If you are committed to taking better care of your skin, bought a full-coverage hat, UV-protective sunglasses and swimwear then you should also make sure you are applying sunblock correctly.
In an announcement by Saint Louis University Medical Center in the US state of Missouri on June 14, Quenby Erickson, DO, an assistant professor of dermatology and Mohs surgeon, noted, "If you've gone to the admirable effort of buying and applying sunscreen, make sure it's working while you wear it."
Here are some of Erickson's tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your sunblock:
- Use enough: The adult body requires a shot glass of sunscreen, it is key to cover your entire body including ears, back of your neck, tops of your feet, and the top of a balding head.
- 30-minute rule: Make sure to apply the sunblock 30 minutes before going out and apply every two hours and directly after swimming.
- Spray closer: spray blocks are an easy-to-use system but to ensure you are getting the protection spray a maximum of two to three inches (5-7.5 cm) away from the body and make sure to still rub the cream in.
- Keep it fresh: do not use a sunblock after its expiration date - its ability to protect diminishes.
If you are trying to decide on a specific sunblock, take a look at the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) 2010 Sunscreen Guide, for a list of the top beach and sport suncreens: http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/best-beach-sport-sunscreens and the top SPF moisturizers: http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/moisturizers-with-spf