Sunscreen tips from a very pale person

60 Funny Pale People Problems That Other People Will Never Understand


  1. You need to plan out when you’re going to put your sunscreen on to avoid getting it all over your clothes.  You have the option of putting it on before dressing but I’ve found it can then rub off onto the clothes and then you’re forced to reapply and that can cause more of a mess and adds time to what can be a lengthy process. You can put your clothes on first and then try to work around them when you apply but either way you do it, you’ll most likely get some sunscreen on your clothes. Try to buy lighter colored clothes to make it less obvious but know that sunscreen can leave a yellow stain on lighter clothes.

  2. Look at the clothing you’re going to wear and apply your sunscreen accordingly. You want to make sure that any bare areas your clothes cause/aren’t covered- like V-necks or backs of arms/tops of shoulders if you’re wearing a tank top- are covered by sunscreen or else you’re going to have bizarre tan/burn lines for the rest of the season. Learn from my mistake of wearing a U-shaped t-shirt to a sunny baseball game and then spent the rest of the summer with a bright red bib on my chest that no amount of tan in a bottle could get rid of. Look at your clothes before you apply sunscreen so you’re guaranteed to get those bare spots.

  3.  Don’t go outside without first applying and letting the sunscreen dry for at least 15 minutes.  The sunscreen doesn’t instantly work on your skin and will need at least 15 minutes to absorb and become effective. If you’re already outside and applying a new layer, try to do so in a shaded area or your car so it can absorb better- take that time to sit back and relax and don’t move around a lot to make sure it doesn’t come off with whatever activity you’re trying to do- just sit and let it dry.  Don’t rely on the sun to dry your sunscreen- let time dry your sunscreen so it can be the most effective in protecting you.

  4.  Put sunscreen on spots you probably forget since those are the spots that are the most likely to get skin cancer. The tops of your ears, your eyelids, the back of your neck, your neck, the back of your hands, any bare spots on your scalp including your part(try to use a scalp sunscreen in this case or your hair can become super greasy and it may not work as well as a product specifically created for your scalp).  Sunscreen is basically your best protection against skin cancer so put it on spots you probably think aren’t important because those are the spots that will come back to haunt you later if they become cancerous.

  5.  If you’re able to, stay out of the sun from 10am to 2pm since these are the peak sun hours. If you can’t, try to be in the shade as much as possible and wear a hat with neck protection if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for a few hours. This will both keep your body cooler and protect your neck from being burned. Put on a new layer of sunscreen at least every two hours or more if you’re sweating a great deal. Just because you put it on in the morning doesn’t give you a whole day of protection. You need to keep putting it on especially if you’re sweating or in the water since both sweat and water will make it less effective.

  6.  Buy the highest percentage of sunscreen available if you’re going to be out in the sun for more than an hour.  SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 15 blocks 93%. SPF 100 blocks 99% so yes these percentages aren’t drastically different but if you’re going to be outside all day you want as much protection as possible and that 2-3% difference could add up with a full day of sun exposure.

  7.  Put on at least SPF 30 even if you’re just going to your office job all day. You still have to account for your time outside while you’re driving/ walking to and from your car/ your lunch break. You’re not just going to be inside an office all day without any exposure to the sun so you do need to have the minimum of sunscreen. Don’t count on your makeup with SPF in it to be your only protection either- the amount of SPF in your makeup is not the same as in a sunscreen since it’s not designed to be just a sunscreen-it’s also makeup so there’s more makeup in there than sun protection. You need to apply sunscreen under your makeup and treat the SPF in your makeup as an added bonus.

  8.  Keep multiple bottles of sunscreen in different places so you can always reapply. Keep a bottle in your purse and your work desk. If you keep a bottle in your car know that the heat of your car will basically make it useless since it’s like storing it in a hot oven if your car is in direct sunlight.  Make reapplying easy by having as many bottles of it around as you can- buy the mini sized bottles to make it cheaper and easier. The SPF tends to be lower on the smaller bottles but this should be your second layer so you’re adding to an already existing base.  Keep a bottle in the fridge to make applying it on an especially hot day a little more relieving/enjoyable.

  9.  Don’t assume that since you’re Hispanic/African American that you don’t need sunscreen. If you have skin, you need sunscreen.  People of color who do develop skin cancer are more often to receive a late stage prognosis because they often believe that their higher concentration of melanin- the pigment in skin that provides color- protects them from sun damage but it doesn’t- it simply provides you with skin color only.  Apply sunscreen regardless of your skin color because sun damage doesn’t care what race you are. If you aren’t putting sunscreen on due to it leaving a white film- which is obvious even on my pasty skin- avoid sunscreens with zinc oxide and look for a mineral sunscreen.

    1. The biggest takeaway from all of these tips is just put it on. You can prevent both sunburns and future sun damage with this simple step. Yes, it’s messy and a pain to put on but skin cancer is much, much worse than 5 minutes of being sticky.  If you do happen to get sunburnt, put aloe vera gel on it, take aspirin to help relieve the swelling, take multiple cold baths and let any blisters heal on their own.  Do not let your skin reach the point of blisters by the way- that’s second degree sun damage. Protect your skin now so it’ll protect you in your old age without being riddled with sun spots/wrinkles and skin cancer.

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