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How Often to Reapply Sunscreen? 10 Sunscreen Tips and Tricks

By Mariela
September 6, 2023
7 minutes
How Often to Reapply Sunscreen

Are you tired of watching every other person on social media screaming that you need to reapply sunscreen while a few contradict the statement? So, are you wondering which of both parties is right and how you should go with your sunscreen application routine?

If yes, we will be happy to help you here because both sides are right up to a certain extent. Sunscreens offer a limited amount of protection and the reapplication solely depends on how much sun rays you come across daily and which SPF you are using. 

Therefore, we are going to explain if you really need to reapply the sunscreen and how often should it be reapplied in this article.

Why Should You Apply Sunscreen Daily?

Why Should You Apply Sunscreen Daily?

There are two types of UV rays that reach from the sun to us. These include UVA that are involved in causing long-term changes to the skin like premature aging and cancer while UVB is mainly involved in causing short-term effects like skin pigmentation and sunburns.

Both of these rays are harmful to the skin but they can be prevented from reaching the skin by the application of sunscreen. Whether you are going outdoors or staying at home with open windows and whether the sun is shining to its fullest or hidden behind the clouds, you need to apply sunscreen daily.

Moreover, all your expensive skincare goes wasted if you are not protecting it from the sun as dermatologists say. So, it is better to invest in sunscreens rather than spending more money on night creams and similar products because sunblock is the basis of skincare.

Do You Need to Reapply Sunscreen?

Yes, sunscreen reapplication is mandatory. Although a number of sunscreens have been developed with advanced formulations and skin-protecting ingredients, there is not a single sunscreen that will protect you for a whole day with a single application.

This is because when the sunscreen is exposed to the sun’s rays, it withers away by breaking down after a certain period of time. Additionally, it is diluted and wiped by sweating, touching the face, and using makeup over it.

Therefore, it is important to reapply sunscreen every few hours depending on your routine and exposure to sunlight.

What SPF Should You Use?

What SPF Should You Use?

SPF, also known as sun protection factor, is the measure of the strength of sunscreen and how much time you can spend in the sun with it. For example, a sunscreen with SPF 15 will offer 93% protection against the sun, SPF 30 is effective for 97% of sun rays, SPF 50 for 98%, and SPF 100 for 99%.

There is a huge difference between SPF15 and SPF30 making SPF insufficient against sun rays. On the other hand, SPF 30 and above is recommended for everyday use as they block most of the sun’s rays. Additionally, it is better not to use SPF100 because it makes you think you have enough protection for the day which is not possible.

How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

It totally depends upon your routine including the time of sun exposure, swimming, sweating, attire, and SPF factor. It means that you will need to reapply sunscreen more often if you spend time in direct sunlight instead of the shade, are wearing clothes that do not cover your body and face, swimming or sweating has wiped the sunblock away, or the SPF factor is low.

On average, sunblock needs to be reapplied every 90 to 120 minutes when you are outdoors constantly. However, this frequency is less if your office is closed, you stay at home, the windows do not let much of the sun rays in, and you are not sweating.

So, it is good to make a habit of reapplying sunscreen every two hours on your work or vacation days and about 2 times a day when you are staying at home.

How Much Sunscreen Should be Reapplied?

How Much Sunscreen Should be Reapplied?

A general rule of thumb is to apply about 2 to 3 fingers or ¼ of a teaspoon of the lotion or cream sunscreen on the face and the neck when you are applying for your first application in the morning. 

For the body, the amount varies according to the area that is visible from your dress. About 1 teaspoon for arms and 1 teaspoon for legs is enough. 

Furthermore, when you are reapplying the sunblock, the amount depends upon the type of sunscreen reapplication product you are using.

Methods to Reapply Sunscreen

Below are some methods you can use for an easy application of sunscreen throughout the day.

Sunscreen with a Beauty Blender

A beauty blender is a good technique to use when you do not want to spend on several sunscreens and use the one you do in the morning. For this, take 1 to 2 teaspoons of sunscreen on the back of your hands and your beauty blender.

Then take a small amount of sunscreen on the beauty blender and put it on your face by dabbing gently until all of it is blended. Additionally, a lotion sunscreen works better for application with a sponge. So, check out the 10 best sunscreens for summer here. 

Sunscreen Spray

Sunscreen Spray

Sunscreen sprays are a good method of sunscreen reapplication for germaphobes as it does not involve contact of the product with your hands which might not be sanitized enough.

To apply this, keep the product about half a meter away from your face and spray the mist for 10 to 20 seconds. After that, gently dab the spray into your skin.

