How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

how often should you apply sunscreen

Sunscreen is not just for the beach, ladies!!! Sunscreen is sooo important for keeping your skin youthful and healthy. Not only can it prevent wrinkles and sunspots, but it can prevent skin cancer, too. Sunscreen is the key ingredient to beautiful SNATCHED skin. Gone are the days of sun-kissed tans and bronzy skin. Protect your skin, people! 

Dermatologists recommend you wear sunscreen every day (yep, every day) and you reapply often. However, so many of us get super busy and caught up in what we’re doing and forget to put our sunscreen on again—or we forget to put it on all together! This can have short-term AND long-term consequences. You’ve gotta keep that sunscreen on!!!

So, today, we’re dedicating our post to all things sunscreen. We’ll discuss how often you should apply sunscreen and list out the best time to do so. Here’s what you need to know:

how often should you apply sunscreen

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen? Um, Is ALWAYS An Answer?

Sunscreen should be applied every 30 minutes - 2 hours. Yep. That much. Let’s not forget that your skin is an organ—your biggest organ—and it’s exposed every day to dangerous UV rays. It needs to be protected to prevent skin cancers and various signs of aging. And, you should wear sunscreen no matter what your day holds, even if you’re just chilling at home. Seriously, you experience UV rays in waaay more places than you think. 

when to apply sunscreen

When To Apply Sunscreen (Aside from ALL THE TIME.) 

When in front of a screen. 

A lot of us are under the impression that only light from the sun can damage our skin, but even light from screens is dangerous!! 

Blue light from electronics can speed up the formation of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. So . . . wear sunscreen even when sitting at your computer or scrolling your phone. (Hear more about the damaging effects of blue light in this episode of Get the F*ck Out of the Sun.)

When driving—and when in airplanes!

It’s true you won’t get sunburned inside of a car or airplane, but the UV rays are still damaging. Windshields and windows only block out UVB rays, not UVA rays. In fact, a majority of skin cancers form on the left side, which is more exposed when driving!! 

And, when you’re in an airplane, it’s even worse. Your closer proximity to the sun can cause significant sun damage. A 2015 study said an hour flight at 30,000 feet is the same as 20 minutes in a tanning bed. Uhhh . . . NO THANKS! Apply sunscreen, wear BOUGIE DRIVING GLOVES, and keep that sunshade down. (Maybe take a quick peek over the mountains.) 

When hanging out near a window.

Again, windows don’t block out all UV light. So if you’re working or lounging by windows, you need to regularly reapply sunscreen. 

When it’s cloudy outside.

Just because the sun is covered by clouds, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for sunscreen. Ask yourself, “Can I see??” And, if you can see, there’s light present. If there’s light present, then there are damaging UV rays. 

Sun exposure doesn’t just happen when you can see the sun in the sky! Apply sunscreen on cloudy days . . . and when you’re in the shade too. The light is reflecting off of everything. 

When around water or snow.

Speaking of reflecting… sun exposure and sun damage can actually be magnified by reflective surfaces. Snow and water can be some of the worst culprits of UV exposure (even without heat). You can get bad sunburns from the amplified sun rays, so wear your sunscreen around snow and water no matter the season. 

. . . so every day all day. 

Yeah, so basically wearing sunscreen no matter what is a good rule of thumb. Chances are you're going to encounter a screen, a window, some water, or, you know, the sun herself sometime in your day. Sunscreen will help keep you looking young and keep you healthy!! 

how to put on sunscreen

How To Put On Sunscreen

Step 1: Choose the right sunscreen.

There are sunscreens for alll skin types, so make sure you choose something that serves your skin's specific needs. (Like if you have sensitive skin you should probably go for something moisturizing. Or if you’re dealing with acne, you should choose a non-comedogenic option.) 

However, all skin types should look for sunscreen that's spf of 30 or higher. Honestly, spf 50 or higher is better! And, make sure it offers "broad spectrum UV protection." This means it protects from both UVA and UVB lights. (Remember, both are no good!!) 

Beyond that, you have the choice between chemical sunscreen and mineral sunscreen. Here are some of our fave TSC-approved sunscreens:

Step 2: Apply it BEFORE exposure.

Most sunscreen actually takes 15-20 minutes to work. So, you should always apply sunscreen before you go do whatever it is you’re doing that day to protect your skin the best. 

Step 3: Spread 1 oz or more of sunscreen alllll over. 

1 oz of sunscreen is about enough to fill a shot glass (but you already knew that lol), and that's how much sunscreen should be applied to your WHOLE body. 

Anything exposed to the sun should be covered in sunscreen. This even includes your lips, eyelids, and scalp!!! Don't let any skin go without this vital preventative skincare hack!!!

Step 4: Wear protective clothing too. 

Sunscreen is a great barrier from the sun, but so is protective clothing!!! Long sleeved rash guards, brimmed hats, sunglasses, and our BOUGIE DRIVING GLOVES are an ABSOLUTE MUST. 

Step 5: Reapply at LEAST every 2 hours. 

Your sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 2 hours…at least!!! Every 30 minutes is better, especially if you're swimming or sweating. And, yes, we know, we know… You're worried about your makeup. Check out this post on how to reapply sunscreen without fucking up your makeup.

You should wear sunscreen daily and reapply it every 30 minutes - 2 hours. 

Sunscreen should be a part of your everyday skincare routine. It's just as important as cleanser or moisturizer—honestly, it's even more important than that!!! Find your go-to sunscreen, get your BOUGIE DRIVING GLOVES, and stay the fuck out of the sun. (figuratively, of course.) Have THE best got girl summer with this must-have advice and more at The Skinny Confidential Shop Blog. Cya!!!