1. You’re Buying the Wrong Sunscreen. One of the first reasons may be that the sunscreen you are using isn’t a high enough SPF. Dermatologists recommend using an SPF of at least 30 everyday, and recommend a higher SPF for when you’re doing outdoor activities. It’s not as simple as just choosing a high SPF though. Sunscreens in North America aren’t regulated for their SPF and many fall well short from what they state. This spans all sunscreens including more expensive brands, cheaper brands and natural ones. Natural/mineral sunscreens were some of the worst performers so while you may want a sunscreen that’s better for the environment, it’s not going to give you very good sunscreen. Sunscreens that performed well this year according to Consumer Reports include La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk, Equat Sport SPF 50, Equat Ultra Protection Lotion SPF 50, Equat Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30, and Coppertone WaterBabies SPF 50. If you can’t find any of these sunscreens look for a broad spectrum sunscreen over SPF 30.
2. Your sunscreen is expired. Sunscreens have an expiry date printed on the bottle, generally 3 years from their manufacture date. Once they reach that date they will be less effective and may also cause an abnormal reaction. Sunscreen can also deteriorate faster if it’s stored improperly, so if it’s been in a car, backpack or purse you’re best using it sooner rather than later. If it’s a different consistency then when you bought it, it’s probably not good anymore.
3. You aren’t applying it beforehand. Sunscreen needs about 15-30 minutes to soak into your skin before it’s absorbed and becomes completely effective. If you’re jumping into a pool or sprinting around right after you apply sunscreen it wouldn’t be absorbed and you’re just going to sweat/wash it off completely.
4. You aren’t applying enough. If you’re heading out for a beach day or swimming you should be applying around a shot glass full of sunscreen for your body. This is generally more than you would feel comfortable applying and means you will looks and feel like you’re covered in sunscreen for a bit. You’re going to have to rub it in a lot. If you’re using a spray it should look like you’ve just stepped out of the water when you apply sunscreen. If you don’t feel like having sunscreen drip off you apply a normal amount, rub in and then apply the same amount again.
5. You don’t reapply. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied at a minimum every two hours. If you’re swimming or sweating you should be reapplying even more often. No sunscreen is truly waterproof or sweatproof.
For more sunscreen tips check out https://www.yycfitness.com/apply-sunscreen/