Hopefully, you’ve heard these before, but let’s reapply.
Depending on your body size, experts recommend using enough lotion to fill a shot glass, or an ounce, when you’re at the beach. Even if people are smart enough to apply sunscreen, they may not use enough, said Dr. Jerry Brewer, a dermatologic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Even if the bottle says the lotion is waterproof, beachgoers should reapply after swimming.
If you’re not swimming, you should reapply every two hours, regardless of the SPF count.
You should put sunscreen on 15 minutes before exposure.
Look for products that are labeled “broad spectrum protection” with an SPF of 15 to 50.
Spots You’re Likely to Forget
Dr. Elizabeth Hale, a senior vice president for the Skin Cancer Foundation and a dermatologist in New York City, said that both men and women are likely to miss the tops of their ears and the tops of the feet. (Full disclosure: The nonprofit Skin Cancer Foundation receives some funding from sunscreen manufacturers.)
Men are particularly likely to miss their scalps and the backs of their necks, while women are more likely to miss their chest and neck areas, she said.
Dr. Brewer said beachgoers often miss the bottoms of their feet, which can be exposed if they’re lying on their stomachs reading or napping.
Dr. Hale said that when she tries to persuade patients to take sunscreen more seriously, she sometimes targets their vanity more than their health. She tells them that using sunscreen every day — not just when they’re at the beach or the park — can help prevent the brown spots and wrinklesthat often lead people to seek out dermatologists, and that sun exposure is a primary driver of the skin’s aging process.
“I truly believe sunscreen is the No. 1 anti-aging ingredient,” she said.
Research in 2013 revealed that people who used sunscreen every day had markedly smoother and more resilient skin. The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, and no sunscreen makers contributed.