Is There a Right Way to Apply Sunscreen? You Bet.

July 4, 2018

When should you apply sunscreen?

"I recommend applying sunscreen 10 to 15 minutes before sun exposure," says Dr. Cohen. "That said, if you apply your sunscreen at 9 a.m., stay indoors and avoid any sweating, exercising or swimming, you should still be quite protected. As a general rule, reapply every two hours when in constant sun exposure."

How much do you need?

"You need to use a shot glass for a full application; always apply a thick, liberal layer to all exposed skin and reapply often (at least every two hours)," says Dr. Cohen.

Before or after serum?

"Serum goes on before sunscreen, so it can properly absorb into skin; this also allows you to reapply sunscreen as necessary," says Dr. Cohen.

What about vitamin D absorption?

"Too many people believe that using sunscreen leads to vitamin D deficiency, and that the best way to obtain enough of it is through unprotected sun exposure," says Dr. Cohen. "Yes, using sunscreen decreases vitamin D absorption, but in all honesty, sunscreen doesn't block all UVB rays from reaching your skin; SPF 30 blocks 93 percent of UVB and SPF 50 filters out 98 percent. This leaves anywhere from 2 to 7 percent of solar UVB reaching your skin. The truth is, it doesn't take much sun exposure for the body to produce vitamin D. In my opinion, the risks of sun exposure outweigh this benefit, and I will stand by using a sunscreen every day. More importantly, the sun isn't the only way to get vitamin D. There are healthier alternatives including diet and supplements. You can easily take an oral supplement (1,000 - 2,000 units a day depending on age and health).


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