How To Apply Sunscreen For Maximum Protection

Is there a right way to apply sunscreen ?

    How you apply sunscreen determines how high protection you get. Unless you do it right, you might get as low as 10% of the SPF promised on the packaging.

To get full sun protection, apply sunscreen by these rules:

  1. Cleanse your face
  2. It is best not to apply anything under the sunscreen, they are usually moisturising enough by themselves. Only if you really must, apply something light with antioxidants (serum or cream), and wait around 15 mins for it to sink in. Heavier creams under the sunscreen make it difficult to get absorbed and will lower the protection it gives.
  3. Apply the sunscreen: 1-1,25 ml for just the face, or 1,5 - 1,8 ml for the face and neck, and allow it to sink in for 20 mins. You can measure it out with a syringe. Applying the right amount is extremely important: if you apply only half of the sunscreen, you don't get half the protection --- you get even less than that. You get the SPF factor that's written on the bottle only if you use the prescribed amounts. 0.5 ml of SPF 50 becomes SPF 7 !
  4. This is a lot of sunscreen, so you might want to apply it in two stages: apply half, wait for it to sink in, and then apply the rest.
  5. Avoid pressing a tissue over the sunscreen or applying anything over it, for this rubs it off and lowers the protection. 
  6. Read about compatibility issues between makeup and sunscreen. If you can't give up makeup, then wait for 10 minutes after applying the sunscreen. Gently pat on a light foundation, do not rub it in. Powder should be gently patted in with a brush. Avoid rubbing !
  7. You can matt the sunscreen with a powder, but it should not contain talc or mica (these react with most sunscreens and lower their protection). One of the best matting powders out there is potato starch or corn starch.
  8. Lastly, just because you are wearing sunscreen, don't think you can expose your skin to a lot of sun and be completely safe. Sunscreen offers only so much protection. Wear a hat, and sunglasses. You can even carry an umbrella.

If you have questions, fire away, and I'll do my best to answer them !

Photo: When All Else Fails, Just Catch Some Rays by Jocko B.

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