How You’re Applying Sunscreen Wrong, Part 2

This time, we focus on the eyes.

There are 3 main ways that I’ve noticed people applying sunscreen incorrectly. Now scientists are noting another way we’re doing it wrong. Mainly, using SPF-boosted lotion when we should probably use actual sunscreen when applying it to our faces.

A research team at the University of Liverpool studied how people applied sunscreen and SPF-boosted face lotion and used UV sensitive cameras to see how much coverage the participants actually had on their face.

They found that, when participants applied SPF-boosted lotions, they had much less coverage around their eyes. The skin around the eyes is very thin and need extra protection. 10% of basal cell carcinomas in the UK are around the eye.

A face photographed with a conventional camera, a UV sensitive camera, with sunscreen applied and moisturiser applied – University of Liverpool

“If planning prolonged sun exposure, we advise sunscreen be used.”

Study author and consultant ophthalmic and oculoplastic surgeon, Austin McCormick, told the BBC, “The eyelid skin is very thin and this puts it at risk of UV damage. The area around the eyelashes and between the eyelids and the nose is least likely to be covered.” He went to say “If planning prolonged sun exposure, we advise sunscreen be used. If using moisturiser, we advise one with SPF: any SPF is better than none, but it should not be considered the equal of sunscreen.”

If using moisturiser, we advise one with SPF: any SPF is better than none, but it should not be considered the equal of sunscreen.”

This research suggests that we need to be better at applying our SPF-boosted lotions and/or use actual sunscreen on our face. They also note that big sunglasses can also help protect your delicate eye area from damaging UV rays.

If you don’t put sunscreen around your eyes because it stings, I’d suggest switching to a mineral sunscreen. I’ve noticed that chemical barrier sunscreens really sting, even in a face lotion but the physical barrier sunscreens don’t bother me. You can read more on types of sunscreen HERE.

You can read the actual report HERE.