Time and time again, we are warned against the dangers of spending too much time in the sun and to actively shield ourselves against its harmful effects by putting on sunscreen. Whether be it reading about the different types of sunscreen available in a magazine or being chided by our loved ones for not undertaking the necessary sun protection measures regularly — we are constantly reminded about the indispensable role that sunscreen plays in our skincare regimen.

After all, not slathering on SPF frequently can bring about undesirable consequences such as nasty sunburns, dry skin and various visible signs of ageing. This is because, with prolonged exposure to damaging ultraviolet rays, the skin is subjected to increased oxidative stress and subsequent free radical cell damage. Thus, this raises the chances of developing unflattering sun spots, hyperpigmentation and freckles in the long run as well as adversely affecting the moisture levels in our skin. In addition, free radicals also negatively impact the collagen stores and elasticity of our skin, hence increasing the likelihood of getting deep-set wrinkles and fine lines. To make matters worse, as the skin experiences a decrease in collagen formation, it becomes thin and droopy, thus making us look way older than we should.

As such, it is not surprising that the importance of sunscreen is consistently reiterated to us on a frequent basis, thus spurring a lot of us to invest in various sunscreens that boast enhanced UV protection benefits. To protect ourselves from the scorching sun, we apply copious amounts of these sunscreens on our face and bodies. However, despite our best efforts, we realise that our sunscreen doesn’t seem to be working as effectively as it should be, resulting in red, peeling skin and exacerbating any existing freckles and dark spots that we may have. Hence, this then brings us to the question, ‘are we applying our sunscreen in the right manner?’

The thing is — contrary to perception, putting on sunscreen isn’t simply about rubbing it vigorously onto our skin. There are various factors to consider when using sunscreen along with different techniques on how to do so, in order to enjoy its maximum efficacy and protection. Many times, we often unknowingly commit various blunders when applying sunscreen, thus leading to unpleasant outcomes. Hence, to prevent this, it’s imperative that we are aware of the proper methods to utilise sunscreen. With that in mind, let us share with you 3 sunscreen mistakes that you should avoid as below.


The Low-Down On Sunscreen Application

Before applying sunscreen, one thing that you should always ask yourself is whether or not it is suitable for your skin type. If you have completely disregarded to factor in your skin type while choosing a sunscreen, chances are that its efficacy might be limited or it may bring about several unwanted side effects in the form of red, irritated skin, dryness or acne outbreaks.

Therefore, to reduce the likelihood of this happening, it would be wise to take your skin type into consideration when buying a sunscreen. For instance, if you have mature skin, try to opt for sunscreens that contain antioxidants like Vitamin E so that you can enjoy an enhanced level of protection against the intense UV rays while lessening the probability of worsening any unattractive little dark specks, freckles or age spots that you currently have. Whereas if you have acne-prone skin, go for sunscreens with non-comedogenic formulas so as to reduce the chances of your pores becoming clogged and giving way to inflamed zits.

Once you have selected the right sunscreen for your skin type, you are ready to start slathering on that SPF goodness and reap its benefits. In light of that, here are some sunscreen blunders to stop making as well as what you should be doing instead:

Forgetting To Apply It On Certain Areas

In our rush to leave the house and enjoy the great outdoors, a lot of us often miss out on applying sunscreen on certain parts of our bodies like our ears and eyelids. Thus, this causes us to get a sunburn on these areas as well as increase the likelihood of developing crow’s feet or other facial creases around our eyes. Asides from that, another two body parts that we usually fail to put sunscreen on, are our lips and scalp. Unknown to many, our lips and scalp are one of the more sensitive areas of our bodies and more susceptible to sun damage. Therefore, it’s essential to shield and care for our scalp from the harmful UV rays by either wearing a hat or spritzing on a sunscreen spray or mist on it. Whereas for our lips, ensure that it’s fully protected by applying a lip balm with SPF properties.

Using Expired Sunscreen

While you might want to get your money’s worth by re-using that sunscreen that you bought years ago, refrain from doing so. This is because expired sunscreens not only have a reduced efficacy at blocking out those damaging UV rays but may bring about unwanted breakouts due to the build-up of germs and dirt in them. Therefore, be sure to toss out your sunscreen once it’s past their use by date or starts to smell funny.

Only Applying Sunscreen Once

Many people often make the mistake of putting on sunscreen once and forget to re-apply it again later. This results in the effectiveness of their sunscreen being diminished, thus exposing them to the contact of strong UV rays and exacerbating any dark spots or freckles that they may have. As such, it’s always best to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours, especially if you are engaged in water-based activities.