As a very pale person living in Southern California, where we get 360 days of sunshine a year, I am very well-versed on skin care, particularly sunscreen. I’m already for sure going to die of skin cancer due to my teen beach bum years. I didn’t use sunscreen at all, went in tanning beds on the reg, and burnt my skin so badly it peeled several times a year. It is now my life’s mission to not make it worse. With the sun coming out in those other, bad weather parts of the world (why do you people live there?), it’s time you all step up your sunscreen game. Do you want to be wrinkled and sad as you get older? Do you want to be skin cancer buddies with me?
Your skin if you don’t wear sunscreen:
Here are the sunscreen myths and mistakes you didn’t even know you were making.
1. Not Using On Cloudy Days
You should be putting sunscreen on your face and hands (we’ll get to that) every. single. day. even if it is cloudy. Your skin is exposed to so much just from being outdoors at all, walking, driving, etc. even on cloudy days. The sun can reflect through clouds and even if you don’t see a “burn”, you will still get skin damage and increase your risk of cancer. Even just driving, the windows filter out UVB but not UVA rays. Always, always use sunscreen as your base under your makeup. Just use a nice face sunscreen as your day moisturizer, and boom! Two in one taken care of. This one is my new fav:
2. Forgetting Your Hands
Hands are the biggest giveaway of someone’s age. Just look at celebrities. They have baby soft face skin of someone 20 years younger and the hands of the Crypt Keeper. It’s because of sun damage. Next to your face, your hands get the most sun exposure and people don’t think to care of them. Unless you’re like, a hand model. In which case, they wear gloves everywhere anyway. So when you apply your sunscreen to your face, just rub it into your hand skin as well. There is no Botox to fix old lady hands. (I mean, I think?)
3. Thinking SPF Is Strength
Most people think SPF is the strength of the sunscreen. Like as in, “Oooh, I won’t use your SPF 70 Holly, because I don’t want some scary sun shield ruining my tan.” Good, I didn’t want to share my sunscreen with you anyway, asshole. Why is everyone always mooching off my sunscreen? Anyway. SPF actually means the length of time that you’re protected from the sun. So the higher the SPF, the less often you need to reapply. Also? That SPF 4 that your tanning oil has? Basically stops working the second you put it on. My dermatologist told me anything less than 15 is bullsh*t and you should wear a minimum of 30 on your face/hands daily.
4. Not Reapplying
So SPF is the length of time your sunscreen will work for. However, most idiots think they can apply sunscreen once and then be good indefinitely. That’s just not how it works. You need to reapply every few hours and more frequently if it’s a lower SPF. You also need to reapply if you get wet or sweat at all. It’s pretty easy when you’re at the beach to reapply on your body, but most people don’t reapply their face if they have makeup on. I get it! You’re not redoing all that sh*t and your foundation is expensive. Also, it probably creates a force field hiding your face skin, right? Not necessarily. Unless you really cake on your foundation like a Kardashian, you should reapply. Enter: SPF Setting Spray! This is one of my holy grail products. I keep it in my purse always. A few spritzes and your sunscreen is reapplied and actually preserves your makeup instead of melting it!
5. You Don’t Need It If You’re Already Tan
Just because you may not see a burn as clearly does not mean you aren’t absorbing sun damage. Having a “base tan” is a complete myth. You’ll receive the same amount of sun damage as a ghost person like me, even if it is less obvious (or painful, for that matter). However, I’m out here with my SPF 70, so I’m good. It doesn’t matter what your pigmentation is, or if you “never burn”, the sun damages your tissue and you’re just as likely to get cancer or old lady hands. I don’t even know which is worse. So SPF up.
Images: Drew Dau / Unsplash; Giphy (3); Sephora (2)
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.