how to apply suncreen

How to Use Sunscreen

Want to get the most out of your SPF? Here’s how to use sunscreen correctly to shield your skin from damaging UV rays. 

We all know that sunscreen is a non-negotiable step in our skin routines, irrespective of the weather. It helps shield your skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause sunburn and up your risk of developing skin cancer. But so many of us don’t know how to use sunscreen correctly. Are you facing trouble determining when to apply sunscreen, how much to use, and how often to reapply it? If you need some help navigating the world of SPF, we have got you covered. Here's how to use sunscreen correctly to get maximum sun protection. 

Pick the right type

All sunscreens are not created equal. So, the one-size-fits-all approach does not work when picking an SPF. For the best results, you need to determine whether you need chemical sunscreen or a physical sunscreen would work best for you. Here’s what you need to know about the sunscreen types:

  • Physical sunscreen: Also known as mineral sunscreen, this formula contains active ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. The tiny particles of these ingredients sit on your skin’s surface and prevent harmful UV rays from penetrating the skin. Physical sunscreen scatters and deflects harmful UV rays away from the skin and is an excellent option for you if you have sensitive skin. These formulas are less likely to irritate sensitive skin.
  • Chemical sunscreen: Chemical sunscreens, as opposed to physical sunscreens, absorb UV radiation using active chemicals such as oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate. Oxybenzone is an ingredient that works by absorbing UV rays and turning them into heat. The skin then allows this heat to escape. Chemical sunscreen is thinner and easier to spread on your skin. Therefore, it is ideal for everyday use. But it takes time to absorb. After applying sunscreen, wait 15-30 minutes before sun exposure. 

Opt for a broad-spectrum formula

Do you want to know how to use sunscreen for overall sun protection? Once you have picked the right type, you need to pay close attention to the SPF level. The SPF should be at least 15, and ideally, 30 or more if you spend a lot of time outside. Ensure the sunscreen's label reads "broad spectrum” as a broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVB and UVA radiation, whereas non-broad-spectrum sunscreen only protects against UVB rays. 

Apply generously

 When it comes to applying sunscreen, more is more. Are you guilty of using a pea-sized amount of sunscreen and stepping out in the sun? You aren't using enough. If you skimp on sunscreen, you are at a higher risk of sun damage even after regular sunscreen application. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, for an adult to completely cover their body, they typically need about one ounce of product–the equivalent of one shot glass or about two tablespoons. For the face alone, you need a nickel-sized dollop. If you are using a sunscreen spray, make sure to do so until the skin has an even shine. 

Don’t forget to reapply

Are you in the habit of applying sunscreen in the morning and considering yourself safe from the sun's harmful rays for the entire day? Think again! If you want to learn how to use sunscreen correctly, you need to reapply it constantly. According to a survey published in 2021 by the AAD, only about 33 percent of Americans reapply sunscreen as often as recommended, which leaves the skin unprotected. This can cause sun damage and lead to fine lines and wrinkles. According to the FDA, for complete suncare, you should reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and more often if you are sweating or jumping in and out of the water. 

With so many sunscreen options available on the market, are you struggling to choose the one that actually gives results? Dr G Sun Block SPF 50 is an excellent option if you are looking for a sunscreen that shields your skin against UV damage, pollution, and blue light. If you are not a fan of thick sunscreen formulas, you can try Dr G Sun Protection Gel SPF 50. Do you want to learn more about how to use sunscreen for maximum sun protection? Book a consultation with me here.

Back to blog