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Sun Smart!

Do you know there is a myth that everyone knows how to apply the sunscreen? Are you ready for the fact? Here we go. To begin with, only 30% people actually use the sunscreen and out of that only 50 % actually know how to apply it correctly. Isn't that mind-boggling? Sun exposure is very damaging to our skin and it leads to wrinkles, sagging skin, hyperpigmentation, premature aging and worst of all, it can cause skin cancer. Sadly, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers in the world and with due diligence, it can easily be avoided and many lives can be saved.

So how do you apply the sunscreen? Sunscreen can only work if it is applied correctly. To cover your body properly, rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin. It should be applied generously. Don’t be stingy when it comes to applying sunscreen. You should always use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least an ounce of sunscreen to fully cover all exposed areas of the body. An ounce of sunscreen is about the amount you can hold in your palm. Make sure you apply the sunscreen before you get dressed up. It should be applied to all bare skin.

Don't forget your neck, face, and ears. Have you ever seen women with beautiful wrinkle free faces but got turkey necks and wrinkled chest? Well, they neglect to put sunscreens on their necks, chest and shoulders. For hard to reach areas, do not make the excuse of not putting the sunscreen as there are spray sunscreens available or ask someone to rub it on your back. If you are bald or your hair is thinning, don’t neglect your head and apply sunscreen to your scalp. Additionally, you can wear a wide brimmed hat. And, do not forget that your eyes need as much protection as any other areas of your exposed body. Always wear UV blocking sunglasses. Do not forget your lips as they need protection as well. Wear a lip balm with at least SPF 15.

Hold on, you are not done yet. You need to reapply sunscreen every two hours to stay protected from the harsh rays of the sun. You must reapply sunscreen if you go in the water or excessively sweat. People normally do not apply enough sunscreen and as a result, they tend to get burned. It's imperative you apply it generously all over the face and body. Make sure you are not using an expired product.

Always buy a sunscreen which has at least SPF 15 or higher. Ideally, it should be water resistant and provide broad spectrum coverage which means it can protect you from both the UVA and UVB rays. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and start protecting you. Do not make the mistake of applying the sunscreen while you are already in the sun. That is a huge mistake which is often seen. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply the sunscreen, you have left your skin unprotected and it can burn.

Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harsh rays every time you are outdoors. Do you know it takes a minute for your skin to get damaged from the sun? Yes, no kidding. This is how long it takes. Sun is not forgiving even on cloudy or winter days. So no matter what time of the year it is, as long as you are out during the day, wear a sunscreen. Your sunscreen must have one of these important ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or avobenzone (Parsol) for full-spectrum protection from the sun.

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