A Perfect Guide to Applying Sunscreen

Everyone knows the importance of applying sunscreen on a hot summer day. It protects you from painful sunburns and skin diseases and can even help you maintain a more youthful appearance. What many people don’t know, however, is how to use their sunscreen in a way that ensures maximum benefits. Fortunately for you, we’re here to help! Keep reading to learn about the best way for applying sunscreen. how often you should use it? and everything else you need to know.

Should I Wear Sunscreen Every Day?

Though many people think they only need sunscreen if they’re planning to go outside. Most experts recommend applying sunscreen every day, including cloudy days and days you spend indoors. The sun’s UV rays can penetrate heavy cloud cover and glass windows. So you may be getting sun exposure without even realizing it. To ensure that your skin is always protected from harmful UV radiation, it’s best to make applying sunscreen a daily part of your skincare routine. Having that constant sun protection will benefit your skin in the long run, keeping it young and healthy. It even reduces the risk of many skin cancers.

When to Apply Sunscreen: Before or After Moisturizer?

Female hands applying sunscreen on her leg, on the beach. Sunbathing.

As with many skincare products, the order in which you apply sunscreen relative to your other products is surprisingly important. We’ve written about the importance of order in a skincare routine before, but for the sake of brevity, we’re not going to go into as much detail on the subject here. All you need to know for now is that applying your skincare products in the wrong order can diminish their effectiveness, keeping your skin from looking its best.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to apply your sunscreen after moisturizer, but before makeup. Applying sunscreen before moisturizer (or mixing the two products) will interfere with its ability to create a UV-blocking barrier, reducing its effectiveness. Applying it after makeup has a much more apparent pitfall: clumping. If you’re applying liquid sunscreen after powdery makeup, they’ll both form a sort of paste and become effectively useless. When applying sunscreen, work it into your skin and make sure it’s completely dry before putting on your makeup. This ensures that you’ll have great sun protection alongside a great makeup style.

How Long Does Sunscreen Last on Skin?

Woman at the beach with sunscreen

While knowing when to wear sun protection is important, it’s just as, if not more important to know how often to reapply sunscreen. Sunscreen typically doesn’t last all day, and if it wears off in the middle of your outdoor excursion, you’ll get sunburned whether or not you applied it to begin with. 

Dermatologists typically recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating heavily. The higher level of moisture can wash away your sunscreen, which makes it extremely important to reapply regularly if you want to avoid sunburn. If you’re spending the whole day indoors, though, you can wait a bit longer between applications, around 4-6 hours. We recommend setting reminders on your phone to reapply so that you’re never caught without a fresh coat of sunscreen.

Does Spray Sunscreen Work?

Woman applying sunscreen using spray suntan lotion on arm

Spray sunscreen is popular because of its convenience, but does that convenience come at the cost of effectiveness? It’s complicated. If applied properly, it works just fine, but there are a few notable drawbacks and considerations for safe usage. For example, you should still rub spray-on sunscreen into your skin, even if it doesn’t seem necessary. Just spraying from a distance increases the chance that you’ll have uneven protection from the sun. Rubbing the sunscreen in once it’s sprayed on helps to even out the distribution, allowing for a more even application.

Safe application is especially important when it comes to your face area. It should go without saying that sunscreen isn’t safe to ingest or inhale, so when applying spray sunscreen, close your eyes and mouth, and hold your breath.

Simply put, spray sunscreen will work in a pinch, but the lotion is far more effective, so it’s worth keeping both around to take advantage of their unique properties.

What Does SPF Mean?

Woman's face into a shield makes spf protection from ray

SPF is an indicator of how effective the sunscreen is at blocking UV rays. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t affect how long the sunscreen lasts, though it’s still an important factor to keep in mind. If you want to tan, for example, use a lower SPF sunscreen. It’ll allow just enough UV light penetration to help you get the perfect tan while avoiding sunburn. If you want more complete, robust protection, high SPF sunscreen is the way to go.

Looking for more great skincare tips, tricks, and products that’ll have you feeling youthful and refreshed? Feel free to visit our site at NinthAvenue today!

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