From when to apply, to exactly how much, knowing your way around a sunscreen bottle is an essential skill for any outdoor-loving Australian. Especially as things start to heat up over summer and beach season is in full swing. To help you enjoy your holidays safely, simply follow these 7 simple sunscreen hacks and you’ll be made in the shade!
Apply your sunscreen sooner
Slapping on your sunscreen right before you hit the surf? You might want to rethink this. The Cancer Council advises applying sunscreen a full 20 minutes before UV exposure to allow optimal absorption. And, therefore, efficacy. Also, make sure you’re applying sunscreen to clean, dry skin.
Don’t be frugal
It’s smart to scrimp and save, but not when it comes to sunscreen. To ensure you and your family are covered, you need to make sure you’re all, well, covered. Here’s how much you need to apply to each body part, using the ‘teaspoon rule’:
- Head, neck and face – 1 teaspoon
- Arms – 1 teaspoon each
- Legs – 2 teaspoons each leg
- Front of body – 1 teaspoon
- Back – 1 teaspoon
Reapply EVERY 2 hours
To ensure you are protected, reapply your sunscreen (just as liberally as the first time) every 2 hours, regardless of the SPF level. And always reapply immediately after swimming or water sports, or even a sweaty round of tennis/golf/backyard cricket.
Forgetful? Set your phone or watch alarm, or use the free My UV Patch app.
Consider your skin type
It’s crucial to select a sunscreen that’s tailored to your skin. The La Roche-Posay Anthelios range offers the highest* broad-spectrum protection for even the most sensitive skin. The dermatologist-tested range includes fragrance-free options for dry to oily complexions, as well as children’s delicate skin.
For combination to oily and acne-prone skins, Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Ultra Light is ideal, with a non-greasy fluid formula that absorbs instantly. Specially formulated for sensitive skin prone to sun intolerance, it is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. Also available in a fragranced flattering tinted version, it helps to prevent sun-induced pigmentation.
For normal to dry skins, Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Comfort Cream is ultra-hydrating and smoothing, without the white mask effect or sticky sheen. Easily applied and absorbed, the moisturising formula keeps tight, sensitive skins comfortable, while antioxidant Baicalin fights free radicals on the skin’s surface. There is also a tinted BB cream version for an even complexion, even at the pool.
Use a dedicated face or body sunscreen
Similarly, you wouldn’t use your face cream on your feet, or your body lotion on your face, so use your sunscreen for the purpose it was intended. The skin on your face and body differs in texture, oil content, reactivity etc, so keep body products on the body, face products on the face.
Store it right
To ensure maximum efficacy of your sunscreen, follow the recommended storage guidelines. This means keeping it at under 30 degrees Celsius, so no leaving in your car console on scorching days.
Check the use-by
Sunscreen that is past its expiry date starts to lose its efficacy, so always ensure your sunscreen is current.
Further reading: Learn more about sunscreen and sensitive skin.