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Guide: How to Apply Sunscreen to Your Face

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If you’re like me you’ve probably wondered what the right way is to apply sunscreen to your face. A few months ago I noticed that my hands and lips started to freckle. It was obviously sun exposure, but why? I was so confused about it, then I realized there were some changes in my life. I was driving home from a new work location, so I spent way more time commuting in the hot sun. This extra sun exposure was taking a toll on my skin, so I decided to make some changes. I reapplied sunblock on my hands before leaving the building (washing my hands washed away the sunscreen), and applied SPF gloss on my lips, which had also worn off by the end of the work day.

I prepared this guide for anyone else who was wondering how to prevent sun damage by proper sunscreen application. You might also want to check out the 5 best sunscreens I recommend for oily/combination skin.

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Let’s dive right in:

1. Dab sunscreen

Instead of just squeezing the sunscreen in the palm of your hand and smearing it all over your face or neck, apply about 1/4 of sunblock on your finger and dab it along your T-zone and cheeks. This will help with application, prevents using too much sunscreen which can lead to breakouts and excess oil build up, and helps you get enough in all the right areas of your face. To prevent oily sheen and clogged pores, try a matte sunscreen.

2. Pat it all over your face

Pat the sunscreen on your face with your fingers. Make sure you’re spreading it on areas like your jawline, temples, and to your hairline. Get your neck and ears too. If you run out at first, don’t worry, simply apply a small amount to those areas you missed.

3. Wait at least 15 minutes

You should allow the sunscreen to absorb into your skin for about 15 minutes before sun exposure. This allows enough time for the sunscreen to absorb into your skin.

4. Reapply as needed

If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors (sweating or swimming), you need to reapply at least every 2 hours.

Other Areas You’re Ignoring

Lips

If your lipstick or gloss lacks any SPF protection, get some SPF lip balm. Apply it under your favorite lip color. I recommend Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 with Black Tea & Blackberry by Jack Black. The scent and flavor is delicious and it goes on like a vaseline lip balm. You can also get it for about $10 on Amazon.

Hands

Skin Food - Rose & Shea Butter SPF Hand CreamLike I wrote before, throughout the course of the day you’re doing things where the sunscreen could be worn off of your hands. Keep a tube in your bag to quickly reapply when you’re on your way outside again.

Try Skin Food’s Rose & Shea Butter SPF 25 sunscreen (it has a lovely light rose scent and a whitening effect for dark spots), or any other brand you like.

 

 

 

Body

Obviously, you need to be putting sunscreen on every part of your body that is exposed to the sun. This means feet, under arms – whatever the area is, since your movements aren’t completely limited when you go out. It’s really important to prevent skin cancer, which can spread far below and out of the affected surface skin. Since the signs of sun damage and skin cancer aren’t obvious immediately, so you might think using sunscreen isn’t that important… but the risk of cancer is serious. One in five people will get skin cancer in their lifetime. Please take care of yourself and apply sunscreen often!

Boost Protection

Boost your sunscreen protection by using Zinc Oxide. Zinc Oxide is a powdery mineral that spreads out and reflects UVA and UVB rays. I like to use Sun Bum’s clear zinc oxide lotion ($10) on top of any areas that will get lots of sun exposure, to give myself an extra layer of protection.

Thanks for reading this guide! Follow me on Instagram @koglowskin to see more of my reviews and tips.

2 Comments

  1. Hi what do you mean by patting on the sunscreen? It doesn’t seem like it will be an even coverage for me if I pat on sunscreen. Is it okay to spread it but not rub it into skin? It’s like spreading butter on toast. Will that be okay?

    1. Hey, Christie! That’s a great question. Spreading the sunscreen can cause excess oil production, it may cause the sunscreen to be applied unevenly, and the worst issue is that it won’t be absorbed by your skin so it won’t protect you for long or at all. By dabbing the blobs of sunscreen on your face (or you can just place it on your fingers and pat on), you help it be absorbed into your skin (like how we pat on other facial products to make sure they get absorbed and can do their work!)
      Here’s what I mean: Let’s say you put a dab of sunscreen on your cheek. Your next step will be to put your pointer and middle finger together and place it on the dab of sunscreen. Next, move your fingers in a patting motion with the sunscreen now on it down and across your cheek. That way, the sunscreen is being applied to that area of your face by you taking the sunscreen from that dab and patting it everywhere else. You can always apply more sunscreen if you couldn’t cover the area completely, but be sure to also pat that in for absorption. 🙂

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