How to Apply Sunscreen Correctly?

9 Easy Ways to Apply Sunscreen Correctly

Having the right understanding of sunscreens is crucial in protecting your skin from UV rays, neon lights and blue light from your computer that you are faced with every day.

How much sunscreen should I use? How often should I reapply it? If these are some of your questions then you are not alone.

Today, we are going to take you through the easy steps of applying sunscreen correctly. Let’s get started!

Apply Enough Sunscreen 

apply sunscreen guide

Whether you are facing sunlight, neon lights, blue light from your devices or even going out when it’s cloudy, don’t let your guard down. Sunscreen should be applied daily and at the right amount – not too much and not too little either.

Sunscreen acts as a protective barrier against radiation and should, therefore, be applied adequately on both the face and body. Applying too little will not be sufficient for protection and applying too much will make the sunscreen too thick and gooey to rub into the skin.

Additionally, applying too much may also leave stains on clothes or an uneven skin tone on your face if you are wearing makeup. 

Use Together with Vitamin C to Protect Your Skin

Vitamin C can be easily destroyed by sunlight. Hence, the best solution is to apply sunscreen alongside products that contain vitamin C to nourish the skin at night.

During the day, apply physical (UV rays reflection) or chemical (UV rays absorption) sunscreen to protect your skin. The more regularly you apply sunscreen, the slower your skin cells will be destroyed.

Sunscreen works best when used together with Vitamin C that helps with brightening the skin. 

Apply Small Dots of Sunscreen Across Your Face

To apply sunscreen correctly, gently spread your sunscreen into 5 small dots across your face, 1 on the forehead, 2 on the cheeks, 1 on the nose and 1 on the chin. Spread this evenly across your face in the same direction.

Afterward, apply another thin layer of sunscreen on top. A tip is to not apply the sunscreen all at once as this will cause it to become too sticky. 

Apply Sunscreen Before Applying Treatment Cream

A common theory often mentioned by dermatologists is that chemical sunscreen is more effective if applied directly to the skin. On the other hand, physical sunscreen should be applied after skincare treatment creams and moisturizers.

Currently, there is not much evidence to back up the claim that chemical sunscreens should be applied before treatment creams. Applying sunscreen before moisturizer can also cause stickiness. Hence, the rule of thumb is to always apply sunscreen as the final step in your skincare routine. 

Apply Sunscreen Daily 

how apply sunscreen correctly

The best skin protection is to apply sunscreen daily and reapply it to increase effectiveness by 2 – 3 times. This is an important step to remember because people tend to apply less than is needed.

If you are often in the office or indoors then applying once a day is enough. However, if you work outdoors with strong sunlight and winds or swim, you will need to reapply sunscreen every 2 – 3 hours throughout the day to remain protected.

There are many benefits associated with wearing sunscreen such as:

  • Protects the skin against UV rays and prevents the skin from being sunburned
  • Protects skin from wrinkles and premature aging
  • Helps strengthen the skin especially after applying nourishing cream. Sunscreen helps a lot in maintaining healthy skin. 
  • Reduces the risks of skin cancer. In fact, a study in Australia has found that people aged 25 – 75 years who have been regularly applying sunscreen for over 10 years have lower risks of skin cancer compared to those who don’t use sunscreen. 
  • Sunscreen helps to prevent acne from becoming inflamed. Although it is not as effective as acne gel for curing, it helps to prevent the acne from developing in the first place. 

Apply Sunscreen Before Going Outdoors

It can take approximately 15 – 20 minutes for chemical sunblock to absorb into the skin. As for physical sunscreen, you can apply it as soon as you are outside.

Remember to choose sunscreens that are well protected by both UVA/ UVB and are waterproof and sweatproof. UV rays can penetrate through clothes, therefore, apply sunscreen from head to toe before going outside especially if you are going to be exposed to sunlight for a long duration. 

Use Sunscreens with Zinc Oxide as an Ingredient 

Zinc Oxide is an active ingredient in physical sunscreens that protects the skin by reflecting UV rays. The advantages of physical sunscreens are that it can block both UVA, UVB, visible light, infrared light and is effective immediately after application.

Today, physical and chemical sunscreens are often combined. Don’t forget to read your labels when purchasing your sunscreen!

What are the Side Effects of Not Applying Sunscreen?

Reapply Every 2 Hours 

To optimize the effectiveness of sunscreens and achieve the best results of sun protection. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours when outside.

All water sports activities from swimming to diving need to reapply sunscreens regularly. Sports enthusiasts should definitely go for sunscreens that are thick in texture and are water-resistant for longer-lasting effects. 

Many brands are becoming innovative and have developed sunscreen sprays for both face and body that also adds moisture to the skin.

Therefore, there are many options for you to choose from. Once you have the right sunscreen for you, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen throughout the day!

Use Cosmetics with Natural Ingredients (Mineral Makeup) 

You should always go for mineral-based power because it is 100% natural and is free of chemicals and parabens. Mineral-based cosmetics include ingredients such as Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide that are also found in physical sunscreens but require at least 1 teaspoon to effectively protect the skin.

Hence, for the best protection apply sunscreen even if you have makeup on already. 

How Often Should I Apply Sunscreen? 

how often apply sunscreen

Yes, sunscreen should be applied frequently even if the sunscreen has a high SPF or PA value. The effectiveness of sunscreens can decrease immediately when faced with dust, smoke, water or sweat.

Here’s a little tip – always carry a sunscreen with you. That way, you will remember to reapply it every 2 hours and keep your skin protected throughout the day. 

How Much Sunscreen Should I Apply? 

  • The right amount for the face each time is equivalent to 2 finger joints before applying on to your body. 
  • For water, gel or spray sunscreens the required quantity is more. For the right amount,  pour into your palm the equivalent of a coin. 
  • Once you are done with applying sunscreen on your face, don’t forget about the body. Make sure to apply sunscreen to all parts of your body including the neck, back and ears. In fact, ears can get easily sunburned. Applying sunscreen all over the body is vital as UV rays can harm any part of the body. 

What Goes On First: Sunscreen or Treatment Cream? 

  • The first thing that should be applied on the skin is essence or serum that has a light texture. 
  • Followed by either lotion or cream
  • Finally apply sunscreen as it will act as a barrier to protect both the skin and the skin’s moisture. Once this is completed, apply treatment creams. 

So What SPF is Best? 

The SPF value depends on your activity each day. For example, if you are going to be mostly indoors then SPF 8 to SPF 15 is sufficient.

It is recommended to go for sunscreens that are waterproof and sweat resistant with UVA protection. The sunscreen should have an SPF of 30 or higher and PA ++ or more if you are going to be mostly outdoors. 

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