How often should you reapply sunscreen?

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As we are in the midst of summer, and we are heading to the beaches and swimming pools to enjoy the beautiful warm sunny days we should be applying sunscreen regularly. Sunscreen not only is the number one rule for sun protection but should also be included in any good skincare routine.

Not only it is essential to use sunscreen, but its reapplication is also very important. Regularly reapplying sunscreen makes your skin much better protected. Regularly reapplying makes your skin much better guarded against sunburn, skin damage, premature aging, and skin cancer.

How frequently to apply sunscreen

When it comes to reapplication of sunscreen as a rule you should apply sunscreen every 2 hours to provide your skin with persistent protection against sun damage. If you are outdoors sweating or are in a swimming pool you need to reapply sunscreen more often like every 80 minutes. Also make sure to read our article about when to apply sunscreen before makeup which is very insightful on this topic.

Furthermore, we should address a misconception when it comes to sunscreen and strength of SPF when it comes to sunscreen reapplication. If you are using a highest strength SPF this does not mean that you have extra time when it comes to sun protection. The strength and level of SPF refers to the amount of UV protection you are getting from the sunscreen and does not impact the time you are protected.

The strength of SPF in sunscreen

Sunscreen products are available in a variety of SPF levels which is a metric that is used to measure the level and strength of protection you receive against the UV rays. For example, a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 blocks 93% of UV rays, one with SPF of 30 blocks 97% of UV rays and one with a SPF of 50 blocks 98% of UV rays.

As you can see the percentage of protection increases slightly with the strength of SPF levels. No matter the level of SPF you use and the level of protection it offers reapplication of sunscreen must be done at least every two hours as we have mentioned earlier.

What is the right amount of sunscreen?

Since reapplication of sunscreen is an essential part of proper sun protection you may ask the question how much sunscreen do you need? Reapplication obviously means that the amount of sunscreen you will be using will increase since you are reapplying it more. But reapplication of sunscreen does not equate to smearing and covering yourself in an exaggerated amount of sunscreen.

There are several key factors to consider when applying sunscreen. Make sure you apply the sunscreen to your entire face and body. Furthermore, make sure to pay special attention to the more sensitive parts of your body such as under the eyes, back of your neck and top of your ears. Also, to make sure the sunscreen gets absorbed completely make certain to rub it thoroughly in to your skin.

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