How Much Sunscreen Should I Use, and How Often Should I Apply It?

The sunny summer months bring endless opportunities for outdoor play, from beach days to hiking in the hills. However, constant exposure to the sun's harmful rays can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. Regularly applying sunscreen is critical in protecting your skin from the sun's damaging effects.

Board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist Vicki Rapaport, MD, with Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills and Culver City, CA, explains everything you need to know about using sunscreen correctly.

Choosing the right sunscreen

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right sunscreen. Go for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, choose a mineral-based sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Dr. Rapaport recommends using sunscreen after your moisturizer and before applying your makeup.

Make sure to check the expiration date, as expired sunscreen may be less effective.

How to apply sunscreen

Start with a generous amount and apply it evenly to all exposed areas of the skin. A general rule of thumb is to use about one ounce of sunscreen, about a shot glass full, to cover your entire body. For your face, use a nickel-sized amount and apply it to the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin.

Don’t miss those often forgotten spots, including:

For hard-to-reach areas, such as your back, use a sunscreen spray or ask someone to help you.

How often to apply sunscreen

For maximum protection, reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating. Even water-resistant sunscreens may not provide protection for as long as you think. To be safe, reapply after getting out of the water or towel-drying.

More ways to protect your skin from the sun

In addition to using sunscreen, other precautions to take include:

Follow our tips and enjoy the beautiful weather while keeping your skin healthy and protected. For further questions and all of your skincare needs, contact Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills to schedule an appointment today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Why Are My Pores So Big and What Can I Do About Them?

Why Are My Pores So Big and What Can I Do About Them?

Everyone has pores — but some pores often appear larger than others. If you’re embarrassed by big pores, it’s time to do something about it. Find out what causes big pores and how custom facial treatments can help restore your confidence.
Facials: They're More Than a Spa Service

Facials: They're More Than a Spa Service

If you think a facial is just something the rich and famous do to pamper themselves, think again. Routine facials not only help you glow with youth and vitality, they support your most important protective barrier — your skin.
3 Benefits of Morpheus8 for Skin Tightening

3 Benefits of Morpheus8 for Skin Tightening

Tired of fighting a losing battle against sagging skin? It’s time to learn the benefits of Morpheus8: a revolutionary minimally invasive treatment that stimulates skin remodeling from deep within. Discover how it works here.
How to Tell If a Mole Is ‘Abnormal

How to Tell If a Mole Is ‘Abnormal’

Do you have just a few moles on your skin or many? Melanoma can develop from just one mole. Learn the ABCDE method to identify atypical moles that need to be checked by a dermatologist.

Why Am I Suddenly Getting Acne in My 30s?

Acne is often labeled a teen problem, but if you’ve noticed acne breakouts in your 30s, you’re not alone. Adult acne is getting more common, and fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to remedy it. Learn common causes and find treatment here.