The sun protection paradox: How you apply sunscreen—and shield your skin—now could protect you even 40+ years later
In this article :
This photo of a 92-year-old woman went viral. Tweeted by Dr. Avi Bitterman and originally published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, it shows the markedly different skin health of her face (where she had used UV-protective moisturizers) compared to her neck (where she hadn’t). Her neck was covered with deep wrinkles and age spots.
The importance of sun protection. Something we've heard a thousand times, right? Many skincare products already contain sunscreen ingredients, so you might think that's enough…especially if you also wear a hat or sun protection clothing. But WAIT!
Even the most diligent among us make common mistakes in sun protection routines, so we're here to reveal what you might be doing wrong – from under-protecting tattoos to using 25% of the right amount – and how to aim for 92-beautiful.
Using Too Little Sunscreen (and not re-applying)
Let’s start off easy – you know you should re-apply, but almost 2/3 of people forget to do it. For the best results, professionals recommend reapplying sunscreen every 2-3 hours (water and sweat reduce this time significantly).
Just as importantly, pay attention to how much sunscreen you’re using. Most adults need the equivalent of ¼ teaspoon for their face, and 1 shot glass for their body. If you like UV protective clothing, look for sun shirts and hats with a UPF 50 rating, which keeps 98% of UV-A and UV-B rays from getting through.
Applying Sunscreen Only to the Face
Most of us think about our face first when it comes to sunscreen, but what about the rest of your body? According to the Cleveland Clinic, 6-10% of skin cancers are ear cancers, and research shows that 3-15% of melanomas occur on the feet or ankles.
Apply it to every area exposed to the sun, including your neck, ears, scalp, and feet. And don't forget the areas around your eyes! This delicate area is the reason we created the Franz NAKED Sunshield Peptide Patch … to ensure full UPF protection.
Missing Tattooed Areas
Did you know that tattooed areas need more thorough sunscreen application? Prolonged sun exposure can cause tattoos to fade or blur. This applies not only during the initial healing phase of a tattoo but also after it has fully set. Ideally, the best protection is clothing that prevents direct sun exposure. Otherwise, applying high-performance sunscreen every 2 hours is crucial for active protection.
Ask your skin artist if NAKED Sunshield is an ok way to both show off and safeguard your tattoo – it’s transparent and lasts up to 12 hours.
Skipping Sunscreen Indoors or When It’s Cloudy and Rainy
UVA rays have longer wavelengths and can penetrate clouds, rain, and even windows. Moreover, they can permeate the epidermis of your skin, making sun protection necessary 365 days a year.
Taking a long drive? “Truck driver face” is real! You need sun protection on that road trip. Running in the rain? Ditto. Hiking on a cloudy day? Again, yes.
Make sun protection part of your skincare routine every single day, and you have the best shot at minimizing sun damage, no matter your age.