By now, we all know sunscreen is our best defense against UV rays— which can cause skin cancer, skin damage and premature aging. Even if you’re adamant about wearing sunscreen, you may be making these common sunscreen mistakes that are putting your skin and health at risk.


Mistake #1: You Think Makeup with SPF Provides Adequate Protection

You may think your foundation or BB cream with SPF provides sufficient sun protection. But, you shouldn’t count on your makeup to deliver full sun protection. Most women do not wear enough makeup on a daily basis for adequate protection. For better defense, apply a good moisturizer with SPF to your face, neck and chest and let it set before applying your makeup with SPF.

And don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the rest of your body, including your hands, arms and legs. Find some great sunscreen products for your face and body here.

Mistake #2: You Apply Sunscreen in the Morning and Then Forget About It

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not reapplying sunscreen throughout the day. Too often, they apply it in the morning and then forget about it. Sunscreen’s effectiveness will diminish after a few hours, so reapplying is super essential.

“It’s always important to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially when you are outdoors or know you are going to be exposed to sunlight,” says Dr. Whitney Bowe, NY-based Board Certified Dermatologist and Assistant Medical Director of Laser & Services at Advanced Dermatology P.C.

She recommends using the Colorscience Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50, as it makes reapplying easy, especially when you’re on the go.

Mistake #3: You Rely on Sunscreen for Total Sun Protection

Though sunscreen is the best defense against sun damage, it shouldn’t be your only defense. Avoid the sun when the UV index is at its highest, and wear a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing when you are outside.


Mistake #4: You Only Wear Sunscreen When It’s Sunny

Many people assume they only need sunscreen when it’s sunny. The sun can be strong even if it’s not sunny out, including on overcast days. UV light can easily penetrate through clouds, haze and fog, so you need to be protected every day, regardless of the weather.

Mistake #5:  Your Sunscreen Is Expired

While it’s okay to eat some foods after they expire, the expiration date really matters when it comes to your sunscreen. Sunscreen’s active ingredients deteriorate over time, reducing the product’s effectiveness. Pay attention to the expiration date, as well as the storage instructions. While storing your bottle in your beach bag or car may be convenient, the hot temperatures could tamper with its effectiveness.

In addition to these common sunscreen mistakes, avoid these other slip-ups that are aging and damaging your skin, found here.

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