Sunscreen Tips

Q: When my family is at the local pool or just playing outside, how much sunscreen should we use and how often should we re-apply it?

A: Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all skin that will be not be covered by clothing. Most people only apply 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. Follow the guideline of “1 ounce, enough to fill a shot glass,” which dermatologists consider the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of an adult’s body. Adjust the amount of sunscreen for children depending on their body size. Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes before going outdoors. Reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours or after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle. 

The kind of sunscreen you use is a matter of personal choice and may vary depending on the area of the body to be protected. Options include lotions, creams, gels, ointments, wax sticks and sprays. There also are sunscreens made for specific purposes, such as for sensitive skin and for babies. 

Skin cancer also can form on the lips. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. 

Source: American Academy of Dermatology