5 Things Even Smart People Get Wrong About Sunscreen

For those who live in the desert, sunscreen is a must-have for any healthful skincare routine – and for a good reason. Harmful UV rays can damage skin cells while also suppressing collagen and elastin production. In addition to accelerating the aging process, extended sun exposure can also increase a patient’s risk of developing skin cancer.

Wearing sunscreen is a simple and highly effective way for men and women to protect their skin from sun damage. However, few actually use the product correctly. Test your knowledge of correct sunscreen application and be sure to up your game with these tips from our board-certified specialist, Dr. Doriana Cosgrove.

You Only Need to Apply Sunscreen Once

Unlike your daily moisturizer, sunscreen application is not a one-and-done process. In the hours following sunscreen application, your body will absorb the active ingredients – requiring more sunscreen to prevent burns. Likewise, water and sweat can wash away your first layer, even if you’re using a waterproof brand.

It’s vital to apply sunscreen at least every few hours to ensure complete coverage throughout the day. Additionally, be sure to use enough sunscreen to cover your entire body thoroughly. A golf ball-sized dollop is plenty for adults.

You Only Need Sunscreen on Sunny Days

Just because the day is overcast doesn’t mean you’re free to skip out on the sunscreen. Cloudy days are the perfect condition for a phenomenon known as the “broken-cloud effect,” in which UV rays are reflected and dispersed in the clouds, thereby increasing their intensity. Making sunscreen application part of your daily skincare routine can make it easy for you to avoid these harmful rays, no matter the weather.

SPF 15 is Fine

With so many sunscreen types and strengths available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. However, too many people underestimate how strong their sunscreen should be and end up picking a formula that is actually ineffective. For the best coverage, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This sunscreen will block at least 97% of the sun’s powerful UV rays.

Sunscreen is the Only Protection You Need

A strong SPF is only part of the solution to protecting your skin from the sun. Coverage in the form of a hat, sunglasses, and lightweight protective clothing are especially helpful and highly recommended for anyone spending an extended amount of time outdoors.

Sunscreen Doesn’t Have an Expiration Date

Like any other product, sunscreen can lose its potency and become less effective over the years. Buying a new bottle at the start of the spring and throwing away any year-old products can ensure that your skin is fully covered from the get-go.

Get More Skincare Tips from Desert Med Aesthetics

At our Indian Wells cosmetic spa, we believe that everyone deserves to enjoy beautiful and healthful skin all year long. That’s why our experienced staff focuses on creating customized treatment plans that take your lifestyle and goals into account. Together, Dr. Cosgrove and her team work with each patient to ensure your skincare routine fits your needs at all times. To learn more about our approach to personalized skincare, body contouring, laser treatments, and more, call 760-777-8772 or schedule your virtual consultation today.