Sunscreen Application Tips for ‘Don’t Fry Day’

The Friday before Memorial Day is known as "Don't Fry Day". A dermatologist tells us just how much sunscreen we should be slathering on this holiday weekend.

Media Downloads

CCNS health and medical content is consumer-friendly, professional broadcast quality (available in HD), and available to media outlets each day.

Additional Assets

*Email us for video download password Content is property of Cleveland Clinic and for news media use only.

Media Contact

We're available to shoot custom interviews & b-roll for media outlets upon request.

CLEVELAND – The Friday before Memorial Day is known as ‘Don’t Fry Day’.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer and sunburns increase your risk, that’s why it’s important to protect your skin from the sun.

Sunscreen is a good place to start but according to Melissa Piliang, MD, a dermatologist with Cleveland Clinic, many people don’t use enough.

“You should be using more sunscreen than you think you should and more than you are,” she said. “Studies have shown that people apply only 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. So, what is the recommended amount? You should apply one ounce to cover your whole body. That’s the amount in a shot glass.”

Dr. Piliang said one eight-ounce bottle of sunscreen should last a family of four one day at the beach – that’s two applications for each person.

She adds it’s important to put on enough to get the full SPF protection listed on the bottle, so don’t skimp.

For people who prefer lotion sunscreen, you’ll want to apply a good coat that’s visible on your skin and then rub it in.

If you’re using a spray sunscreen, find a ventilated area and do two or three passes until you have a good, shiny coat and then rub it in.

So, what sunscreen does Dr. Piliang recommend? She said the best sunscreen, is the one you’ll actually use.

“You want to look for one that’s labeled broad spectrum. That means it protects from both UVA and UVB,” Dr. Piliang said. “You want to look for one that’s water resistant. That means it’s stickier to your skin and stays on up to 80 minutes in the water. And you want to look for at least an SPF 30.”

Dr. Piliang reminds us sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours and also after sweating, swimming or toweling off.

For Journalists Only

Sign up below to be added to our Daily Health Stories distribution list.

For more information on medical conditions and diseases, visit our Health Library.