I know you’re applying sunscreen every day. But are you applying it the right way? Sunscreen isn’t like the other skincare products. Mess it up and it won’t work. So how do you NOT mess it up?
Here are all your questions about sunscreen application answered:
1. HOW MUCH SUNSCREEN SHOULD YOU APPLY?
Short answer: 1/4 of a teaspoon for your face. A small glass shot for the whole body.
Long answer: everyone’s face is a slightly different size. If your face is smaller than average, you can get away with applying a little less.
2. WHAT GOES FIRST: MOISTURISER OR SUNSCREEN?
There is not a right or wrong order. But I prefer to apply my moisturiser first. Two reasons:
- In studies, sunscreen is always the last product applied to the face – makes sense to use it as they test it.
- Touching your face after putting on sunscreen can disturb it, remove it and generally make it less effective.
If you want to do it the other way around, wait a few minutes after you’ve applied sunscreen to put on your moisturiser. That’ll give the sunscreen time to settle and adhere to your skin better.
3. CAN YOU MIX SUNSCREEN WITH MOISTURISER?
No! No! No! Please, Please, ladies, DO NOT do this!
I get it. A lot of sunscreens out there are thick and greasy. You just want to make it lighter and easier to use (and save yourself some time in the morning too).
But mixing your sunscreen with moisturiser (or anything else, for that matter), dilutes the SPF. Instead, than SPF 30, you may well be applying SPF 11!
Don’t risk losing SPF benefits
4. SHOULD YOU PAT OR RUB?
I’m Team Pat all the way.
I know, I know. Sunscreen is thick, it’ll take forever to pat it in. But science shows that’s the right way to do it.
5. HOW LONG DO YOU NEED TO WAIT AFTER APPLYING SUNSCREEN BEFORE GOING OUTSIDE?
20 minutes, give or take.
Let’s be clear: that’s NOT because your sunscreen needs to be activated. ALL sunscreens work straight away. But you know that sunscreen film I keep talking about? Well, think of sunscreen like paint. It you touch the paint before it’s dry, you’ll remove it. Sunscreen is the same. Touch your face before it settles and you’ll risk removing the sunscreen in those spots.
6. HOW LONG SHOULD YOU WAIT AFTER SUNSCREEN BEFORE APPLYING MAKEUP?
20 minutes, give or take.
Yes, I’m serious. I just told you sunscreen needs time to settle and form a film on your skin, remember?
You know what happens when you apply foundation straight after sunscreen? You remove it, that’s what. Let me say it again: anything that touches your face while the film is drying has the potential to remove your sunscreen and compromise its protection. If you really can’t wait that long before putting on makeup, lightly stipple your foundation on. It’s the gentlest way to apply it.
7. HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU REAPPLY SUNSCREEN DURING THE DAY?
It depends on how much sun exposure you’re getting during the day.
Let me explain. UV filters get deactivated by sunlight, can be rubbed off of your skin (for example, when you towel dry) or removed through sweat and natural oils.
But how long does it take for this film to become completely ineffective? That’s the million dollar question. You see, the sun’s rays are stronger in some hours (between 10am-4pm) and weaker in others. In winter, the sun is weaker and doesn’t stay around as longer. Sometimes, the sun is completely covered by clouds (but UVA rays will still get through).
Not to mention, you don’t spend the same time outdoors every day. When the weather’s sunny and hot, you can spend hours playing outside. Other days, you’ll just leave the house to get to work and back. On some days, you may not leave the house at all.
In other words, the amount of UV light your skin is getting depends on different factors. And how often you reapply your sunscreen depends on all these factors. If you’re at the beach, spend a lot of time outdoors, sweat or swim, you need to reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours (it’s easier if you keep your makeup simple).
If you’re getting very little sun exposure, like simply walking to your car and commuting to work, you may not need to reapply at all. Especially in winter. If you’re getting moderate sun exposure, reapplying once in the middle of the day may be enough. And when you’re in doubt, reapply it (better be on the safe side).
A word from Princess:
Do You Know Your Tone?
Knowing your skin tone is essential to a healthy skin care regimen. Learn what products are best for your skin. Take the Oh It’s Natural quiz today!