Did you know that most people only use half or even a quarter of the amount of sunscreen that’s necessary to protect their skin from the harmful sun’s rays?
There are several reasons for this. Some sunscreens can be too thick or leave a white cast on the skin, making it difficult to apply the recommended amount; some people just want to make their sunscreen last as long as possible (after all, it’s not easy to find a good one, is it?); others simply don’t know how much they should actually use. Labels usually say to apply sunscreen liberally, but how much is that exactly?
Well, to test sunscreen and determine its SPF, scientists apply 2mg of it per cm2 of skin, so if you’re using less than that your skin is not adequately protected. In practice, this means that you should use 1/4 teaspoon of sunscreen for your whole face, and 1/2 teaspoon for your face and neck. Your arms need 1 teaspoon each, while your entire body needs an ounce (the amount of a shot glass). If you use a spray sunscreen, then apply it until an even sheen appears on the skin (usually it takes about 6 sprays on the desired area).
That is a lot of sunscreen and, if you go to the beach regularly, you could run out of a bottle within a week! In addition, applying that much sunscreen is not that easy, and I often struggle with it too. It can be tempting to apply less, but that will greatly reduce the SPF you’re getting. In fact, if you apply half the amount, you get the protection of only the square root of the SPF. So, for instance, a SPF 70 becomes a SPF 8.4!
So remember to pile up on the sunscreen, especially in the hot summer months. When it comes to protecting your skin, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Do you apply enough sunscreen?