“Sunscreen is like jam: the more you put on, the better” said Confucius. And he was right, the little guy: sunscreen is a summer ally that people “nah, but I never actually get sunburned, I just tan” too tend to neglect. But unfortunately, sometimes, even when we want to do things right, it’s easy to screw up and screw up all our hard work. It happens, it doesn’t matter, it’s fixable if you now follow the advice that follows to the letter. If with that you don’t have an incredible tan, I don’t understand it anymore.
1. Thinking that sunscreen prevents tanning
But pff, what about this false belief except that it is false. On the contrary, sunscreen helps keep your tan longer because the softer and more controlled the exposure to the sun, the longer the tan lasts. And contrary to what your buddy slathering himself in milking grease and Monoi told you, even an SPF 50 won’t stop you from getting a tan, because no sunscreen on earth can absorb all UV rays (hence the prohibition of the name total screen in 2006). As a reminder, UV rays are called UVA and UVB, which are the ultraviolet rays responsible for premature aging of the skin and sunburn. Two beautiful crap, let it be said.
2. Take sunscreen not suitable for your skin type
Since there are nearly a billion skin types on earth, we don’t all have the same sun protection needs. To know yours, you have to know what your phototype is, ie our sensitivity to the rays of the sun. There are six phototypes (seven with albino people), ranging from very white skin to very dark skin. The sun protection index to be used thus varies according to the different skin types and according to exposure to the sun (two minutes while going to get bread or 5 hours toasting your rind on the beach). But although there are creams with an index of 6 or 10, intended for matte skin that has a strong protective melanin, some dermatologists recommend not to go below an index of 30. After that, you do what you want with it. .
3. Choose a cream that does not cover the full spectrum of UV rays
If the SPF index of the sunscreen allows you to know the level of protection against UVB (those who cause sunburn), it is also important to check that the sunscreen also protects against UVA. As I told you in a super interesting way a little above, UVA rays are responsible for skin aging and have a harmful long-term effect that is not immediately visible (unlike the vanilla effect- strawberry, consequence of UVB). And since both are also responsible for skin cancer, it is better to choose complete protection.
4. Forgetting to reapply when getting out of the water
I’m not going to paint you a picture, but water is not the best way to preserve sunscreen (if we complain that it destroys the oceans, it’s not for nothing). In addition to swimming, wiping with a towel does not help to maintain maximum protection after a small splash at sea. So after any swim, it is imperative to apply a shot of cream (without skimp on the quantity, bunch of cheapskates). And even if you have waterproof sunscreen, regular re-application doesn’t hurt. And we toast, we toast.
5. Not re-spreading regularly
And speaking of spread, did you know that it is important to re-apply sunscreen every two hours? Yes, the recommendations of dermatologists that we see on TV are not lol. Indeed, in the laboratory, the products are fully effective when applied in a thick layer. And since no one is interested in looking like Mark Zuckerberg surfing, many of us use an insufficient amount of cream to protect ourselves. The effectiveness of sunscreen therefore disappears very quickly, which explains why you have to recover after 2 hours. It’s boring, but it’s a question of style (and health above all).
6. Forget Important Areas
Every year we get fooled and yet the year after we start again! Even if it means slathering on sunscreen, you might as well do it well, not forgetting areas such as the ears, eyelids, hands, back of the knees, feet or freshly shaved areas. For sunscreen to be effective, it must be evenly distributed. I’ll even tell you, a little touch on the scalp wouldn’t hurt either.
7. Do not wait for the sunscreen to penetrate before exposing yourself
So of course, it depends on the sun creams: if you have one with mineral screens, that is to say, which reflects UV rays, its effectiveness will be instantaneous. But if you have one with filter protection, which absorbs UV rays, then it will take 15 to 30 minutes for the cream to be incorporated into the epidermis for it to be fully effective. Otherwise, it clearly means that you did all this for nothing, which would be a bit stupid all the same.
8. Not wearing sunscreen every day
The majority of the earth’s population (well, whatever, I don’t know everyone) tends to associate sunscreen with summer and the beach. But what a mistake! In fact, you should wear sunscreen daily, summer and winter alike. Because even if we can’t see them, the sun’s UV rays are always present and worse, they can easily pass through the clouds. Remember that even under an umbrella, UV rays, those little bastards, can be reflected by the sand. So, we don’t play dumb and we put on our little sunscreen from January to December as soon as we point our nose outside, even for a drink on the terrace.
9. Not checking the expiration date of sunscreen
Like almost everything around us, sunscreen also has an expiry date, often less than or equal to one year. So you can pack up the one your grandmother gave you because “we didn’t finish it when we went to Biscarrosse in ’52.” To find out its date of death (that of the sunscreen, not your big -mother), remember to look at the inscription on the drawing of an open jar: if it is written “3M”, it will slam after three months, and if it is written 12M, you will have just enough time to celebrate its first spring. And do not forget that its good conservation depends on how you use it: closing the cap tightly to prevent sand and water from infiltrating is already a good way to extend its life.
10. Use the same sunscreen for body and face
Attention, big news of phew: the skin of the face is different from that of the rest of the body. Yeah, I know, it’s completely crazyyyyy. As the face is a more sensitive area, sunscreen for the body may have undesirable side effects such as skin dryness, acne, or even simply make your forehead oilier than a griddle. Afterwards, it’s up to you with your conscience, but I don’t think your pretty face deserves that.
11. Make one life with exposure after applying cream
Tut tut tut, unfortunate bunch, you think I don’t see you smearing yourselves with sunscreen to cook your steak from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.?? You’re going to stop that right away, because even if sunscreen protects our skin, exposure to the sun still damages it deep down, at the dermal level, and promotes skin cancer (again). So even with a thick layer of three centimeters on the skin, we avoid fucking in direct sunlight, without shade, or cap, or clothing to protect yourself, for ten hours in a row.
12. Believing that clothes prevent sunburn
Obviously, a fleece and jogging will have a hard time getting you sunburned. But clothes made of lighter material, on the other hand, could play a lot of tricks on you. If in doubt (or if your garment has holes visible to the naked eye, don’t play it smart), we don’t hesitate to put on a little layer of cream to avoid unpleasant surprises.