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How To Use Sunscreen

How to apply sunscreen correctly to stay sun protected?

Do you know the secret to foolproof sun protection? It all sums down to How to apply sunscreen correctly?

Whether you're braving the winter cold or soaking up summer rays, one skincare essential stays the same – sunscreen. And even dermatologists suggest that it's not just about slapping on sunscreen. The 'how,' 'when,' and even the 'which' of applying sunscreen- all make a difference.

Applying sunscreen stands out as the simplest way to defend your skin's health and appearance, regardless of your age.


How do sunscreens work?

Sunscreens work to protect against the negative effects of sun exposure or sunlight in the skin. Regular use of sunscreen not only helps in preventing sunburn but also reduces the risk of photo or sun-ageing aging signs or even skin cancer.

“SPF measures how well sunscreen shields against UVB rays, causing sunburn and skin cancer.
A Broad-spectrum sunscreen safeguards from UVA and UVB rays, along with infrared (IR) and visible light which contribute to skin aging and cancer risk.”

Many of us believe that the higher the SPF, the longer and better the sun protection. But let me set the record straight – this belief is a misconception. It's not just regarding the SPF number; it's about applying the sunscreen correctly.

Don't fall for the myth; let's uncover the truth about how to effectively protect your skin.

4 Common know-how regarding the use of sunscreens:

When to apply sunscreen?

The most suitable time to use sunscreen is 15 to 20 minutes before stepping out in the sun. Rub it onto the areas exposed to the sun liberally until you see the product!

Reapply after you’ve been in the water, after any sweat-inducing activity, or after one to two hours—whichever comes first.

How often should you apply a sunscreen? Stick to the two-hour rule: Apply before stepping out? Reapply an hour later. Easy peasy! And if you tend to forget, put a timer on your phone to give you a friendly nudge.

Wearing another round of sunscreen can crank up your sun protection two to three times to prevent sunburn.

Sunscreen Benefits

How to apply sunscreen on face?

“The World Health Organization (WHO) advises applying sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure, followed by reapplication every two hours, and repeating after swimming or bathing.”

5 Steps to apply sunscreen:

1. Give the sunscreen a good shake to ensure any clumped particles mix well.

2. Apply a face serum and a gentle moisturizer keeping in view your skin type and skin concerns, such as acne/pimples, sensitive skin, dryness, etc.

3. “Use sunscreen generously” to help block out any harsh rays. How much sunscreen to apply on face? A general guide is about two fingers full lengths on your face and a handful to cover your entire body.

4. Cover all exposed skin, including ears, back, shoulders and the back of knees and legs.

5. Apply generously and thoroughly, but exercise caution when applying sunscreen around the eyes.

Where to apply sunscreen?

Skin cancer or sun-exposed damage can occur on any body part, even those not directly exposed to UV rays.

Often overlooked areas include the tips and back of the ears, exposed scalp, back of the neck, around the eyes, and the tops of the hands and feet. To ensure full coverage, experts recommend applying sunscreen before getting dressed and reapplying to all exposed skin. Just be cautious around the eyes!

Spray-on or stick types of sunscreen are highly convenient as they can be re-applied on the go easily when you are out and can be used without the tension of ruining your make-up.

What to look for while buying the best sunscreen for you?

Is Sunscreen Necessary
  • Your skin type plays an essential role in choosing a skin or hair care product. Water-based or gel-based sunscreens suit acne-prone or oily skin. Matte Finish sunscreens control shine and oiliness, leaving a natural-looking matte complexion.
  • If you have dry skin, search for a moisturizing sunscreen that includes skin-softening emollients in its formulation, like sodium hyaluronate, aloe vera, and more.
  • Don't assume a higher price means better quality; effectiveness isn't always tied to cost.
  • Be mindful of expiration dates, as some sunscreen ingredients may degrade over time.
  • Finally, applying sunscreen on hair too. Hair sunscreen functions to nourish your hair and scalp while keeping them sun-safe.

Take away

Many people apply sunscreen wrong! It's not just about SPF; proper application is key. Sunscreen is a year-round must—focus on 'how,' 'when,' and 'which.' Forget the misconception regarding SPFs; pay attention to applying it right. Follow guidelines, reapply, and choose wisely for healthy, youthful skin. Also, protect yourself from sun damage: Stay indoors during peak UV hours (10 am to 3 pm), seek shade when outside, and wear a wide-brimmed hat for maximum UV protection.

Here's a straightforward approach: (1) Slather it on before heading into the sun and (2) Reapply within the first hour. No biggie!


Ques. How to use sunscreen?

Ans. Apply a broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen liberally on the exposed skin. This should be done at least 15 to 20 minutes before the sun exposure. Make sure of even coverage, and don't forget areas like ears, the back of the neck, and the tops of the hands.

Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently in case of swimming or sweating.

Remember, using the recommended amount and reapplying is the key to effective sun protection even on cloudy days.

Ques. When to apply sunscreen before or after moisturizer?

Ans. Are you confused about applying Moisturizer or sunscreen first? Use a sunscreen after moisturizer. Start with your moisturizer, allowing it to get absorbed into the skin, and then layer on sunscreen for sun protection. This ensures your skin stays hydrated while benefiting skin from the sun-blocking properties of the sunscreen.

Ques. Can we apply sunscreen directly on face?

Ans. Yes, you can apply sunscreen to your face directly. As recommended, you can do so by gently rubbing it in, ensuring even coverage- use the two-finger recommended quantity on the face. For optimal protection, use sunscreen daily as the final step in your skin care practice and before applying make-up.

Ques. Can we apply powder after sunscreen?

Ans. Yes! Once the sunscreen has been properly absorbed, feel free to use powder for a matte finish or to set your makeup. You can also use a Matte Sunscreen for a natural-looking matte complexion, and control shine and oiliness.

Ques. Is sunscreen necessary?

Ans. Yes, sunscreen is a necessary skincare product. Protection against harmful UV rays, prevention of sunburn and oxidative stress, early signs of aging or photo-aging, and reducing the risk of skin cancer are sought-out uses of sunscreen that can’t be ignored. Wearing sunscreen every day results in healthy skin and safeguarding against sun damage.

Ques. How often to apply sunscreen?

Ans. Ensure lasting protection by reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours or more, especially when swimming, sweating, or towel-drying. Stay sun-safe all day long!

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