The best New Year’s resolutions are the ones you can actually keep. Studies show that nearly half of Americans never use sunscreen and those that do, only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount.1-4
Start the New Year right with one of the easiest things you can do to prevent skin cancer—wear sunscreen daily, even when it’s cloudy!
Top 10 Sunscreen New Year’s Resolutions:5-10
1. Limit time in midday sun.
UV rays are most intense from 10 am to 2 pm, so take precautions if you are out and about. Use sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays, NOT to stay out in the sun longer. Watch out for bright surfaces too. Sand, water and snow reflect UV and increase exposure.
2. Dress in protective clothing.
Head, chest, shoulders, and feet have the highest UV exposure and as a result are at greatest risk for the development of skin cancer. Seek shade and wear UPF protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. And remember, being under a shelter doesn’t provide 100% sun protection!
3. Apply Broad Spectrum SPF daily.
Daily sunscreen application not only protects against sunburns but also helps protect against up to 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and up to 90 percent of skin aging. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends choosing “broad spectrum” to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
4. Apply sunscreen in commonly forgotten spots.
Don’t forget to apply to ears, nose, lips, back of neck, hands, tops of feet, along the hairline and areas of the head exposed by balding or thinning hair.
5. Apply the correct amount of sunscreen.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends applying enough sunscreen to cover all skin not covered by clothing.
Most adults need about 1 ounce — or enough to fill a shot glass — to fully cover their body.
Since it can be difficult to determine how much spray sunscreen is enough, the AAD recommends to spray until your skin glistens.
6. Know the approved forms of sunscreen
Approved forms of sunscreen include: lotions, oils, creams, butters, sticks, gels, pastes, sprays. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized the marketing of nonprescription sunscreen products in the form of wipes, towelettes, powders, body washes, or shampoos.
7. Don’t forget to reapply.
Reapplication is recommended at least every 2 hours or when the likelihood of sunscreen having been removed is high: after swimming or sweating and immediately after towel drying.
8. Check the expiration date.
To make sure that your sunscreen is providing the sun protection promised in its labeling, the Food and Drug Administration recommends that you do not use sunscreen products that have passed their expiration date. If it doesn’t have an expiration date, discard within 3 years of purchase.
9. Avoid tanning beds.
There’s no such thing as a safe tanning bed, tanning booth, or sun lamp. Use a sunless tanner to achieve the desired skin look, but you’ll still need to practice sun safe behavior including proper use of sunscreen.
10. Get your skin checked regularly.
A board-certified Dermatologist can check for signs of skin cancer and other skin diseases.
Click on the image below to download today’s Skincare Monday infographic! Make sure to share it with colleagues and patients.
1. https://practicaldermatology.com/news/realself-sun-safety-report-majority-of-americans-dont-use-sunscreen-daily Accessed 1.5.23 Original source: 2020 RealSelf Sun Safety Report | RealSelf News Accessed 1.5.23
2. Most Americans don’t use sunscreen, study shows. Most Americans don’t use sunscreen, study shows — ScienceDaily Accessed 1.5.23
3. Neale R, Williams G, Green A. Application patterns among participants randomized to daily sunscreen use in a skin cancer prevention trial. Arch Dermatol. 2002 Oct;138(10):1319-25. doi: 10.1001/archderm.138.10.1319. PMID:
12374537. Accessed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12374537/ 1.5.23 Also referenced by the AAD: https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/shade-clothing-sunscreen/sunscreen-faqs
4. Holman DM, Berkowitz Z, Guy GP Jr, Hawkins NA, Saraiya M, Watson M. Patterns of sunscreen use on the face and other exposed skin among US adults. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Jul;73(1):83-92.e1. doi:
10.1016/j.jaad.2015.02.1112. Epub 2015 May 19. PMID: 26002066; PMCID: PMC4475428.
5. https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/ Accessed 1.5.23
6. UV Radiation. https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/uv-radiation-safety/index.html#:~:text=The%20two%20most%20common%20types,by%20exposure%20to%20UV%20radiation. Accessed 1.15.23
7. Sunscreen FAQs – AAD. https://www.aad.org/media/stats-sunscreen
8. US FDA. Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun | FDA Accessed 1.5.23
9. How to use sunscreen sticks and sprays – AAD How to use stick and spray sunscreens (aad.org) Accessed 1.5.23
10. Sander M, Sander M, Burbidge T, Beecker J. The efficacy and safety of sunscreen use for the prevention of skin cancer. CMAJ. 2020 Dec 14;192(50):E1802-E1808. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.201085. PMID: 33318091; PMCID:
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