In this episode, I’m going to tell you how to use your sunscreen so it will really work. Summer Monday morning office visits usually include at least one frustrated, sunburn victim who complains, “My sunscreen didn’t work. I used a 15 all over my body, I used a 30 all over my body, and look what happened?” And I respond to that, “How often did you re-apply your sunscreen” And to that, I am usually greeted with a blank, gazed look and then finally the question, “What do you mean, re-apply?” In addition to re-applying your sunscreen, if you want it to work and if you want to get the full protection from it, you also have to make sure that you use enough. Think of how much you used on your entire body the last time you went to the beach? I’m going to show you in my hand how much you need for your face and how much you need to use for your whole body assuming that you are wearing a bathing suit. First, let’s take a look at your face. This is the amount that you need to apply to your entire face in order to get full protection and, for your body, you need this amount. This is about an ounce to an ounce-and-a-half. This is a 6 oz bottle of sunscreen. That means, under the best circumstances, you’re going to get 4, maybe 6 applications of sunscreen out of one bottle. That means, on a nice summer weekend, at best, you’re going to get two days from one bottle of sunscreen. When is the last time you used up a whole bottle of sunscreen in just one weekend? Getting back to my poor sunburned Monday morning patient. No matter what a sunscreen says on the bottle, you need to re-apply it. If it says it’s waterproof, it’s not, you need to re-apply. If it says it’s relatively water-resistant, you still need to re-apply it, because there is no sunscreen that is going to stay on your skin and not get washed off by your repeated motion in the water. The take-away here is re-apply, re-apply every time you come out of the water. If you’re a tennis player, if you’re a runner, you’re perspiring and perspiration does a wonderful job at washing off sunscreen. Re-apply your sunscreen between sets, re-apply your sunscreen after each activity that you’re doing outdoors that’s causing perspiration , and you probably don’t know this, but even if you’re not doing any activities, you’re just sitting under an umbrella at the pool or at the beach and you’re reading, you need to re-apply every 3-4 hours because you’re always perspiring even though you can’t feel it, and so sunscreen is always being washed off your skin, so very 3-4 hours, re-apply. And lastly, don’t pull an ostrich at the beach. Just because you can’t see a part of your skin, doesn’t mean the sun can’t. The areas that frequently get sunburned because we just don’t put sunscreen there are the tops of our ears, the back of our neck, the back of your upper thighs and even the tops of your feet because you put your sunscreen on before you took your shoes off. So remember, most sunscreens need to be in contact with the skin for about a half-and-hour for them to work, so apply them accordingly. Re-apply your sunscreen and use enough and that way you won’t become a Monday morning sunburn victim.