12 Most Common Sunscreen Mistakes You Are Making
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12 Most Common Sunscreen Mistakes You Are Making

Jul 3, 2023

Sunscreen Mistakes

Delaying the Use of Sunscreen

Worried about your skin condition? Get in touch with best of our skin specialists in Pune. For a skin treatment, book an appointment with our dermatologists near you +919584584111

Not Reapplying Sunscreen

Using Insufficient Amount of Sunscreen

Not Applying on Smaller Areas

Skipping the Lip Area

Not Applying it daily

Using an Incorrect Sunscreen

Assuming the Make Up SPF to be Enough

Using an Expired Sunscreen

Considering Expensive Sunscreens are More Effective

Sunscreen isn’t Necessary While Traveling in a Car

Thinking Darker Skin Doesn’t Require Sunscreen

What is the 2-Finger Rule Sunscreen?

While or after stepping out in the sun, you suddenly remember, you haven’t applied sunscreen. So, what do you do? Return home, apply sunscreen, and then step out happily. Did you know doing so is one of the 12 biggest sunscreen mistakes? Many would wonder how? Isn’t applying sunscreen the right thing to do? Of course, it is! But while answering why is it a wrong practice to apply sunscreen at the last moment, we would also discuss 11 other biggest sunscreen mistakes in this blog.

1. Delaying the Use of Sunscreen

Ok. So, let’s answer this first, which we believe is potentially the most common sunscreen mistake. Experts worldwide recommend applying sunscreen about 20 minutes before you step out. Why? The skin takes around 15 minutes to absorb the sunscreen and protect itself. Thus, if you apply sunscreen a minute or two before you step out, it is as good as not applying it, as in such situations, the skin wouldn’t absorb the sunscreen, and the latter won’t protect your skin for at least next 15 minutes.

2. Not Reapplying Sunscreen

Apply the sunscreen once and you are done. Well, this is neither the right belief nor the right thing to do. Sunscreens have undoubtedly evolved to become better with time. But they aren’t yet formulated to withstand water or sweat for hours. Also, when you apply the sunscreen initially, it gets utilized and breaks down by the harmful sun rays to protect your skin. Hence, you should reapply it, at least every two to three hours and every 40-60 minutes if exposed to water or having excessive sweating.

3. Using Insufficient Amount of Sunscreen

Another common mistake people commit is applying insufficient sunscreen. Perhaps, they either do not know the right amount to be applied or want to save sunscreen. If you want to offer optimal protection to your skin, you should apply about a teaspoon or two fingers full of sunscreen to your face and neck.

4. Not Applying on Smaller Areas

While cheeks, forehead, forearms, legs, etc., receive attention, often, people forget or discount smaller or less visible areas like the neck, region behind the ears, etc. Accordingly, you must be attentive to these areas to protect them.


5. Skipping the Lip Area

Lips have a different texture than the rest of the skin. Yet, they need sun protection. So, ensure you apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen on face with SPF containing lip balm to your lips as well.

6. Not Applying it daily

Again, this is another common sunscreen mistake. Often, people use sunscreens only on sunny days or during summer. They skip the practice during winters and monsoon, considering the sun isn’t as scorching in these circumstances. But that’s a myth. Sun rays during these days could prove equally harmful, making it imperative to wear sunscreen every day.

7. Using an Incorrect Sunscreen

Flashy packaging and screaming advertisements may make sunscreen look tempting! They could be among the best products in the market. But are they suitable for your skin? Consult your dermatologist to find an answer to this question and buy a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen.

8. Assuming the Make Up SPF to be Enough

Products like foundation and tinted moisturizers have SPF to some extent. But it cannot pull it throughout the day. You will need sunscreen to ensure optimal skin protection.

9. Using an Expired Sunscreen

This one’s a no-brainer. Always check the expiration date of the sunscreen you buy. It is your responsibility, as you are the one who’s going to use it.

10. Considering Expensive Sunscreens are More Effective

Usually, expensive sunscreens are considered better and more effective. But you have many reasonably priced sunscreen products which can prove effective and useful. Consult your dermatologist about which one to buy.

11. Sunscreen isn’t Necessary While Traveling in a Car

Usually, people believe sunscreen isn’t necessary while traveling in a covered car. But that’s not true. Car windshields comprise two layers of glass lamination with a plastic layer in between to block UVA and UVB rays. But its side and rear windows usually have a single pane glass that may block UVB rays but can let UVA rays cut through and harm your skin. Hence, it is essential to use sunscreen even while traveling in a car.

12. Thinking Darker Skin Doesn’t Require Sunscreen

My skin is already dark enough. So, why do I require sunscreen? Even with dark skin, your body produces more melanin to produce some extent of protection from UV rays. But it isn’t enough. Hence, even dark-toned skin can suffer from sunburns and skin cancer resulting from UV damage.

In addition to the above, not using sunscreen while at home is also another common sunscreen mistake. The sunrays coming in from the windows and doors are equally harmful. Hence, it is necessary to apply sunscreen while at home.

What is the 2-Finger Rule Sunscreen?

The two-finger method helps you determine the correct amount of sunscreen for optimal protection. It involves applying two lines of sunscreen on your index and middle fingers first, beginning from the base of the fingers that connects to the palm until the tips. Further, you can use it to apply to your face and neck. With this amount, you can be sure to be offering your skin optimal protection.

So, we hope you wouldn’t commit these mistakes if you’ve already committed any of these in the past. Visit us for more personalized guidance on knowing which sunscreen suits you the best, what not to do with sunscreen, and answering more specific questions like why my skin gets dark after reapplying sunscreen, etc.

For treating your skin condition, feel free to get in touch with one of our best dermatologists in Pune. You can also call on +919584584111 to book an appointment at one of our skin clinics near you.


Dr. Dhanraj Chavan

About the Author: Dr. Dhanraj Chavan

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