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Knowing how to apply sunscreen is essential because the sun affects our skin in a number of ways – positive and negative. Positive in that sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D which helps keep us healthy.
Choose broad spectrum
However, the sun’s UVB rays can burn our skin and its UVA rays accelerate oxidation and ageing. For this reason, it’s important to use the best sun cream you can, which will include having a broad spectrum SPF (sun protection factor), which means it includes protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Ideally choose a sunscreen that also has antioxidants, but make sure you’re getting a good top-up source of antioxidants through a moisturiser as well.
Apply your antioxidant (face and body) moisturiser first, then your sun cream on top. Sunscreen tends to be richer, so you’ll get better absorption of your daily moisturiser this way. This principle also applies when wearing makeup (makeup will go on top). By applying moisturiser first, you also get a more even coverage, particularly if you have dry skin.
Don’t skimp on sun screen, either! Apply enough to get an even coverage otherwise you will reduce the SPF of your cream. For one arm and shoulder for example, use the rule of a thumb – two fingers worth of sun cream should be enough.
One of the great benefits of natural sun screen (one that uses zinc oxide and or titanium dioxide only) is that you can go straight out into the sun after you’ve applied it. The minerals provide a physical shield immediately and there’s no need to wait for the chemicals to work like you have to with a synthetic sun screen.
Re-apply your sun cream every time you swim, shower or towel yourself dry.
For how frequently to apply sun screen, check out our guide to understanding SPF, but as a rule of thumb, an SPF 15 gives you 2.5 hours of protection and an SPF 30 gives you 5 hours.
If you'd like any more advice on caring for your skin, please do email us – firstname.lastname@example.org, add your question as a comment below, or call 01638 716593 – we're here to help! Browse our range of summer skincare now.