The Importance Of Reapplying Sunscreen

Most people know that they should wear sunscreen whenever they’re outside for any length of time, especially in the summer, and many of them do. However, most people apply sunscreen just before they go outside and then forget about it, not reapplying throughout the rest of the day. The fact is, sunscreen is made to be reapplied periodically and will not protect skin from all of the sun’s radiation for hours on end.

How Often Should Sunscreen Be Applied?

According to the instructions for Coppertone Sport Spray 30 SPF sunscreen, it should be applied 15 minutes before sun exposure and at least every two hours. That’s right, every two hours. After swimming or sweating, the time’s even shorter at 80 minutes. “It may be tempting to wait to apply sunscreen until the skin starts to turn red. At this point, however, the sunscreen is no longer doing its job of protecting the skin,” shares Dr. Milton R. Moore.

As mentioned above, activities that include getting wet or sweating require more frequent reapplication of sunscreen. This includes things such as running, bicycling, sports, hiking, swimming, etc. Someone doing one of these activities frequently should keep a bottle of sunscreen near them or in the car. Everyday tasks such as commuting or errands don’t require any extra sunscreen (unless they cause a lot of sweat, of course.)

What Are the Consequences of Not Using Enough Sunscreen?

Many people simply ignore these guidelines and shrug it off, assuming that because they’re never experienced negative consequences from improper skin care, they never will. However, there are several skin problems that can come from not using enough sunscreen, including skin cancer, wrinkles, sun spots, scars, and, of course, painful burns.

Using sunscreen is important to preserve healthy, youthful skin. Sunscreen generally needs to be applied every two hours, and failure to do this can lead to unpleasant skin problems. People who have damaged their skin are strongly encouraged to see a dermatologist at least once a year for a full body skin exam. Dermatologists not only can find and treat malignancies caused by the sun but also help treat some of the aging effects of the sun and provide education on proper skin care.

Also, I personally recommend patients use a good physical blocking sunscreen. Many patients are not aware that there are two types of sunscreen, physical blocking vs chemical. While chemical sunscreens alter the suns UV Rays to decrease their penetration and damage, physical blocking sunscreens such as Elta MD or SkinCeuticals physically repel UV Rays. Physical blocking sunscreens can be identified by their active ingredients Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.

Contact Us

Are you interested in the best sunscreen for your skin or how to manage the health of your skin? Contact your local Sanova Dermatology and schedule a consultation today!

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