10 Skin Cancer Mistakes Even Smart Women Make
3. Bug Spray and SunscreenThe Mistake: You put on bug spray before sunscreen.
Sunscreen needs to bind with clean, dry skin in order to be effective, so anything you apply beforehand (including lotion or makeup) may reduce its effectiveness. In addition, because sunscreen is highly absorptive, putting it on top of repellent may cause your skin to soak up more of the chemicals in the bug spray.
The best advice: Apply sunscreen first, wait 20 minutes, and then mist skin lightly with insect repellent.
Keep in mind that DEET-based sprays aren't necessarily the best choice: When you apply these repellents on top of sunscreen, you can reduce the sunscreen's effectiveness by as much as 30 percent, according to Xiaochen Gu, PhD, a professor of pharmacy at the University of Manitoba. For added protection against bugs, wear clothing that contains a built-in repellent, like Buzz Off, sold at L.L.Bean and Orvis.
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