Monday, 18 January 2016

9 Big Sunscreen Mistakes YOU Need To Avoid

Australia has the highest rate of melanoma in the world! About 13000 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in Australia in 2015. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Every year more than 2000 Australians die from skin cancer. 

Unfortunately I am one of the people who have been diagnosed with melanoma, although I consider myself to be one of the luckier ones. I detected my new mole early, had it promptly removed, and even though it was found to be malignant requiring a further wide excision of my calf, I have had no further complications.

As a result I am now very conscious of being sun safe and applying sunscreen correctly!

The effectiveness and quality of sunscreens has improved greatly over the years and sunscreens are now widely used. Unfortunately a large percentage of us are making one or more of the following 9 big mistakes and are thus not fully sun protected, putting us at higher risk of developing sun cancer!

These mistakes are easy to avoid. Check the following list and make sure you are not making any of these mistakes. Be sun safe!

9 Big Sunscreen Mistakes YOU Need to Avoid!

Mistake 1: Not Using Enough Sunscreen
An Australian research paper published in the Australian Journal of Dermatology in December 2014 found that only 15% of adult Australians are using the recommended amount of sunscreen - which is 40ml for the whole body.

If you use less than the recommended amount you will not achieve the level of sun protection advertised on your sunscreen product.

To achieve the level of sun protection advertised on the label of the sunscreen you need to apply more than 1/2 teaspoon (3ml) of sunscreen to each arm, your face and your neck.

Additionally, you need to apply more than 1 teaspoon (6ml) of sunscreen to each leg, 1 teaspoon to the front and 1 teaspoon to the back of your body. 

Yes, you need to use a lot of sunscreen on a beach holiday!


SunSense Clear Gel SPF50

Mistake 2: Using Out of Date Sunscreen 
Sunscreens have an expiry date. The active ingredients in them will not be as effective after the expiry date. Check the expiry date on your sunscreen products and make sure your product is still in date.

Mistake 3: Not Applying Your Sunscreen Early Enough
Sunscreen should be applied approximately 15-20 minutes before going out in the sun to allow it enough time to fully absorb into your skin and offer the protection required.

Mistake 4: Not Reapplying Your Sunscreen Often Enough
You should reapply your sunscreen every two hours to ensure ongoing protection. In addition to this you should reapply your sunscreen each time after a swim. Some sunscreens state they are water resistant meaning they stay on your skin whilst you're swimming but they can rub off easily when you subsequently towel yourself dry. Always reapply your sunscreen after swimming, toweling and sweating.

Mistake 5: Not Storing Your Sunscreen Properly
To ensure your sunscreen stays effective it should be stored at room temperature, under 25 degrees Celsius. At the beach wrap your sunscreen in your towel or keep it in your esky if you take one with you. Do not leave your sunscreen in the centre console of your car!

Mistake 6: Not Using Sunscreen On Your Lips and Ears
Often we forget about our lips and ears when we apply sunscreen. Lips don't produce melanin (which helps protect against ultraviolet radiation) like skin does, so it's really important that our lips are constantly protected from the sun also. We also often forget to apply sunscreen to our ears!

Make sure you cover all of your face, including your lips and ears, with sunscreen.


SunSense Lip Balm SPF 50+

Mistake 7: Not Using a Sunscreen Every Day.
UV rays can penetrate clouds and also windows! You need to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days and when driving or working near windows. 

Mistake 8: Becoming Complacent Because You Have Applied a Sunscreen with SPF50
Yes, it is recommended you use a higher protection sunscreen such as SPF50 but this doesn't mean you should become complacent. Using an SPF50 as opposed to an SPF30 does not mean you can be out in the sun for twice as long nor does it mean you don't have to reapply your sunscreen as often!

SPF 30+ sunscreens filter out about 96.7% of UVB radiation whilst SPF50+ sunscreens filter out approximately 98% of UVB radiation.

Always choose a broad spectrum sunscreen which will protect you against both UVB and UVA radiation.

Mistake 9: I'm Using Sunscreen, Therefore I Can Safely Sunbake and Tan!
WRONG! There is no such thing as a "safe" tan! Tanning is a sign that your skin is being damaged. If you are wearing sunscreen and still getting tanned, check through the list above and find out what mistakes you might be making!

If you want to appear tanned, the only way to do so safely is to use a fake tan! There are some very good quality, easy to apply and effective fake tans on the market now, such as the pictured Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Instant Tan 9-in-1 BB Skin Perfector! 

Rimmel Sun Shimmer Instant Tan 9 in 1 BB SKin Perfector

Have You Been Making Any Of The Above Big Sunscreen Mistakes?



xxx

Ingrid.

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* The photographed products were kindly gifted to me. Full disclosure policy here.

