Thin sunscreen applications still cause skin damage

Study shows how much is enough to protect

By Mark Collins - Meteorologist
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla - The next time you rub on the sunscreen be sure to lay it down real thick otherwise it won't protect the skin to the SPF rating listed on the bottle.

Thin sunscreen films applied to the skin tend to fill valleys and leave peaks that are only partially protected.

Researchers know most people don't apply sunscreen correctly so they wanted to study how much damage occurs to the skin.

Results showed most people apply half as much sunscreen as they should and get only 40% of the sunscreen protection.

It's best to use higher SPF which helps counteract skimpy applications but how much is enough?

Aim for a drop the size of a 2mg pill per centimeter of skin. 

Damage was reduced when sunscreen was applied at a thickness of 0.75mg/cm2 and considerably reduced when 2mg/cm2 of sunscreen was applied.

People often miss areas of the skin when applying sunscreen so its best to also rely on clothing and shade for protection.

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