How to Reapply Sunscreen, What Professionals Says

Two dermatologists discuss best practices, including as how frequently and how much to apply

We all know how vital it is to apply sunscreen every day, but many of us are unsure of how frequently we should do so during the day. To get their professional advice on the best ways to reapply sunscreen, how much you should be applying, how to reapply over makeup, and other topics, we chatted with two dermatologists.

Best Practices for Sunscreen Application

There are several things to think about before applying sunscreen for the day. The founder and principal plastic surgeon at DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery, Dr. Jaimie DeRosa, who holds dual board certification in plastic surgery, says that the best practice is to use sunscreen every day, regardless of the season or type of weather. Yes, you need sunscreen even on a gloomy, cloudy winter day. Apply sunscreen as the final step in your daily skincare routine, and search for one with an SPF of at least 30. Whenever you can, try to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before stepping outside into the sun. Also, don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your neck and décolleté.

What Frequency Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

When outdoors or in the sun, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. “I make it easy on myself and just keep a small bottle or tube of sunscreen in the bag I’m carrying and in my medicine cabinet, just like you do for lip balm,” explains Dr. DeRosa.

Best Advice for Body Sunscreen Reapplication

Sometimes it can be challenging to keep in mind to use sunscreen throughout the day, let alone first thing in the morning. Dr. Tracy Evans, a board-certified dermatologist, Mohs surgeon, and medical director of Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology, says that even though it can be challenging to reapply sunscreen after swimming or perspiring, it is crucial. “When reapplying, make sure to shower or towel off, and then reapply—spray sunscreens can be helpful when you are super active, but make sure to rub them in and ensure you apply enough fluid.”

When outdoors or exposed to sunlight, you should reapply sunscreen to your body every two hours. Any area of the body that is exposed to the air is susceptible to UV damage, including sunburns and more serious problems including wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and loss of skin elasticity. Try to use a product that is more sweat-resistant when you’re perspiring heavily so that it won’t fly off your skin or drip into your eyes. There are many high-quality sunscreens available now that are designed expressly for sweating and water immersion. They also come in a variety of application forms, including spray and rub-on sticks.

Most Effective Advice for Reapplying Sunscreen to Your Face

Throughout the day, Dr. Evans advises using powder sunscreen to reapply sunscreen. “Try Supergood or Color eScience Brush-On Mineral Sunscreen Powder ($69,! SPF 35 PA+++ Resetting 100% Mineral Powder Sunscreen, $30;

The ZO® Skin Health Sunscreen + Powder Broad-Spectrum SPF ($65; is another product that Dr. DeRosa adores. It absorbs skin oils to lessen shine, has an easy-to-use brush applicator, is faintly tinted, and won’t smear your makeup, according to the expert.

How much sunscreen ought to be applied daily?

You should use the same amount of sunscreen on your face as you would your moisturizer, which is often a quarter-size. Don’t scrimp on your sunscreen, advises Dr. DeRosa. “You want to have enough product applied to give proper coverage.” Dr. Evans suggests using one ounce, or about a shot glass, of sunscreen on the body.

What to Consider When Buying Sunscreen

UV protection, ingredients, and “how it wears,” as Dr. DeRosa puts it, are the three qualities to look for in a sunscreen. In particular, you want to make sure that the sunscreen you’re wearing blocks both UVA and UVB rays. “Look for those with ‘broad spectrum’ UV coverage,” advises Dr. DeRosa. “An easy way to remember the difference between UVA and UVB is that UVA sun rays cause the skin to age, while UVB rays are bad and can cause skin cancer.”

In addition, you should search for the best substances for sun protection. “Well-formulated sunscreens will have ingredients that effectively block UVA and UVB rays and may also address skin concerns, such as redness or acne,” claims Dr. DeRosa. The two major methods that sunscreens function are through a physical or chemical barrier; generally speaking, physical sunscreens are safer because they don’t soak into the skin but rather rest on top of it to shield it from the sun’s harmful rays.

The majority of high-quality sunscreens are now micronized, which makes them apply smoothly and prevents the formation of a white residue. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are “physical” barriers to the sun. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), lactic acid, and Vitamin E are some additional components that may have added advantages, according to Dr. DeRosa. Niacinamide is beneficial for those with skin disorders like rosacea and acne because it’s an anti-inflammatory and reduces redness.

The sunscreen’s “wear” or “cosmetic elegance” is a final consideration. According to Dr. DeRosa, “I look for those that apply easily and smoothly, don’t leave a white residue, and, when desired, also give my skin a healthy tint.” “As a facial plastic surgeon, some of my favorites are ZO® Skin Health’s Sunscreen + Powder Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 Medium ($65, and EltaMD® Skincare’s UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 (it comes in Tinted and non-tinted) ($37,”

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