57 comments:

  1. I probably don't slather on quite enough sunscreen, but I avoid the sun like a vampire. I would never have thought to keep the sunblock bottle cool! Thanks! There have been a whole lot of melanomas & carcinomas in my family, but no deaths thank goodness. I get a yearly check so I know I'm doing all I can.

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    1. Well done for avoiding the sun and getting yearly checks!

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  2. I am at the coast and I got burned. For the first time in years I am red red red. I applied before I left the house. But I didn't reapply early enough. I think because I've just come home from USA winter I was thinking my skin was as it usually is at this time of year. More resilient to the heat. But I am white white white, and now I'm red red red. I don't like it at all!! I wish I'd read your post two days ago to remind me that I am not super human and that the sun (and sunscreen) should be respected.

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  3. Great post, Ingrid. I will definitely share this today. I'm sorry to hear about your melanoma. That is extremely scary. I have a back full of moles and haven't had a check for almost four years. I really need to get onto it. The girls and I accidentally got sunburnt on an overcast-ish day yesterday. I had applied sunscreen, but missed a few spots thanks to my daughter's wedgie with her bathers - she now has a sunburnt bottom. You really can never be too careful.

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    1. Thanks Renee! That's a mistake I wouldn't have thought of, needing to apply sunscreen under the edges of the swimsuit!

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  4. I have become super conscious of this after a young friend had melanoma- he's okay but you just never know!

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  5. Out of date sunscreen is a killer. I have done that before and burnt the crap out of my kids. Oops.

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    1. Regardless of the date on any remaining sunscreen I have at home I now buy new sunscreen at the start of every summer.

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  6. Great tips! I always forget to reapply during the day! I burn quite easily which is why I'm so conscious of using spf

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    1. Reapplying throughout the day is my weak point too but I'm getting better at doing this.

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  7. I learnt #2 the hard way. OUCH! Great tips - thank you. #teamIBOT

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    1. So easy to miss those hard to see expiry dates!

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  8. Great post Ingird! So many people make at least one or more of the mistakes you mention. I lost my Dad to melanoma, and I had my first skin cancer removed 25 years ago, so I'm very conscious of the sun. Unfortunately my teenagers are not a sun safe as I'd like them to be, despite my constant reminders! I think I'll print your article and put it under their noses!

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    1. So sorry to hear about your Dad.

      I hope this post helps with your teenagers.

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  9. Awesome tips. I didn't know about keeping the suncream cool, so I will remember that. I do apply a lip suncream a lot at the beach, because burnt lips are nor fun.
    In the town where I live, I notice tanning is a huge thing. People always compliment you on how brown you are. I honestly think that if Australian's are ever going to take skin cancer seriously, we need to stop thinking of tans as attractive. Otherwise the temptation is always there.

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    1. Thanks Jess! Hopefully the people in your town are fake tanning?
      Also I've had trouble recently commenting on your blog. I think my comments are going straight into your spam folder. Could you check this if possible.

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  10. These are good tips! I never forget my ears after I did one cloudy day and ended up feeling very sore and sorry for myself afterwards, as I hadn't worn a hat! My son is pretty good at making sure I do everything I should with sunscreen, when putting t on him he'll try putting mine on for me, and when I've put his sunnies on he'll point at mine on my head until I wear them too, haha! Hopefully he will grow up to be very sunsafe!

    Away From The Blue Blog

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    1. I think sun safe habits are drummed into our kids from a very early age now in Childcare and primary school. Very different from when I was a child!

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  11. As a fair-skinned person who's just had a BCC (basal cell carcinoma) surgically removed from her forehead yesterday, your post couldn't have been more timely Ingrid! Sunscreen is something I'm starting to go through a lot of since the diagnosis. I'm good at applying sunscreen to my ears, but my lips REALLY need an SPF product...have been meaning to get one, but keep forgetting. I'll do it once I get the stitches out. I've been badly sunburnt on a cloudy day before, so it never pays to be complacent.

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    1. It's amazing how many bottles of sunscreen I have gone through this December and January already! I'd rather use loads however than risk more melanomas! Sorry to hear about your BCC. The SunSense SPF50+ lip balm is available from pharmacies.

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  12. I got second degree sunburn as a kid and my gosh it was painful. I have pale skin and freckles so I'm a magnet for sunburn.

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  13. I've also had a melanoma! I'm like a sunscreen nazi, my almost mr 3 will go and get the sunscreen and his hat if he wants to go outside, they are never to early to drum this into them!

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    1. I've drummed it into my kids as well that they need sunscreen and hats when outside. In primary school hats are mandatory, I wish they were in high school also!

      Sorry to hear that you have also had a melanoma!

