3 Sunscreen Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again

Just when we thought we knew it all...

For Australians, the “slip, slop, slap” messaging is as engrained in our culture as a piece of Vegemite toast.

But that doesn’t mean we always get our sunscreen application right.

Whether it be forgetting to apply each and every day (especially on those colder or cloudier days), or not finding one that suits your skin type, it’s important to make sure you’re using it correctly to get the full, protective effects.

The non-negotiables? Choosing a sunscreen that offers high broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays, with high SPF—preferably 50+­—coverage.

Here, three mistakes you’ll never make again when it comes to your daily sunscreen routine.

1. Not Protecting From UV Damage Every Day

Sunscreen is arguably the most important skincare product you can use each and every day. It prevents sunburn, protects from skin cancer and is also one of the most valuable skincare tools in preventing premature or early ageing.

With Australians ageing, on average, 20 years faster than the rest of the world* due to high UV exposure, adding a sunscreen after your daily cleanse, tone and moisturise routine is a must.

While it may seem unnecessary on cold or cloudy days, remember UVA rays—which penetrate deeper into our skin and cause damage to the collagen and elastin fibres—are present all year round.

Therefore, UVA is largely responsible for the thinning of the skin, causing fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of premature ageing, and can also decrease the immune function of skin over time.

It can also penetrate through clouds and glass windows, so it’s important to develop a daily routine with sunscreen to protect skin every single day, no matter the time of year.

2. Not Using A Sunscreen You Like

We invest a lot of time and money into perfecting our skincare routines, and the last thing we want is a sunscreen that feels like it counteracts all the hard work of our serums and lotions and leaves our skin feeling less than its best.

Be sure to choose a sunscreen that’s specifically made for use on the face, dermatologically tested for even the most sensitive of skin.

A lightweight, daily facial sunscreen, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ is formulated especially for sensitive skin and provides very high UVA/UVB protection while delivering an invisible finish.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+, 50mL, $35.95.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+, 50mL, $35.95. (Credit: Supplied)

It’s fragrance-free, non-greasy and non-comedogenic, meaning it protects your skin without clogging pores. While specifically designed for sensitive skin types, it’s also suitable for normal to combination skin, with the lightweight finish absorbing instantly into the skin for an invisible, non-sticky finish that can be worn either alone or under makeup.

3. Not Applying Sunscreen Properly

While less is sometimes more when it comes to makeup, the same can’t be said for sunscreen. When it comes to SPF protection, the rule is to apply generously and often.

Applying as the last step of your skincare routine, before makeup, one teaspoon should be used for the face, neck and head area for proper protection.

Allow at least five minutes for the sunscreen to absorb before putting on your makeup and wait at least 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure.

Don’t forget to reapply at least every two hours during the day. Need to reapply without ruining your makeup? Use a flat, dry makeup sponge and gently dot sunscreen across your face focusing on one area at a time, pressing softly until blended.

Brought to you by La Roche-Posay.

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling, and perspiring in accordance with directions.

* Goodman, Greg J et al. The Australasian journal of dermatology vol. 59,2 (2018): 108-117.

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