A sunscreen is a crucial tool for protecting yourself from the sun, but poor application can reduce its effectiveness. 

Wearing sunscreen is one of the most effective and simple strategies to protect the appearance and health of your skin at any age. Sunscreen, when used on a daily basis, can help prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and premature ageing.

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1. Not wearing sunscreen daily

You need sunscreen regardless of your age, race, gender, or skin tone. Sunscreen shields the skin from the sun’s UV radiation. UVA and UVB are the two types of ultraviolet radiation. UVA rays make up the vast bulk of the sun’s rays (90 to 95 %). These rays penetrate deeply into the skin, causing wrinkles and premature ageing. UVB rays make up just around 5 to 10% of the sun’s total rays, but they are the most common cause of sunburn. Skin cancer is caused by both types of rays, which are prevalent even on gloomy or chilly days. The best approach to protect your skin is to use broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, all year.

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2. Choosing the wrong sunscreen. 

Broad-spectrum sunscreens provide UVA and UVB ray protection. It is critical to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15. The sun protection factor (SPF) ranges from 2 to 50. The greater the SPF number, the greater the protection. The SPF of sunscreen is determined by how long it takes unprotected skin to burn. Without sun protection, a person with fair skin would normally burn in 10 minutes. A sunscreen with an SPF of 2 would extend that time to 20 minutes, and an SPF of 15 would protect the skin 15 times longer, for a total of 150 minutes.

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3. Not using enough sunscreen.

Most of us don’t use enough sunscreen, and skimping on sunscreen can result in sunburn. To cover the exposed areas of the body, one ounce of sunscreen – about a shot glassful – is recommended. However, keep in mind that the larger you are, the more sunscreen you will require. When in doubt, apply more pressure.

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4. Using an outdated product.

All sunscreens must be stable for at least three years, according to the FDA. It shouldn’t take long to go through a bottle if you’re using the right quantity, but if you’re worried about expiration, write the date of purchase on the bottle when you get it home.

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5. Failing to re-apply.

When you’re out in the sun, most sunscreens only last about two hours. Sunscreen is washed away even faster by swimming and sweating, so reapply at least every two hours and immediately after heavy activity or a plunge in the pool.