When you buy a sunscreen that says SPF 30 on the package, you assume it will protect your skin with SPF 30. In fact, well-protected skin from the sun isn’t just about protecting your skin from the sun. Depends on the sun protection index but also depends a lot on how to apply sunscreen. And very few of us actually put on an adequate amount of sunscreen every day.
To properly promote the sun protection factor stated on the package, you will need to use the right amount of sunscreen, which is 2 milligrams per square centimeter for the average person. That equates to half a teaspoon on the face and neck – 1 teaspoon each for arms and legs, front and back.
Needless to say, we all use sunscreen without regard to dosage. So how much sunscreen should I use per day? Here’s what experts recommend about using sunscreen.
How much sunscreen should you apply per day?
All dermatologists, including Marisa Garshick, say: “To get the SPF listed on the sunscreen bottle, you should use 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin, which is the equivalent of a glass. for body”. “For the face, you should apply a layer equivalent to half a teaspoon, combined with the face and neck,” explains Garshick.
Since this is the amount needed to provide the right level of protection with the SPF listed on the bottle, it’s important to do this no matter where you are or what time of year you are.
For sunscreens where you can’t easily see how much you’re applying, you’ll have to rely on other techniques to make sure you’re applying the right amount. For stick-on sunscreens, it’s best to apply back and forth four times and then apply evenly afterwards for even coverage. For mist and spray sunscreens, you should spray on the skin until the skin is light and even.
The amount of product you apply is extremely important, but so is the SPF. Sunscreens with SPF under 30 are difficult to protect your skin from UV rays, collagen breakdown and skin cancer.
One inaccuracy that is still widely shared is that because SPF 30 blocks UV rays up to 97%, SPF 50 is 98%, and SPF 100 is about 99%, there is little difference between them. This is not correct. If you use the products on different areas of your skin you will notice a difference. By going from SPF 30 to SPF 50, you will see a difference of up to 1.5 times, which is a meaningful difference between SPF 30 and 50. Therefore, the recommended number is SPF 50.
In addition to looking for a high SPF, make sure the sunscreen you choose is designated as safe. That means it protects against both UVB and UVA rays, the latter of which cannot be addressed by SPF alone.
These SPF, application rules aren’t just for when you’re out and about. If you’re indoors and anywhere near a window, that window may block UVB rays, but probably won’t block UVA rays. “It’s best to use SPF 30 every day, even if you don’t plan to go outside,” says dermatologist Azadeh Shirazi.
The importance of reapplying sunscreen several times a day
You should reapply at least every two hours, but more often if sweating or soaking in water. But that means you don’t need to remove your makeup and reapply sunscreen all over your body every two hours. Garshick says clothing can offer some level of protection, such as a white cotton t-shirt with a UPF rating of 5.
So the time you spend outside determines the need to reapply sunscreen underneath your clothes. If you are exposed to direct sunlight or are outdoors or at the beach, it is best to wear UPF clothing to provide an extra level of skin protection.
Tight-knit clothing will provide the best protection if it is not a UPF-enhanced garment. You should apply a layer of sunscreen under clothing that is exposed to the sun a lot, but you should not reapply under clothing because sunscreen does not wear off quickly without direct sunlight or a lot of perspiration. .
However, because some body parts other than the face aren’t covered by clothing, Garshick says those specific areas definitely need to reapply sunscreen. “It’s important to remember to reapply to the scalp, hands, neck, ears, lips, feet, and other areas that may be exposed that you may not notice,” she says.
It’s also important to reapply sunscreen indoors – especially if you’re in a room with natural light. “If it’s bright enough for you to see, it’s the sun,” says Hirsch. If you’re indoors all day and aren’t near any direct sunlight, reapplying isn’t as urgent as many. But if you sit at your desk facing a window with sunlight, you should reapply sunscreen because UVA rays pass through glass.”
And remember, you’re not just protecting yourself from UVA rays when you’re indoors. “Although the majority of blue light exposure is from the sun, our digital devices emit high-energy light and some sunscreens can protect against this,” says Garshick. “.
Tips for applying enough sunscreen
The best way to make sure you’re applying enough sunscreen every day is to simply force yourself into a routine, just like you would a moisturizer. “Applying a moisturizer with SPF every day becomes a beneficial habit in the long run,” says Shirazi, who loves using moisturizers. But today, daily sunscreen has become more moisturizing, so there is no need to apply moisturizer first.”
If you don’t want to apply a lot of sunscreen, choose a sunscreen with a higher SPF. “The increased level of protection compensates for inadequate application of the cream,” says Hirsch. However, you also need to reapply every two hours when sweating or swimming or outdoors, which is a problem with the super high SPF.”
And finally, don’t forget that sunscreen is the most important part of your beauty routine, but it’s not the only one. It’s important to remember other sun protection strategies, including wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sun-protective clothing and avoiding peak UV exposure.