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  14. These are some excellent tips, Ingrid! I don't think that people use enough sunscreen in Australia.

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    1. Thanks Leah! Worryingly, the research indicates not many of us do use enough sunscreen!

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  15. Wow these are great sunning info and tips!
    Thanks for joining and sharing them at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.

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  16. These are really good tips. I am guilty of forgetting to use sunscreen. It's a bad habit I need to change! DF xoxo

    www.doaner-fide.com

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  17. This is a topic very close to my heart too as I've had several BCCs excised and my son has albinism which means he produces no melanin at all. We have to be extra vigilant with him and have tried many sunscreens over the years. I'll be sharing this one on my page too x

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  18. Ohhh the ears! I always forget the ears. And hubby is always getting the top of his feet burnt. This has reminded me to update the school bag sunscreens for the new year. Bron x

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  19. I am in the habit of putting sunscreen on my face every morning but forget about everywhere else!

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  20. We got burnt with out of date sunscreen. We kept lathering ourselves throughout the day. Had no idea it was out of date until the sting factor kicked in. Not fun.

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  21. I'm a serial sunscreen offender from way back but I am trying to turn over a new "safe in the sun" leaf. I didn't know that you had to apply the sunscreen 15-20 minutes before going out. I'm usually THAT person who puts it on 15-20 minutes after I've caught the sun! Doh! I've started to carry around sunscreen in my bag - that's been a game changer!

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  22. I am guilty of a few of these 'mistakes'! Definitely need to be more proactive when it comes to sunscreen! Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Ive been extra cautious adter noticing wrinkles onmy forehead as a result of sun damage. Still guilty of not reapplying :( ill beed to keep a small bottle in my bag!!

    Lilynotlouise.blogspot.com.au

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  24. I cringe when people say they store sunscreen in the car. The heat really must cook what's in the tube.

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  25. Gee whiz, there's some things there I never thought to consider. Fantastic post Ingrid x

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    1. Thanks Alicia! Glad to share some sun safety tips! It's an area I'm quite passionate about.

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  26. Great reminders here Ingrid. Where do you get a skin check done? I've never had one. GP or somewhere else? Can you recommend a good daily face sunscreen? I've tried a couple but find they sting. I wouldn't normally say I've got sensitive skin though. Thanks.

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    1. There are specialist sun cancer clinics where they specialise in skin checks. There's one locally in Frenchs Forest. Re facial sunscreens I'm currently using the SunSense Anti Ageing Face SPF50+. Alternatively Banana Boat's Everyday Sensitive SPF50+ might be worth a try if other sunscreens sting you.

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  27. This is such a great post. I might write up something similar on my own blog to spread the word and share your link. xx

    Jasmine / sweetaholic-beauty.com

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    1. Thanks Jasmine. Sun safety is such an important topic, especially in Australia's climate. I'd love you to share my link :)

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  28. Great post thank you!! I am quite vigilant with sun safety as well, especially with my son!!

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  29. I have been trying to be much more conscious about putting sunscreen on my lips.

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  30. I am very fair and have had my share of sunburns. The worst being when I was a kid and my cousin and I thought it was a good idea to use baby oil as sun screen. As an adult my burns have resulted from being lazy and not applying thorough enough or often enough. An early morning slather is not enough when I'm out in the sun all day. I do watch expiration dates and like spray on sun screens for hard to reach areas.

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  31. Great points. I do these most of the time but we all slip up now and again.
    Then remember why we fiollow these rules!!!

    Lauren | http://www.lifewithlozzn.com

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  32. Definitely some great tips you have here!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  33. Wow this is really a great post for me with my English rose skin and millions of freckles. I did know Sunscreen needed to be absorbed and I may not be putting on enough. Thanks so much for your post!!!

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  34. Great advice thanks. I am often astounded to see people at the pool putting sunscreen on their children seconds before they jump in the water, with no time for it to absorb. Putting it on before leaving home is so much easier, allows for better coverage and means the kids can jump straight in.

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  35. Wonderful advice thank you. I had no idea there was a recommended measurement for each part of the body!!! I need to save this and keep it handy for the summer. Thank you.

    #FridayFavorites

    forloveandtravel.blogspot.de

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  36. I used to be so good about sunscreen but I got burned over Christmas and I'm still peeling! My pasty kiwi skin isn't used the the outdoors.

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  37. I definitely make the mistake of not re-applying sunscreen often enough. I'm trying to work on that.

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  38. Hi Ingrid I live in Brisbane and we spend a fair amount of time at our other home on the Gold Coast. I have to admit that sunscreen and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. You have made some excellent points here and I didn't even think sunscreen would have a used by date or about my lips and ears. Thanks for sharing at #overthemoon and have a great week.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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