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HOW MUCH SUNSCREEN TO USE

A little exposure to the sun can be a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, health experts recommend exercising and enjoying fun, recreational activities outdoors – just as long as you do it safely. Protecting yourself from sunburn is an essential part of this healthy mindset, and this guide fills you in on how much sunscreen you need to use for it to be effective.

How much sunscreen should you use?

People tend to be on the stingy side with their sunscreen, only applying 25-50 percent of the amount that’s recommended by dermatologists for coverage. However, it’s important to apply enough of it to shield your skin in areas your clothing won’t cover. 

You don’t need to slather it on, either, as you only need about 1 ounce of it to fully cover your body. To gauge how much this is, mentally picture that an ounce fills up a shot glass or is enough to fill two tablespoons.

How much sunscreen is enough for the face?

Did you know that the most constantly exposed skin is on your face? It is, so you’ll definitely want to apply sun protection to your visage. 

Here’s how much sunscreen to use on the face: About 2 mg of sunscreen per square cm of skin, and that translates to about ⅓ to ½ of a teaspoon of sunscreen, depending on the size of your face.

If you don’t have any spoons on hand, this amount is roughly equivalent to the length of two of your fingers. That much sunscreen leaves enough coverage for your ears (including their tops) and neck, too, so don’t forget them. Be mindful that skin cancer can form on your lips; apply lipstick or lip balm that contain sunscreen to protect them.

How often should you apply sunscreen?

You should apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes before heading out. Once you are outdoors, you should reapply sunscreen to your body and face at least every two hours. Comparatively, for beach days or long days in the sun having fun, dermatologists recommend reapplying sun protection every 90 minutes. Additionally, you should reapply sunscreen after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating. Apply it immediately after drying with a towel in this case.

How often should you apply sunscreen if you are indoors?

Even if you prefer to spend your time indoors, that doesn't mean you can skip the sunscreen! SPF 30 is the very minimum recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology, so as long as you are inside, that SPF level is good. It’s also an excellent rule of thumb to use mineral sunscreens since they are safer than chemical sunscreens. 

And, whether it’s for your facial area or full-body coverage, it’s best to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a maximum SPF of 50 like Project Sunscreen’s Aboriginal Dots if you will be spending time outside.

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen in these places!

Now that you’ll never have to ask “how much sunscreen should I use?” again, you should also be aware of spots on your body that are the most often overlooked when applying sun protection:

  • Your head & scalp: If you are rocking the bald look, your bare head needs sunscreen – period. Applying a daily SPF not only reduces skin cancer risk but also helps prevent premature age spots that can form on your head. Top off your scalp in the places where it’s parted with a comb or hair is thinning, too.
  • Eyes & eyelids: Up to 10 percent of skin cancers occur on your eyelids, and sunglasses that block UV rays can prevent glare and protect your peepers and lids. Furthermore, if you want to avoid the white marks sunglasses can leave behind, there are eyeshadows with SPF that keep your eyelids lovely and protected from the sun.
  • Feet: Burnt tootsies are no fun, whatsoever, so when you are walking around outside in flip-flops or sandals, SPF is a must-have for your feet and toes.
  • Hands: If you think the lotion that you get on your palms and fingers after applying sunscreen to your body protects your hands from the sun, think again! Be sure not to forget to apply sunscreen to the backs of your hands, a spot on the body that is highly visible to the suns harmful rays!

Give Yourself the Sunscreen You Need

Your skin needs sun care protection daily, not just when you’re frolicking at the beach. With the right sunscreen and application, you’ll give yourself the best sun protection possible. Now that you know how much sunscreen to apply to your face and body, be sure to review Project Sunscreen’s collection of dermatologist-developed sunscreen products that are appropriate for babies, kids, teens and adults.


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