May 27 is Sunscreen Protection Day. An annual reminder just before Memorial Day—the unofficial beginning of beach season—that we should all be applying sunscreen on a daily basis. You wouldn’t voluntarily expose your body to harsh chemicals or stand in the middle of a thunderstorm holding a lightning rod. Yet millions of Americans spend the summer doing something much more dangerous; exposing unprotected skin to harmful UV (Ultraviolet) rays which can lead to premature aging and even cancer.
Even if you’ve spent a lifetime in the sun, it’s never too late to start protecting your body’s largest organ—your skin. And even if you’ve been applying sunscreen religiously, you may be surprised to discover you’ve been doing it incorrectly. So slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, throw on some shades (with UV protection of course!), and check the ways you might be applying sunscreen incorrectly.
1. You’re not using a high enough SPF.
No one, regardless of their skin tone, should leave the house without sunscreen. Office workers, who only see the sun during lunch hour, should use a minimum 30 SPF. For prolonged outdoor activities an SPF of 50 is recommended.