Reducing sunburn exposures with proper sunscreen application

The weather is getting warm and the sun is shining bright! Help reduce sunburn exposures by applying sunscreen right!

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen offers the following guidelines to help support your efforts to ensure proper application of sunscreen.

Sunscreen application guide
Initial application:
The first application of sunscreen is the most important! Taking time to insure that the proper amount is applied is critical. Applying sunscreen too thin, haphazardly, or in small amounts will not provide enough protective film to guarantee protection.

Timing: Applying sunscreen generously to cool dry skin 20-30 minutes before sun exposure. The skin is protected after 20 minutes, but 30 is recommended. Wait 30 minutes before putting on clothes over applied areas because clothing can soak up the sunscreen before the skin does. When traveling to the beach, water park, etc. it’s a good idea upon arrival to touch up any areas that may have received a lot of rubbing (like the legs and back against the car seat).

Cool, dry, skin: Sunscreen must be applied to cool dry skin to adhere properly. Applying sunscreen to wet or sweaty skin can also result in sunburn. When reapplying at a swimming pool, insure the skin is completely dry. The active ingredients in sunscreen are oil based, and therefore repelled by any wetness on the skin.  In order for sunscreen to adhere, the skin must be completely dry.

Quantity: Studies have shown that people only apply 50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen, therefore an SPF 30 would essentially become an SPF 15. The proper amount of sunscreen is critical to achieving adequate UV protection. To apply correctly, squeeze out dabs (dots) of sunscreen all around the skin and then connect the dots. There should be a complete visible film of sunscreen that feels like a smooth layer underneath the fingertips.

Re-application: The American Cancer Society recommends that sunscreen be reapplied at least every two hours. Scientific studies show that people who wait more than 2.5 hours to reapply are five times more likely to sunburn than the person who reapplies every 2 hours. Reapplying every 2 hours is even more crucial while swimming or heavy sweating, and also after toweling off. For re-application in a pool environment, allow the sunscreen to set up at least 20 minutes before entering the water. Otherwise, the water will just wash off the sunscreen-leaving very little, or no protection at all.

*Learn more on the application and benefits of proper sunscreen protection at Rocky Mountain Sunscreen’s website at rmsunscreen.com.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.

For safety or risk management questions or suggestions, please contact Markel.

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