rub the sunscreen into your skin thoroughly (you really shouldn’t still see white marks).
- Apply your sunscreen to all bare parts of your skin. Don’t forget areas like your eyelids, ears, top of your feet and hands, and the back of your neck.
- Put sunscreen on 30 minutes before you plan on heading out.
- Re-apply the same amount of sunscreen every two hours while you’re in the sun.
It is also recommended you use UV-filtered sunglasses, hats, and other items to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.
If you are concerned about your skin’s health, watch out for changes in your skin. Anyone who notices a bump or lesion around their eyelids should be examined by a doctor. Skin cancer is usually detected late because many patients aren’t looking at their eyelids and other prone areas. However, if you take note of the guidelines above, you’ll seriously reduce your risk!
If you’re wondering about what sunscreen brand is best for your needs, check out our article “What’s the Best Sunscreen for the Summer?“