If I'm being honest, there aren't many sunscreens that are formulated specifically for getting a tan. In fact, the whole point for wearing a sunscreen is to prevent any type of sun damage to the skin. According to the FDA, a tan is your body's natural response to over-exposure to UV rays. Basically, your summertime glow is your body's way of telling you that your skin is damaged. Therefore, expecting a sunscreen to help enhance your tan is just silly. The reason that sunscreen even exists is to help reduce the chances of sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging. A tan is the first tell-tale sign of all of these things.
However, even though sunscreens aren't formulated to help enhance your tan, that doesn't mean that you can't still get a tan while using sunscreen. While often times the sun block is doing it's best to protect you, it's often human error that causes the your skin to darken. Whether you apply too little or too infrequently, there are several reasons that your skin could be tanning even though you applied sun block. Here are a few ways that you could be misusing your sunblock, and still getting a tan.
1. Applying Too Little
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one ounce (the amount to fill a shot glass) is the amount of sunscreen you need to apply in order to get the full benefits of the sunscreen.
2. Applying Infrequently
One and done is just not the case when it comes to applying sunscreen. If you're going to outside or in direct sunlight for more than an hour at a time, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours in order to fully block out the sun's harsh rays.
3. Using An Old Bottle
The sunscreen that you bought a few summers back simply own't cut it for this year. According to the Mayo Clinic, sunscreens retain their original sun protection factor for up to three years. After that, your old sunscreen is pretty much a dud.
4. You Only Apply On Sunny Days
Rain or shine, UV rays can still impact your skin if you aren't wearing sunscreen. Yup, they are that powerful. According to the Huffington Post, your chances of getting a sunburn don't reduce due to a cloudy day.
5. You Miss A Few Spots
It isn't just your arms and legs that can burn in the hot sun. Don't forget to apply SPF to your lips, ears, and even hair to prevent unwanted sun damage.
While sunscreen is vital for protecting your skin against the sun's harsh rays, there are ways that you can still get a tan even after you've applied. By changing up your sunscreen habits, you can help to prevent any further tanning or damage to your skin.
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