The sun is vital as it provides us with light and warmth. However, exposure to the sun is an important risk factor for skin health, as UV rays can cause many problems from sunburn to skin cancer.

Of course, we know that we need sunscreen to protect ourselves from sun damage while living without fear of the sun. But how we use it is just as important as sunscreen.

What we should keep in mind is that no sunscreen provides 100% protection from the sun. However, with properly applied sunscreen and additional precautions, we can greatly reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Let’s take a look at our 5 tips for maximizing the protection of our sunscreen!


Always choose a sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection!

There are many different types of rays present in sunlight and the rays that are most damaging to our skin are called ultraviolet (UV) rays. UVA and UVB are two basic types of ultraviolet rays that reach the earth’s surface.

UVA rays increase the risk of skin cancer formation and include photoaging along with premature skin aging changes. In addition, the UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin. UVB rays are responsible for producing sunburn. They also play the biggest role in causing skin cancers.

While minimizing such risks by using a sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection, make sure the sunscreen you choose contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients help block both UVA and UVB rays.


Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

Always use a sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or higher. The SPF in your sunscreen absorbs and reflects the sun’s rays so your skin doesn’t get burned or damaged.

Also, higher SPF does not mean better. Many people think that if they choose a higher SPF, they can safely stay out in the sun longer, but of course that’s not the case. 

The reason is that the SPF protection does not increase proportionally to the specified SPF number. So while SPF 30 absorbs 97% of the sun’s burning rays, SPF 50 absorbs a little more. So, if you choose an SPF higher than 30, you should still pretend to use SPF 30 and apply sunscreen just as often.


Apply sunscreen liberally and before sun exposure.

It may take up to half an hour for your skin to absorb the sunscreen. Therefore, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and do not miss out on sunscreen. For sunscreen to do its job effectively, you should apply plenty of sunscreen to any part of your body that is exposed to the sun—including your ears, feet, and the back of your neck.


Reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Forget protecting all day! The effect of the sunscreen begins to wane just a few hours after it lasts. So be sure to renew your sunscreen every two hours.

In some cases, you need to reapply sunscreen every 60 to 90 minutes. Do not forget to renew your sunscreen frequently after swimming or sweating or in snowy weather.

Don’t just rely on sunscreen

Unfortunately, sunscreen alone cannot completely prevent sunburns, blisters, and skin cancer. However, you can provide additional protection to your skin by using:

  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • A wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Special sun protection clothing 

You can also protect your skin by avoiding the sun from 11 am to 4 pm. This time range is when the sun’s harmful UV rays are strongest.


References (Date of access: 09.02.2022)

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