Does anyone in this group know how to apply sun care products?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


At first glance it seems like one of those insanely easy and stupid questions like "Who's buried in Grant's Tomb" or "what country did the Panama Hat originate in?"

I've asked the following question over the last 30 years hundreds of times to groups large and small. The question is, "Does anyone in this group know how to apply sun care products?" The reaction is usually one of amusement and frequently is accompanied by snickers and guffaws. I have even heard a few "Duhs" headed my way.

When I ask for a volunteer to demonstrate, they almost inevitably say, "Well, you take it out of the bottle and rub it into your skin."

The demonstration by the volunteer usually includes a vigorous rubbing motion, almost as though he or she were racing to see how quickly they could get the lotion into the skin.

I smile my little knowing smile that I am going to be vindicated after the snickers, guffaws and duh's and forcefully say (yell if the crowd is big), "Thank you and that is exactly WRONG!!!"

The fact is that most people don't know how to apply sun care and other lotions and what they don't know can hurt them in the form of a bad sunburn.

A Brief Lesson in Anatomy:

The top layer of your skin is called the epidermis and it is only about as thick as a sheet of paper. If you rub your sun care too quickly into the skin, it can penetrate into the dermis and leave you with a lot less protection than you think you have. We have dozens of our guests at our resorts around the world come to us daily and lament that they thought they were adequately protected but still got sun burnt. Incorrect application is one of the culprits.

How to Apply Correctly:
Instead of rubbing product quickly into the skin proper application involves "dabbing" and "laying" .... My ultra scientific terms! You see, different areas of your body are affected differently when exposed to UV.

When to "Dab"
In simple terms, anywhere the skin is close to the bone it is sun sensitive and you should "dab" a maximum sunscreen on those areas ... Nose, cheeks, d├ęcolletage for women, feet, bald heads etc.

When to "Lay"
The rest of your body is not as sensitive and you can "lay" a moderate sunscreen. Just take the product and smooth over the skin; you don't have to apply thickly.

Then wait 60 seconds before massaging the product the rest of the way into the skin. That way you have the full benefit of the SPF without rubbing away your protection.

This just isn't my personal theory, as a recent study in Australia proved, what I have been preaching for years is the real deal. 100 people were asked to apply an SPF 15 on their arms and an immediate spectrograph reading was taken after application. The average SPF left rated at an SPF 3! More than 30 people registered no SPF and the main reason for this phenomenal fact was improper application.

So, our products work great but only when you properly apply. Now you know!

Best regards