5 Ways You Need to Start Using Sunscreen Correctly. Wearing sunscreen is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. High-quality UVA and UVB protection can stop your skin from getting burned, minimize the appearance of wrinkles and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Experts recommend choosing a sunscreen that’s broad-spectrum and water-resistant, with an SPF of 30 or higher. Some even recommend picking a mineral sunscreen with zinc and titanium for everyday use. Mineral sunscreens, which are also known as physical sunscreens, shield the skin from the sun’s rays and tend to be less irritating and more moisturizing than chemical sunscreens. However, all of these only work if they are used correctly. Picking the correct sunscreen is only the first step in the sun protection process. Too many people make the cardinal mistake of messing up right from the application process. What’s at risk? Skin cancer is a biggie, but sunburn damage can include several smaller issues like damaging skin cells and blood vessels to make skin look older, more wrinkled, dry, discolored, and leathery. To reduce your sun damage risks and have healthier, sun-kissed skin, avoid these five common sunscreen mistakes and head outdoors without worry. Stop Using Expired Products. The FDA requires sunscreen to last three years. After that, it may be far less effective than mentioned on the bottle. Check the expiration date before applying, and if you don’t see one, assume its old enough to merit replacement. Reduce the Risk of Sun Damage with Even Coverage This little rule is simple. Apply sunscreen evenly if you want to make the most of the protection promised on the label. Go over exposed areas multiple times if needed to maximize coverage or try the spray-on sunscreens that don’t require any rubbing and can help you get more even protection. Simply continue spraying until a sheen appears all over your body to make sure you’re sufficiently covered. Don’t Wait Too Long to Apply We’ve probably all heard about applying sunscreen at least 20 minutes before stepping out, but how many of us take it seriously? Twenty minutes is about as long as it takes for your skin to absorb the protective ingredients in your sunscreen. This is why it’s essential to put some on before you’re wading around at the beach or pool. Wear Sunscreen Even When It’s Cloudy Even when the sun is not beating down on you, experts say 80 percent of its UV rays still reach your skin. While your windows can block UVB rays, UVA rays get through. So, regardless of cloud coverage, think about applying sunscreen like brushing your teeth – don’t go a day without it. Use Enough Product to Give You Proper Coverage Most people apply sunscreen in little dabs and risk sun damage. On days you’re headed to the beach or trekking outdoors for the better part of the day, coat your body thoroughly with at least an ounce of sunscreen to get the right amount of protection. Perhaps the most important thing besides these five critical points is remembering to reapply. A good rule of thumb says reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, more often if you perspire heavily or go swimming. Even water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen doesn’t protect you forever. Taking care of your skin is essential, and sunscreen might be your best chance of doing that.