These are the most common sun care mistakes – see if you’re guilty of making them!

April 19, 2021

In recent years, sun care has been increasingly acknowledged as an essential step in everyone’s skincare routine.

However, many of us are actually guilty of not doing our sun care properly – and chances are that you may not even realise that you’ve been making mistakes! While the effects of improper sun care may not appear instantly on the skin, the damage accumulated over time will eventually show up in the form of pigmentation, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.

Want to ensure that your sun care routine is working its hardest for you? Take note of these common sun care mistakes, as shared by dermatologists!

Not applying sunscreen after using makeup with SPF

Layering sunscreen under foundation is tricky, and for those of us who don’t want to pile up too much on our skin, we have a tendency to skip the sunscreen in favour of foundation that has SPF. Here’s the bad news: your skin is not properly covered from UV radiation just from that layer of foundation.

Experts advise never to rely solely on makeup as your sole source of SPF, as it is notoriously unreliable in terms of sun protection level. In addition, makeup is not always applied evenly and comes off easily, decreasing optimal coverage. You want to wear sunscreen underneath your foundation — it actually provides a better base for your makeup application.

Beauty junkies should definitely try the Heliocare 360° Gel Oil-free SPF 50, a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a unique matte texture that sits well under makeup. Not only is it formulated to prevent damage from 4 types of UV radiation, it also comes with an anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and sebum controlling technology to keep acne and oil at bay.

Not applying sunscreen to certain parts of the body

While it seems like a no-brainer to apply sunscreen to all areas that’ll be exposed to the sun, many of us tend to miss a few key spots, even the ones on our face! A study published in April 2019 in the journal PLoS One found that nearly 20 percent of participants did not apply sunscreen to their eyelids, and they had no idea that they had missed these spots.

Lips are another area of skin that is highly susceptible to damage because they don’t have much melanin, which is a protective pigment that gives your skin, hair, and eyes their colour. You are recommended to wear a lip balm or lipstick with SPF 15 or higher. If you’re using lip gloss, take note that shiny, moist lips are the most prone to damage, as they attract UV rays.

To make sure that you’re protecting every inch of your skin, we highly recommend our Heliocare 360º Capsule. This oral sunblock is formulated with Fernblock®+, which provides maximum efficiency for immune protection against blue light, infrared hazards, UVB & UVA, as well as free radicals from inside out. It is also enhanced with prebiotics, cystine, vitamins B3, C & E to improve skin health and lower the risk of hyperpigmentation – definitely a win-win situation!

Not reapplying sunscreen

Are you protected from UV damage for the rest of the day after just a one-time application of sunscreen in the morning? Not quite!

Any type of sunscreen (chemical or mineral) will naturally break down on your skin when they are exposed to sunlight. Sweat and any form of physical touch also physically remove sunscreen from your face. In order to ensure you stay protected throughout the day, you’ll need to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, and even more often if you perspire heavily or engage in water sports.

How do you reapply SPF when you’re already wearing makeup? Some common methods include using loose powder with added sun protection, but the top recommended method by experts is to remove existing base foundation, apply your sunscreen, and then put on foundation again. For most of us, this is too much work – consider taking oral sunblock (the Heliocare Ultra Oral is another of our top favourites!) to bolster UV protection, especially when you’re not reapplying frequently enough.

Only applying sunscreen when you are outdoors

We normally associate sunscreen with beach days and hiking excursions, but what about the days that we’re indoors scrolling our phones on a relaxing Sunday afternoon?

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the glass typically used in car, home and office windows is designed to block most UVB rays, but it does not offer protection from all UVA rays. So even if you’re indoors, if you’re close to a window you still run the risk of exposure to UVA rays and possible skin damage.

That’s not all: blue light emitted both from the sun AND your electronic devices can penetrate the skin far deeper and induce pigmentation, which can still be present after three months. Research has also shown that 30 hours of exposure to blue light from smartphone or laptop screens can increase the inflammation level in skin cells by 40%. Imagine the simple act of watching videos on your phone undoing all the benefits of your 10-step skincare routine and laser treatments – yikes!

If you’re in an air-conditioned room where the air tends to be dry, opt for the Heliocare 360º Water Gel SPF 50+. This customer-favourite guarantees full-spectrum photo-protection against blue light, infrared radiation-A, UVB and UVA. In addition, it contains an innovative continuous-release hydration system with ingredients that provide a 70% increase in immediate hydration after 1 application and 80% in long-lasting hydration on the 2nd day. The ultra-lightweight texture may even make you forget that you’ve already applied sunscreen!

Not using enough sunscreen

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow claimed that she only hit sunscreen on “the area where the sun really hits”, and this is certainly one sun care mistake that you do not want to be making.

Unfortunately, even if most of us are applying sunscreen all over our face, most of us are guilty of applying a thin layer because some sunscreens’ textures are very heavy and we don’t want it clogging our pores. The correct amount of sunscreen to achieve the SPF rating on the bottle is actually half a teaspoon for the face and neck for adults, which translates to about three finger-lengths’ worth of sunscreen.

Next time you apply sunscreen, pay close attention to how much sunscreen you’re really using!

Using less sunscreen because your skin is darker

While it is true that darker skin has some natural protection against burning and skin cancer due to the concentration of melanin, it is dangerous to assume that skin colour alone is enough to prevent skin cancer.

According to medical professionals, due to the general idea that darker skin has less risk, when skin cancer is diagnosed on darker skin, it is usually diagnosed at a later stage.

Using an old or expired sunscreen

As sunscreens repeatedly heat and cool over time, the formulation can separate or clump in the containers. When this happens, the sunscreen cannot cover your skin in the thick and even way that is necessary for proper skin protection.

Sunscreens are generally formulated to last about three years, but it is important to examine the product’s texture before use. If you notice that the sunscreen’s texture looks clumpy despite it being well before the expiry date, discontinue usage and discard it.

Ready to find a Heliocare sunscreen that works for you but don’t know what’s best? Feel free to drop us an email at enquiry@heliocare.com.sg!

Purchasing Heliocare from unauthorised sources could lead to health risk and complications. Buy only from authorised clinics, websites, and stores. If you’re unsure of the authenticity of your Heliocare products, please contact us and we’ll be happy to advise.