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Skincare · June 17, 2015

Your Sunscreen Might Not Be Working as Well as You Think

When it comes to SPF, whether it's an old school cream or a high-tech wet skin spray, making sure your skin is protected is all about the application. A UK writer for the Daily Mail learned this the hard way after she tried a, wellilluminating experiment.

The 28-year-old tested six different sunscreens including a moisturizer with SPF, spray formulas, and traditional sunscreen lotions and photographed the results using a special camera that measures how much UV light is reaching the skin. The darker the photo, the better protected her face is. Some show major missed spots, and in the one taken after using spray sunscreen, her skin looks barely protected at all.

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Why such a drastic difference? Certain formulas make it easier to cover up. Clear sunscreen sprays make it hard to see where we're applying, and we tend to scrunch up our faces when they're sprayed, making missed spots more likely. While the SPF 50 cream got the best result, it wasnt because it had the highest protection factor. Instead, the writer chalks it up to her meticulous application and the fact that the formula had the smoothest texture, making it the easiest to spread evenly.

The moral of the story? Make sure you're sufficiently covered. For tips on how to protect your skin, watch this video about how to avoid sunburn, get familiar with the new sunscreen rules, and don't miss these commonly missed spots.

Author

Wendy Rodewald-Sulz

Recovering gel manicure addict, amateur Spotify DJ, expert roller skater.