“I get asked this question so many times and believe me when I say a lot of people apply less than half of the amount needed to avoid the burn,” he said.
Luckily, he has shared a handy formula for applying the ideal dose of suncream. “I always advise a simple strategy to ensure you apply enough, a golf ball-sized amount to protect your entire body and a teaspoon amount for your face and neck.
“Build this up in thin layers instead of one thick dose. This will ensure you apply all of it into your skin as opposed to wiping all of the excess off your hands. Always reapply 3-5 times daily and if you can, apply in a shady area so you can see that every part of your body is covered.”
Whether you’re jetting off to Ibiza or soaking up the British sun, it’s difficult to avoid the harsh rays this summer. Wherever you’re spending the summer months, as well as a pale bottle of rosé wine, a good SPF is an absolute essential element.
Avoiding the dreaded sunburn is no mean feat (especially after too many glasses of aforementioned rosé) so we’ve enlisted Dr. Rick Woodin at ZO Skin Health to share his top tips on exactly how you can avoid sunburn during peak sun hours, as well as his top tips to ensure you skin has the upmost protection from the rays.
Do I really need SPF 50?
It may be easy to assume that you will be protected by any SPF no matter the number, but Dr Woodin maintains that this is wrong. “Picking the right factor for your skin is crucial,” he says. “Under UV rays, skin that’s not used to the sun will begin to thicken and produce melanin within ten days so always use SPF 50 whilst your skin adjusts. Keep your skin from burning by increasing to the highest factor always.”
Which areas are commonly missed?
When we apply SPF, we mostly start of the face, right? But it’s easy to forget the delicate areas such as the eyelids and upper lip (#guilty). “The best way is to start application on these areas first and then work your way around your face. If you don’t wish to apply a thick cream, you can apply a light SPF mineral powder or spray. These areas you might not even think about but missing them is a real influencer of skin burn,” he said.
Plus, anyone with close-cropped hair, shaved hair or even a part which is exposed to sun should ensure protection is layered on there, too. “Of course, applying a thick cream to your locks isn’t the solution so this is where a lightweight spray sunscreen can be a key asset and also remember to wear a hat,” he advises.
I can’t avoid the sun during peak hours, how can I reduce the risk of being burnt?
“If you really can’t avoid the sun during peak hours, cover up as much as you can,” advises Dr Woodin. “On top of your SPF protection and consistent reapplication, wear clothing that covers as much as your body as possible, even though it’s hot – walking around in a bikini with exposure to your midriff can have dire effects, a light coverup can make the biggest difference to your skin post-sun. Seek any shaded areas when you’re outside and invest in a wide brimmed hat to provide shelter from the rays. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light and try not to look directly into the sun.”
What is your top remedy for sun burn?
We have a comprehensive guide to treating sunburn here but Dr Woodin says the absolute best way to treat sunburn quickly is actually a DIY tip which involves soaking a small cloth in a pot of cooled black tea and dabbing it on your sunburn. “This is great if you’re travelling and can’t bring a bottle of aloe vera with you,” he said.
Brew several tea bags and set it aside to cool down, once the temperature is comfortable, soak a wash cloth in the tea and pat it slowly over your sunburn. “The tea acts as a remedy to help bring the heat out of the burn and reduce painful stinging.”