12 Reasons Your Sunscreen isn’t Working | Skin Solution 1O1

12 Reasons Your Sunscreen isn’t Working

Sun protection is a very important part of maintaining skin health and preventing various types of skin damage. Remember, sunscreen isn’t something that you’ll wear occasionally. Instead, make it a habit of applying sunscreen daily. However, if you find that your sunscreen is not working as effectively as expected, there could be several reasons behind this issue. Let’s explore some common reasons why sunscreen may not work as effectively as desired.

1. Insufficient Amount Applied- One of the most common reasons sunscreen may not work well is not applying enough of it. To get the SPF protection stated on the label, you need to use an adequate amount of sunscreen. Many people apply less than the recommended quantity, which reduces the actual level of protection. Apply 1 teaspoon of sunscreen on the face and build a perfect coverage. 

2. Not Reapplying as Needed- Sunscreen needs to be reapplied regularly every 2 hours, especially after swimming, sweating, or towel-drying. If you don’t reapply as directed, the protection possibly wears off, leaving your skin vulnerable to UV damage.

3. Using Water-Resistant Sunscreen Incorrectly- If you are swimming or sweating, use a water-resistant sunscreen. Remember that water-resistant does not mean waterproof, and you still need to reapply as directed. 

4. Expired Sunscreen- Check the expiration date on your sunscreen. Expired sunscreen may lose its effectiveness and may not provide a deliberate level of protection.

5. Incorrect Application Timing- Applying sunscreen too late can reduce its efficacy. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow it to tie up effectively to your skin.

6. Not Using SPF Adequate for Your Skin Type- Make sure you are using a high amount of SPF at least SPF 50 or higher, that can provide the intended level of protection.

7. Not Using Broad-Spectrum Certified Sunscreen- Ensure you are using a broad-spectrum certified sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause long-term damage like premature aging, while UVB rays cause sunburn.

8. Not Using Mineral Sunscreen- Mineral sunscreens contain active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients work by forming a physical barrier on the skin’s surface, reflecting and scattering UV rays away from the skin. Zinc oxide protects skin from UVA, UVB, and even UVC radiation which is responsible for premature aging, suntan, and sunburn. Titanium dioxide protects skin from UVB, which is in charge of melanoma or skin cancer. Not using a mineral sunscreen could potentially be a reason why your sunscreen is not working as effectively as expected

9. Not Covering All Exposed Skin- Ensure that you apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin, including commonly neglected areas like the ears, neck, scalp, tops of feet, and back of hands.

10. Not Using Sunscreen on Cloudy Days- UV rays can penetrate clouds, so it’s vital to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days.

11. Not Using Other Sun Protection Measures- Sunscreen is just one part of sun protection. No sunscreen can serve 100% sun protection. If you rely solely on sunscreen without seeking shade, wear protective or full-sleeved clothing, do not use sunglasses, and do not carry an umbrella, you may still experience sun damage. 

12. Combining Sunscreens with Other Products- Certain skincare products or makeup can interact with sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness. It’s essential to check compatibility or use products specifically designed to work together.


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