Most of us know the unwritten rules on how to be sun-safe: wear protective clothing, seek shade when it gets too hot, hydrate and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly.
You need to apply sunscreen to face and to all other exposed parts of your body to prevent the sun from damaging your skin. However, it is harder to cover all parts, especially your back, if you are alone.
Here are some ideas to apply sunscreen to your own back to ensure every part of you skin is well protected. So how to apply sunscreen to your own back?
Use An Applicator
There are several good products in the market designed to help you apply sunscreen on your own back. Usually paddle-shaped, they are made from silicone, wood, metal or plastic, some with rollers or removable heads for easy use and cleaning.
If you are using an applicator;
- Simply squeeze some sunscreen onto the applicator and gently reach the applicator behind your back.
- Apply your sunscreen in a circular motion for wider coverage.
Most applicators are nonabsorbent, washable, and reusable.
Note: Make sure you clean your applicator thoroughly with warm water and soap before you store and use it again.
You could also make a DIY applicator using items around your home such as a paint roller or backscratcher brush. To avoid wasting your sunscreen, wrap a nonabsorbent material on your DIY applicator.
The Plastic Wrap Method
Using plastic wrap to apply sunscreen on your own back is an easy enough technique and can be done in less than 5 minutes.
- Cut a three-foot length of plastic wrap.
- Pour a generous amount of sunscreen on the center of the wrap.
- Hold the wrap with the side that has the sunscreen against your back and pull the ends back and forth, like you are drying your back after taking a shower.
- Repeat the motion until your whole back is covered.
Note: You may need a couple of plastic wrap pieces to cover your whole back
If you don’t have plastic wrap, you could substitute it with any plastic sheet option at your disposal that does not absorb your sunscreen.
Another good and easy way to apply sunscreen on your back is using spray sunscreen.
- Make sure you are not near heat or open flame.
- Hold the spray bottle with the nozzle close to your back and spray generously.
- When you use spray sunscreen, it can be hard to tell if it is enough. We recommend that you spray until your skin is glistening.
- After spraying, gently rub it in to get even coverage. You could either use your hands or a piece of cloth to reach your back.
Note: A lot of sunscreen will be wasted if you are using spray sunscreen on a windy day.
Try The Yogi
If you are up to it, you could try some arm stretching yoga poses to apply sunscreen on your own back.
- Squeeze some sunscreen on your forearms and the back of hands up to the elbow.
- Gently place your arms behind your back with the sunscreen-covered part against your back.
- Move your arms up and down in windshield-like motion.
- Repeat the motion until your back is well covered.
- You could use your open palms to apply sunscreen around your shoulder blades and lower back.
Regardless of which method you use, make sure you apply your sunscreen 15–20 minutes before going outside. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours. Reapply every hour if you are swimming or sweating.