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Sunscreen is an essential part of any skincare routine. It protects your skin from harmful UV radiation that can cause sunburn, premature aging, and even skin cancer. However, applying sunscreen correctly is just as important as wearing it. In this blog, we'll discuss how much sunscreen you need to apply for full protection.
Before we delve into how much sunscreen you need for full protection from the sun, let's first understand what we need protection from.
There are different types of sun rays, such as UVA and UVB. UVB rays, indicated by SPF ratings, cause sunburns, while UVA rays, indicated by PA ratings, are responsible for deeper skin damage that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Your skin needs protection from both of these harmful rays. Therefore, the first thing you need to look for is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and a high UVA rating.
Now, let's discuss the optimal quantity you should use to receive full protection from the sun. The general rule of thumb is you need to be using 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin (2mg/cm2). This is the standard amount of sunscreen used to calculate the SPF and UVA-PF values during testing, which translates to around 1 – 1.5 grams to cover an adult human face. This translates approximately to a shot glass full, or coin-sized dollop, ¼ teaspoon, or the 2 finger rule.
When applying sunscreen, be sure to cover all exposed skin, including your face, neck, ears, arms, and legs. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your scalp if you have thinning hair or a bald spot. If you're wearing a swimsuit, be sure to apply sunscreen to any areas that will be exposed, such as your shoulders and back. If you are using a chemical sunscreen ensure you apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside to allow it to fully absorb into your skin. Physical sunscreens provide adequate protection as soon as they are applied and properly spread.
It's also important to apply sunscreen correctly. You can use the Dot and Spread method. Pump or squeeze an approximate quantity of sunscreen into the palm of your hand. You’re going for 1.0-1.5 grams or 1/4 - 1/3 teaspoon for just your face, but don’t worry about being exactly right. Now dot the sunscreen onto your face, covering the entire surface from your chin to your cheeks and forehead – the more dots the better. Finally, spread the sunscreen to cover your entire face. This will give you an even application with a uniform layer of protection. Repeat for your neck.
Don’t miss out on any areas. Ensure you cover your neck, temples, hairline, and area behind your ears. No sunscreen is good enough if you leave areas exposed. The key is to get a nice even layer of sunscreen on all your exposed skin.
In conclusion, using sunscreen is crucial for protecting your skin from harmful UV radiation. To get full protection, use sunscreen with a high UV rating and apply two tablespoons to your entire body. Be sure to reapply every two hours, cover all exposed skin, and apply sunscreen correctly. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the outdoors while keeping your skin healthy and protected.