How Much Sunscreen Should You Use on Your Face?

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how much sunscreen should you use on your face

The skin experts say you should use enough sunscreen to cover all the skin that your clothes don’t protect. For your whole body, it’s about one ounce of sunscreen. But what about just your face?

For your face, you’ll need between ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon (a bit less for kids). You can use a measuring spoon or think of a dollop the size of a nickel. How much exactly depends on your face size and if you’re also putting sunscreen on your neck and chest. If you need more than ½ a teaspoon, go ahead and use it.

If you’re using stick sunscreen, make sure to cover your whole face well—don’t miss any spots! Rub it in nicely, and you’ll get a feel for whether you’ve put on enough for your whole face.

When To Apply Face Sunscreen

Let’s talk about when to put sunscreen on your face. Should you use it every day, only at the beach, or twice a day? And should it be before or after makeup? Let’s break it down.

Firstly, it’s important to use facial sunscreen every day for you and your family. Even if you’re not spending a lot of time outside, like running errands or watching sports, you’re still exposed to the sun.

Cloudy days aren’t an exception. The sun’s rays can still reach your skin, up to 80%, even when it’s cloudy. Also, UVA rays can get through the glass, so if you’re near a window, you’re still exposed.

Don’t forget, the sun shines in winter too, so it’s a good idea to apply sunscreen daily, all year round.

When should I apply it? We suggest making it a morning routine for your family. Put it on after your regular skincare routine and before makeup. If you’re out in the sun, reapply every two hours, especially if you’re sweating or in and out of the water. Stay protected

How To Choose A Face Sunscreen  

Now, let’s talk about how to choose sunscreen for your face. We’ll cover what to look for to make sure it’s safe and gentle, especially for sensitive skin.

Look for “Broad-Spectrum Protection.” We mentioned UVA, UVB, and UVC rays from the sun. You need a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. You can easily find this on the sunscreen bottle; it will say “broad-spectrum.”

Check the SPF (sun protection factor) too. You’ll see numbers like 15, 25, 30, or 50 on the label. The higher the number, the more protection it gives. For everyday activities, like going to the car, SPF 15 or higher is good (look for the Daily Use Seal). If you’ll be in the sun for longer, like playing outside, go for SPF 30 or higher (look for the Active Use Seal). The American Foundation of Dermatology suggests using SPF 30, and Mustela sunscreens are either SPF 30 or 50. Stay protected, and enjoy the sun safely!

How much sunscreen is enough?  

Putting on sunscreen is a smart idea.

A study from 2016 found that getting bad sunburns in the past makes you more likely to get skin cancer later.

One of the best ways to keep your skin safe is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Erum N. Ilyas, a certified dermatologist, says this helps prevent things that can make your skin age faster and increase the risk of skin cancer. She also says using the right amount of sunscreen is key to reducing your risk of sun damage.

So, how much should you use?

Put on one ounce of sunscreen for your whole body, or enough to fill a shot glass. And don’t forget your face.

Your head and neck make up 4 percent of your skin area, says Dr. Cynthia Bailey, another certified dermatologist. Doing the math, that’s about 0.04 ounces of sunscreen for your face. Stay protected!

How to apply sunscreen to your face  

Here’s a simple way to put on sunscreen for your face

  • Put on your sunscreen.
  • Put on your skin care products.
  • If you want to, put on your makeup.

While putting sunscreen on your face is important for your skincare routine, there are a few other products you should apply first.

  • First, put on other stuff like acne medicine and moisturizers.
  • Sunscreen is important, but it comes last. It goes on the outer layer of your skin to stop the sun from getting in. So, after you’ve done everything else, you put on sunscreen.

After that, dip-dot-smear

This is how Dr. Ilyas likes to put on sunscreen.

“I like this way because it gives good, even coverage,” she says.

To do it, just pour the sunscreen on your hand and then use your fingers to dot it on your face—on your cheeks, forehead, and chin. Then, rub it in. That’s it!

Don’t forget these areas

there are some places people often forget when applying sunscreen, and these spots can be at risk for sunspots and cancerous cells. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on

  • Your hairline
  • Your temples
  • The area behind your ears
How often should you re-apply sunscreen to your face?

If you’re going to be in the sun for a long time, you have to put on sunscreen more than once.

“Put it on again every 2 hours and after you sweat or swim,” says Bailey. “You need to do this because even if you’re not swimming or sweating, the sunscreen moves around. Also, it wears out as it stops the sun’s rays.”

if you’re sweating or swimming, do it every hour. If you might forget, Dr. Bailey suggests setting a reminder on your phone.

SPF50 should protect you 50 times as long as your skin can naturally protect itself. 

It's important to apply enough to protect your skin, but using too much or the wrong type can also lead to skin irritation. 

Most individuals are advised to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 throughout the year. However, those who wear SPF 50 occasionally have a false feeling of security and believe they are immune to the sun.