Professional Tips for Applying Sunscreen

Medical esthetician Candace Marino offers advice on helping clients to effectively protect their skin from the sun. Photo credit: Alexey Emelyanov/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Summer is here, and as people venture outdoors to enjoy the warmth of the sun, it's important to ensure clients are properly applying sunscreen to protect their skin from damaging UV rays. Medical aesthetician, Candace Marino, is here with her best practices for sunscreen application to offer to your clients.

  • Choose SPF 30 or higher. SPF 30 is considered to be the magic number for sunscreens, as this is what the American Academy of Dermatology recommends.
  • Apply sunscreen every day, even if when indoors, and even on cloudy days when up to 80 percent of the sun's rays are still penetrating the clouds. We often see more occurrences of sunburns on overcast days, because it gives people a false sense of security. Regardless of the weather or environment, sunscreen is needed every single day. This is a non-negotiable for healthy, beautiful skin. Making sunscreen a daily habit is going to be the best way to preserve one's complexion and ward off the signs of aging. The sun is the leading factor for skin aging, and sun damage is proven to make people look up to 12 years older than they are.
  • The first step is to find a formula that the client likes and enjoys wearing. The days of sunscreen feeling sticky and thick are over. Sunscreens have really evolved over the past decade and are now available in cosmetically elegant formulas that pack additional benefits, like hydration.
  • If someone is headed to the beach or plans to be outside all day, they need to apply SPF before leaving the house...not when they get outside. I see this mistake all the time, and I can't stress it enough. Apply it to the entire body before getting dressed. It's also important to be sure to apply it even to the areas that your clothing covers, because unless they're UPF fabric, they are not protective. Applying before leaving the house to ensure a thorough application.
  • Be sure to treat areas like the back of the neck, top of the head (for men), back of the ears, and lips! Lips are so important, as they are directly exposed to the sun and often forgotten.
  • Application for an adult body is 1 ounce, which is one shot glass full.
  • Reapply, every two hours minimum, and every time you get out of the water. For reapplication, I'm a big fan of sprays, especially when laying on the beach. Sunscreen mists make it easy and leave no excuse to not reapply.
  • Don't rely on sunscreen alone. Invest in a hat and a pair of sunglasses, as this will keep the sun off the face and prevent the skin from advanced aging due to sun damage. I like a UPF hat, which provides extra protection from the sun thanks to fabrics that are finely woven to prevent sun penetration. UPF clothing is also a great idea.