It’s that time of year when you’re about to be bombarded with headlines about the importance of sunscreen and how/when/why to use it. All of that information coming at you at once can be overwhelming and hard to sift through.

So we’ve made it easy and compiled a scannable list of five of the best sunscreen tips out there, covering how much to use, when to reapply, and even where to store your sunscreen bottle.

1. Apply ½ teaspoon to your face and 1 ounce to your body.

The catch to reaping the most benefits from any SPF under the sun is that you need to apply enough product to reach the level of protection listed on the bottle. A general rule of thumb to follow is to apply a half-teaspoon of sunscreen to your face and neck and one ounce (a shot glass) of sunscreen to the exposed areas of your body.

Do yourself a favor and actually measure out your sunscreen the next time you go to apply it to give you an idea of how much to use. You might be surprised to find out that you’ve been under-applying this whole time!

2. Reapply at least every two hours, or after swimming.

As they say, all good things must come to an end, and that’s certainly true of the effectiveness of your SPF. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours when outdoors, or after swimming, soaking or sweating.

You might find it helpful to set a timer for yourself to reapply your sunscreen when lounging by the pool or beach, where it’s oh-so-easy to lose track of time.

3. Don’t rely on SPF in makeup or moisturizer.

Have an SPF foundation or moisturizer you love? Excellent! Just don’t skip out on a standalone sunscreen – use both! The trouble with SPF makeup is that most people do not apply nearly enough of the product to achieve the level of SPF listed on the package. So you end up with less coverage than you think you have.

Instead, consider using a tinted sunscreen on days when you’re going for a more natural look. You can layer tinted sunscreen to achieve the shade you want, while getting maximum sun protection. Win-win!

4. Don’t leave sunscreen in a hot car or direct sunlight.s

You know that bottle of sunscreen that’s been rolling around in the back of your car for months? Or the one at the bottom of your beach bag you totally forgot about? Chances are, it’s time to toss those bottles out and start fresh.

Exposure to heat and light will cause the active ingredients in your sunscreen to break down much more quickly than normal, making the SPF ineffective. It’s best to store sunscreen in a cool, dark place when not in use.

And while we’re on the subject of effectiveness, sunscreen does expire, so make sure you check the expiration date on the bottle. The FDA requires all sunscreen products to maintain their same effectiveness for at least three years, so you can use the same bottle from last year, as long as you’ve stored it properly.

5. Give your skin a break from the sun, even when wearing SPF.

SPF is a life-saver, literally, but that doesn’t mean it gives you total immunity from sun damage or dehydration from the sun and heat. Remember to give your skin (and body!) a break from the sweltering sun throughout the day. Seek shade, wear a wide-brimmed sun hat, and cool off frequently during peak sun hours between around 10am and 3pm.

Protect your skin and practice safe sun with 15% off any PCA Skin sunscreen all May long, purchase here. If you are ready for your yearly skin check or want to be seen for a complimentary consultation please fill out the online form here, or call 561-486-9339.