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How often should you reapply sunscreen? Have you ever considered that maybe you should be reapplying sunscreen more than just once a day?
One of the biggest mistakes people make with sunscreen is not reapplying it often enough. If you apply sunscreen once just before you head out and then you’re at the beach for 6 hours, you are not protecting your skin enough.
Interestingly, sunscreen is not just for the summer months. All studies show that exposure to the winter sun can do as much and sometimes even more skin damage. Read the full discussion here – Do You Need To Wear Sunscreen In Winter? What the Research Shows. You’ll be surprised at how much damage the sun can do to your skin in winter.
A Quick Word About Benefits Of Sunlight Exposure And Dangers Of Over-Exposure
There is plenty of evidence that sunlight exposure offers several health benefits – 9 Powerful Health Benefits Of Sunlight.
So many people feel down and experience SAD symptoms in autumn and winter. This is because of the lack of sunlight during these months. This makes it even more important to make the most of the sunlight during spring and summer. But there’s a fine line between getting sufficient sunlight and over-exposure.
Exposure to sunlight is important but protecting your skin from over-exposure is just as important. Too much sunlight without appropriate protective measures can increase the risk of painful sunburn, skin damage, premature aging, and skin cancer.
If you use sunscreen before spending time in the sun, that’s great! You’re already adhering to the number one rule for sun protection.
But there are a few other sun protection rules that are just as vital – choosing the right type of sunscreen for your skin, and knowing how much and how often to apply sunscreen.
Understanding what is SPF, how it works, and how to choose the best SPF for you is key to keeping your skin protected against harsh UV rays.
So How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?
This study, ‘When should sunscreen be reapplied?’ suggests that you should apply sunscreen liberally to exposed areas of skin about 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun. This should be followed by reapplication of sunscreen to exposed area about 15 to 30 minutes after sun exposure begins.
This is advice you should take very seriously if you’re very fair-skinned, you have very sensitive skin, or you’re out in the sunlight during peak hours between 12 noon and 3 pm.
For everyone else, the following advice holds good:
How often should you reapply sunscreen when you’re in direct sunscreen for extended periods?
When you’re in direct sunlight, the maximum time between sunscreen applications is 2 hours. This might be when you’re spending the day at the beach or hiking, or spending the afternoon mowing the lawn or setting up a family BBQ. In these cases, you will have continued sun exposure, so reapplying about every 2 hours is ideal.
How often should you reapply sunscreen when you’re spending the day partly outdoors and partly indoors?
If it is a typical day where you spend some time indoors and some time outdoors, and your sun exposure is not constant, then reapplying after about 4-6 hours should is good. However, if you have skin that burns easily or your skin starts to feel warm while standing outside, you may need to reapply sunscreen sooner. When it comes to skin protection, it’s better to err on the side of too much sunscreen rather than too little.
How often should you reapply sunscreen when swimming?
It’s best to reapply sunscreen as soon as you get out of the water, whether you’re swimming in the ocean or in your backyard pool. Do this even when you’re wearing water-resistant sunscreen.
No sunscreen is 100% water-proof. Some of it does get washed away in the water. It’s best to reapply sunscreen to make sure that your skin is fully protected.
If you’re in and out of the water, reapply sunscreen every time you get out of the water. If you spend more than 2 hours at a time in the water, you’ll need to step out
How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen Indoors
According to Cancer.org, there’s no need to wear sunscreen when you’re indoors. As you’re not in the direct sunlight, there’s low risk of sun exposure.
However, you may need some protection if you’re spending a lot of time in direct sunlight by a window or in a sunlit room. Even then, screen is usually not necessary. Protective clothing may be enough to keep your skin protected.
Chemical vs Mineral Sunscreen – Which Is Better?
When discussing sun protection, it’s really important to understand the benefits of mineral sunscreen vs chemical sunscreen and why mineral sunscreen is the better option both for your skin and the environment.
If you spend long hours outdoors during summer, take your skin protection to the next level with these 12 simplified sun safety tips.
What Happens If I Don’t Reapply Sunscreen Every 2 Hours Or 4 Hours As Recommended?
Without timely reapplication, you’re at higher risk of painful sunburns, premature aging, skin damage, and skin cancer. This is because sunscreen wears off through perspiration or when swimming, leaving your beautiful skin unprotected. You need to reapply sunscreen to give your skin the protection it needs.
How Much Sunscreen Do I Need?
You need about 1 ounce of sunscreen to ensure your face, neck, arms, and legs are completely protected. When you squeeze the sunscreen into your palm, 1 ounce should completely cover your palm.
Should I apply sunscreen before or after other skincare products?
Both are equally effective. Whether you should apply sunscreen before or other skin care products depends on your preferences and your skincare routine. Most people find it easier to apply sunscreen before applying moisturizer or makeup. Others prefer to apply it after.
Is makeup with SPF good enough to protect my skin?
No, it isn’t. Makeup is not enough to protect your skin by itself if you’re spending the day outdoors in the sun. This is even if it has high SPF. Makeup is not formulated as a sunscreen. It may help only if you’re spending a limited time outdoors.
When Should I Apply The First Layer Of Sunscreen?
You should apply your first layer of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you head out into the sun. This gives the sunscreen sufficient time to get absorbed into the skin. If you apply sunscreen just before heading out, most of it will get washed away in the heat and perspiration, leaving your skin unprotected.
Keep in mind that no sunscreen offers your skin 100% protection. Even when wearing sunscreen with high SPF and reapplying it as recommended, it’s still good to bolster your skin protection with light cotton, full-sleeved clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and a pair of sunglasses and seek shade whenever possible.
Too much sun exposure without enough sunscreen? These 12 Home Remedies For Sunburn help soothe skin fast.
Also, read about the Benefits Of Aloe Vera Gel For Face and how to use it to soothe sunburn if you have sensitive skin.
In addition to preventing sunburn, these 10 essential summer skincare tips will help keep your skin healthy and glowing all season long.
Best Mineral Sunscreens to buy:
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.