You know it’s important to brush your teeth more than once a day—well, the same can be said about applying sunscreen. This is especially true during the summer months, when your time spent outdoors increases and you’re generally making your sunscreen work hard while it wards off the damaging and dangerous effects of UV exposure. That’s why reapplication is so vital. Whether chemical (filters that absorb UV rays) or mineral (filters that reflect UV rays), sunscreen starts to break down when it’s exposed to sunlight, so generally you want to be reapplying it every two hours and immediately after any activity that would make it wear off sooner, such as swimming or exercising. Here’s everything you need to know about how to reapply sunscreen.
First things first: Apply it right the first time. You’ve no doubt heard it countless times, but here it is again: Sunscreen is essential all year round. That’s because UVA rays (the ones responsible for aging your skin, skin cancer and long-term damage) are ever present and strong, capable of penetrating clouds and glass. But with UVB rays being stronger during the summer (especially between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.) and the ones that cause burns, you definitely don’t want to get caught without sunscreen. Depending on how fair you are, you can burn in as little as five minutes if you’re not protected.
As a rule of thumb, use a Sunscreen is essential of at least SPF 30 (SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and indicates how well it protects against UVB compared to your bare skin) and make it your last step in your skincare routine but before your makeup. Allow your sunscreen to settle before you put your makeup on. Wait 15 to 20 minutes before heading out to ensure that your SPF will be effective. Use at least a teaspoon for the face to get the maximum protection, and make sure you spread it out evenly beyond the middle of the face. Areas like the top of the forehead near the hairline, the jawline and the sides of the cheeks and neck tend to get neglected in terms of adequate coverage. And don’t forget your neck and décolleté.
Look for the best sunscreen that suits your skin type. An ideal sunscreen for combination tooily skin is La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dry Touch SPF 60 Facial Sunscreen. It’s a non-sticky gel cream that provides a matte finish. If you prefer a tinted option, try one of the best mineral sunscreens: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral One SPF 50+ Tinted Facial Sunscreen will even out your skin tone and, even better, blend well over your makeup when it’s time for a top-up. Here’s how to apply SPF over makeup: Put a teaspoon on the back of your hand and, using a makeup sponge, lightly dab it on in dots all over your face and blend it in small areas. Makeup-wise, stick to liquid or cream rather than powder products; it will make blending seamless and avoid caking. By the way, it’s not advised to rely exclusively on foundation with SPF. Typically, people do not apply enough to get sufficient protection, but you can definitely layer one on top of your SPF if you like. And pop your sunscreen—even a travel-size one—into your handbag. Seeing it will remind you to do touch-ups.
When it comes to how to reapply sunscreen on your body, you should apply the equivalent of a shot glass to all your exposed areas. As mentioned earlier, when you’re swimming or sweating, you need to reapply immediately. Otherwise, you can do it after two hours. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Fluid SPF 50+ Body Sunscreen is an ultra-light, oil-free formula that’s easy to reapply thanks to its non-sticky finish.