Do’s and Don’ts of Sunscreen

There are some major do and dont’s when it comes to sunscreen and applying it. So we’ve compiled them all together so you can put on your sunscreen like a pro and protect that skin!

How does sunscreen work? 

First off, how do sunscreens even work? How do they protect us from the sun? Well, they form a film or coating on the surface of our skin to lessen the amount of UV radiation that would otherwise penetrate our skin. Active ingredients like inorganic or organic filters, help with this by either absorbing or scattering the photons away from reach the skin.

To learn more about decoding your sunscreen label and what all the terms mean, you can check out our article here. Or if you want to find one that fits your skin, look at our guide for that here.

What’s the right amount?

When it comes to size, it matters with sunscreen. The recommended amount is 2mg/cm2, equivalent to 30ml or 1 oz, of sunscreen to cover the entire body. But in reality, studies show the actual usage to be just 0.5 to 0.8mg/cm2. So the amount we use and the amount recommended don’t really match up. Let’s see what other do’s and don’ts we have lined up for you.

Do’s

  • Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30
  • Look for the label “water resistant,” it means it can last either 40 to 80 minutes
  • Reapply every 2 hours, especially after doing activities outdoors
  • Apply even when you’re indoors, especially if you are near windows.
  • Use sunscreen regardless of skin prototype or color

Don’ts

  • Don’t apply right before you go out. Instead apply 30 minutes before you head out to give the sunscreen time to absorb and for the UV filters to work.
  • Don’t miss your scalp, eyelids, ears, around the mouth, back of the neck, upper chest, shoulders, hands and feed because usually we forget about these spots!
  • Don’t mix your sunscreen with other skincare products like serums, toners or moisturizers. Doing so can alter the sunscreen’s efficacy. Make sure to put it on very last!
  • Don’t use sunscreen only when it’s sunny out. Whether it’s rain, snow or cloudy, that SPF should be on.
  • Don’t rely solely on sunscreen for photoprotection. Make sure to seek shade when the sun’s rays are most intense. Try using wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, pants and long-sleeves when possible!

Be Picky

We’re all about that sunscreen, and the community on Picky is always buzzing about which sunscreens to try! If you’re looking for a recommendation, try hopping on Picky and checking out the Discuss board. If you want more fun skincare info, then just stay here or check out our Instagram!

Created with

Dr. Meg
@drmegsison
Dermatologist

5 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts of Sunscreen

  1. IQ says:

    Could we please do one Info blog on vest miniral and chemical sunscreens. Or we could add best and worst in for both types.

    Reply
  2. Whoisnee says:

    This was very helpful. I have sensitive/oily skin and I’ve always wondered the types of sunscreen I should use. Thx for sharing!!!

    Reply
  3. Meghan says:

    First of all, I love your name! Second of all, when I use a product without SPF and then apply SPF over it, my face feels saturated. Is that normal?

    Reply
  4. Aida says:

    Очень полезные и познавательные рекомендации 👍
    Very useful and informative recommendations!

    Reply
  5. Rochelle says:

    Great information! My question is can I apply it then put my makeup on?

    Reply

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