Sunscreen Stick

Sunscreen sticks serve as a great alternative to sunscreen sprays as they prevent the wastage of the products as in the case of sunscreen spray. A sunscreen stick offers greater protection and is feasible to use.

Simply glide the stick around your face and neck about 3 to 4 times in each area of the face and then use your fingers to blend it ensuring that no section is left unprotected. Moreover, you can look for the best sunscreen sticks here. 

Sunscreen Powder

Sunscreen Powder

Sunscreen sticks might make your face look shiny and also move your makeup. So, sunscreen powder comes into play here. These products are specifically manufactured to keep your makeup intact and offer enough sun protection. Additionally, you give a matte finish to make your makeup look fresh.

Sunscreen Tips and Tricks

Let us see what dermatologists and skincare experts say about the application of sunscreen. So, here are some tips and tricks by professionals.

1. Never Miss Your Neck, Chest, Eyelids, and Ears While Applying Sunscreen

Never Miss Your Neck, Chest, Eyelids, and Ears While Applying Sunscreen

Your neck, chest, eyelids, and ears are as vulnerable to sun rays as your face. So, do not forget these parts while applying sunscreen over your face to ensure that your body is as ageless as your face.

2. Select Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen

A mineral sunscreen contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and forms a physical barrier on the skin while a chemical sunscreen contains oxybenzone, avobenzone, and similar chemicals that absorb UV rays.

Mineral sunscreen is hypoallergenic and good for sensitive skin but difficult to apply. In contrast, a chemical sunscreen is easy to apply but may irritate the skin. So, you should carefully evaluate which sunscreen will suit you more by giving how to choose the best sunscreen here.

3. Use an SPF Containing Lip-Balm

Use an SPF Containing Lip-Balm

You do not want your lips to be darkened or burnt by the sun, right? So, dermatologists recommend using a lip balm with SPF to nourish your lips along with protecting them from the sun. A lip balm with SPF 30 or above does the job well.

4. Wear UV-Protective Clothes

Sunscreen is the most important part when it comes to sun protection. However, it is not enough when the weather is too hot and the sun is too bright. So, wear UV-protective sleeves, sun-resistant hats, and evening long dresses to cover your legs.

Furthermore, you can find ways to protect yourself from the sun by following the tips mentioned in tips to skin safe in the sun

5. Apply Multiple Coats

Apply Multiple Coats

Application of 2 fingers of sunscreen on the face at once may be difficult to blend. So, you can apply it in multiple coats. Depending upon the thickness and blendability of your sunscreen, divide the amount into 2 to 3 parts.

Then apply 1 part, blend it, and apply the next ones gradually.

6. Use a Sunscreen Stickers

How often you need to apply sunscreen can be a little confusing. So, use a sunscreen sticker over your arm. Apply sunscreen over this patch and notice the color changes. It indicates when you need to reapply the sunscreen.

7. Choose the Right Amount of Sunscreen

Choose the Right Amount of Sunscreen

If you think applying sunscreen regardless of the amount you use is enough, let me tell you a fact. You must 2 mg of sunscreen over 1 sq cm of your skin. Using any quantity less than this is insufficient and you might develop pigmentation and wrinkles even after using sunscreen.

8. Dab the Sunscreen

Another trick dermatologists recently introduced is dabbing the sunscreen in the skin instead of rubbing it hastily. Rubbing the products makes most of it get onto your palms and reduces the amount applied to the face.

So, wash your face, put on the sunscreen, and dab it for a few seconds before blending it in the skin with your fingers.

9. Use Sunscreen on Your Body as Well

Use Sunscreen on Your Body as Well

Just like your face needs sunscreen, your body requires it as well. You do not need to use the same sunscreen on your body as that on the face because it might not be economical.

So, buy sunscreen body lotions and use the recommended amount on your body as well.

10. Wait for 15 to 20 Minutes Before Going Out

A sunscreen must be applied 15 to 20 minutes before going out. It is like the downtime during which sunscreen is absorbed into the skin offering maximum protection when you go out.

Conclusion

Dermatologists have been convincing people to wear sunscreen regularly and reapply it every 2 hours for a long time. However, the statement is confusing for most people as they are unaware of the reason behind it.

So, let us tell you that sunrays reduce the effectiveness of sunscreen. This is the reason why you need to apply sunscreen every few hours throughout the day. You can use a powder, stick, spray, or lotion sunscreen for reapplication.

Moreover, it is important to note that the first sunscreen application of the day is the most important part and it is just boosted by the reapplication. So, never skin the application as well as reapplication of sunblock for younger-looking radiant skin

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