Redheads understand the following sunburn situation: you applied sunscreen before leaving the house and re-applied to make sure you’re protected. But, you’re still burning. The struggle is real!
Below are tips to prevent a sunburn after applying sunscreen:
1. Don’t use spray sunscreen
While spray takes less time to apply and is easier to use, convenience doesn’t always mean better. Studies prove that people tend to get less sunscreen out of a spray because they only spray for a couple of seconds. Overall, sunscreen lotion is the best way to go.
2. Don’t wait until you’re in the sun to initially apply
Apply your sunscreen at least 20-30 minutes before going outside. This will ensure your sunscreen is absorbed properly.
3. You must reapply
Reapply every two hours! If you don’t, you will burn.
4. Use the right SPF
Stick to a sunscreen that’s broad-spectrum, offers SPF 30 or higher and contains zinc oxide and titanium oxide to block the sun’s rays.
5. Use a water-resistant sunscreen
Sweat and water can wash away your sunscreen. If you sweat a lot or frequently go in the pool or ocean, opt for a sport or water-resistant sunscreen. And, be sure to reapply once you dry off.
6. Beware: your sunscreen can expire
Yes, it’s true! Check the expiration date on your bottles before applying. Sunscreen that’s expired can lose strength if outdated and this can cause a severe sunburn.
7. Always use a decent amount of sunscreen when applying
Make sure you’re applying at least a shot-glass-worth of sunscreen throughout your entire body.
8. Don’t squeeze a lime after applying sunscreen
Chemical compounds in limes as well as other citrus fruits can cause a skin reaction called phytophotodermatitis. This resembles a splotchy sunburn with blisters. Read a redhead’s true story on her experience with phytophotodermatitis here.
9. Don’t take antibiotics and go in the sun*
It’s important to practice sun safety while on antibiotics, as this medication can make your skin more prone to phototoxic dermatitis. This is an inflammatory skin condition that appears after sun exposure and resembles a sunburn.
10. Don’t take OTC pills or ance products and go in the sun*
Similar to #9, if you’re taking OTC pills or using products to control your acne, it’s important to practice sun safety while outside. Products made to control your skin can thin the skin, making it extra sensitive in the sun.
11. Protect your scalp
Wear a hat to protect your scalp and red hair from the sun. A sunburnt scamp is incredibly painful!
*Always consult with your primary care physician or dermatologist.
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