How Much Sunscreen You Should Apply to Your Face

The summer is a time filled with beautiful weather and happy memories. Your days are spent basking in the sun at the beach and your nights are spent hanging out with friends. There’s truly nothing better than a carefree summer day spent under the sun… that is, until you come home red as a lobster. As great as the warmth of summer is, it also means we’re more prone to sunburn. But unprotected exposure to the sun doesn’t just cause sunburn, it can also seriously damage your skin. Which is why it’s so crucial to apply sunscreen.

We all know the importance of putting on sunscreen every day, especially in the summertime, but you probably have a couple of other questions. How much sunscreen should you use on your face and body? How much SPF do I need for my face? How often do I need to reapply sunscreen? Is it possible to go overboard with the SPF?

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing why using sunscreen on your face is important, how much sunscreen to use on your face, and more. Get into the habit of applying sunscreen on your face every single day and your skin will thank you later.



Why Is Using Sunscreen on Your Face Important?

First and foremost: why is using sunscreen so important? There are countless benefits of wearing sunscreen every day, especially on your face. There’s a reason why people who take care of their skin at a young age have such youthful looking skin when they’re older. It’s because of sunscreen! Did you know that only 11% of Americans wear sunscreen daily? That means way too few Americans are taking the proper steps to protect their skin from harmful UV rays. If you’re not already part of that 11%, it’s time to get to it.


2020 RealSelf Sun Safety Report

Wearing sunscreen is crucial for many reasons, including:

  • Decreases your risk of skin cancer
    • Wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 15 can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40% and your melanoma risk by about 50%.
  • Helps prevent premature skin aging
    • Prolonged sun exposure can cause wrinkles, sagging, and age spots.
  • Reduces the risk of sunburn
    • Continuous sunburns can lead to skin damage that can cause skin cancer.
  • Prevents skin discoloration
    • Exposure to the sun can cause sunspots that are usually brown in color. Sunspots usually form on the head, hands, face, and arms.
  • Reduces inflammation
    • UV rays can cause redness and inflammation, especially for those with skin issues like psoriasis and rosacea

It’s crucial to make putting on sunscreen a part of your daily routine. You should apply sunscreen on your face and your body every day. Now that you know why wearing sunscreen is important, let’s discuss how much sunscreen to use on your face.

Reasons you should wear sunscreen on your face


How Much Sunscreen Do You Need for Your Face?

So, how much sunscreen for your face do you actually need? Mastering the exact amount can be tricky. You put on too little and you’re exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. But you put on too much and you’re left with a white cast all over your face. But there’s really no need to cake it on. Not only is using too much sunscreen unnecessary, it’s also wasteful.

As a general rule of thumb, always use enough sunscreen to cover the entire surface area of your face. This will differ for every person, but a nickel-sized amount should do the job. You should always apply sunscreen as the last step in your skin-care routine and use an SPF 30 or higher. And don’t forget to bring the sunscreen down to your neck, too! Your neck is just as exposed to the sun as your face is and is prone to wrinkles.

Now you know how much sunscreen to apply on your face, but what about your body? Approximately one ounce, or about a shot glass full, of sunscreen should be enough to cover your whole body if you’re using liquid sunscreen. Whatever sunscreen formula you’re using, the most important thing is to make sure you apply it thoroughly and consistently.


How to Apply Sunscreen on Your Face

There are various types of sunscreen formulations out there, so you can easily find one that works for you. You can use a sunscreen stick, which is easy to apply so you can take it on the go for a quick sunscreen application. You can use a mineral powder sunscreen, which provides you with tinted or sheer coverage while still protecting your skin from the sun. Or, you can use a liquid sunscreen or a spray sunscreen.

The way you apply the sunscreen will differ depending on the formula. For example:

  • A sunscreen stick is applied by rubbing the stick on your face.
  • A powder sunscreen uses a brush to easily apply.
  • A liquid sunscreen is rubbed in with your hands.

Regardless of the type of sunscreen that you use, it’s imperative that you do a thorough job applying it to get full coverage.

woman applying sunscreen to face

How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen to Your Face?

Applying sunscreen to your face every single day is half of the job. You also have to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Not reapplying your sunscreen enough throughout the day leaves your skin susceptible to harmful UV rays. Even if you put on a super high SPF in the morning, you still have to reapply. Proper reapplication of sunscreen will further protect your skin from sunburn, skin damage, and premature aging.

So, how often should you reapply sunscreen to your face? In general, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours. This provides consistent protection and ensures your skin is safe from harmful UV rays. However, this rule differs depending on whether you’re going to be sweating or swimming. If you're going to be sweating or getting wet, then you have to reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes. You should keep reapplying until the sun goes down.

Even if you’re going to be spending the entire day indoors or in the shade, you still need to apply and reapply sunscreen. UV rays can come in through windows and just being in the shade doesn’t provide enough protection. This might sound like a lot, but it’s the only way you’re going to get full UV protection. Take the time to reapply your sunscreen now and your skin will look healthy and youthful for years to come.


What Type of Sunscreen Is Safe to Use on Your Face?

You may think that all sunscreens are the same, but it’s not as simple as that. There are two main types of sunscreens that you can use on your face: mineral and chemical sunscreen. It is important to know the difference between mineral vs. chemical sunscreen so you know which one to use.

Chemical sunscreen is made with chemical active ingredients, such as benzones. These ingredients absorb into the skin to provide UV protection. But these chemical ingredients tend to be more harsh on the skin and can cause irritation and even skin damage. Which is exactly why you should use mineral sunscreen.

Mineral sunscreen, also known as physical sunscreen, provides protection using natural ingredients. Physical sunscreen is easy to incorporate into your beauty and skincare routine as the powder formula is usually tinted. Physical sunscreen is non-comedogenic and uses essential mineral ingredients. That means no harmful chemicals that can damage your skin.

The ingredients in chemical sunscreen can cause discoloration, itching, burning, and even hormonal disruption. Physical sunscreen, on the other hand, sits on the top of your skin, reflecting the sun’s rays away. Physical sunscreen is great for everyone, but especially if you have sensitive skin. Physical sunscreen still provides the protection you need, without harmful ingredients that can lead to irritation and breakouts.

Colorescience carries a variety of mineral sunscreen formulas that provide protection from UVA, UVB, and environmental factors and are easy to apply throughout the day.


What SPF Should You Use on Your Face?

We know how important applying sunscreen is, but how much SPF do you need for your face? SPF stands for sun protection factor and indicates how effectively a sunscreen filters out UVB rays. In general you should use an SPF of 30 or higher on your face. But if you have sensitive, fair skin, or a family history of skin cancer, then you may need to go even higher.

It’s also important to note that SPF does not protect against UVA rays. UVA rays cause premature aging and skin damage, so you want to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides both UVB and UVA protection, like those made by Colorescience.

Best practices for using sunscreen on your face


Can I Wear Sunscreen with My Makeup?

Now we all know how important it is to incorporate sunscreen into your skincare routine, but what about your makeup? Can you wear sunscreen with your makeup?

Yes, you absolutely can. If you wear makeup every day, you may be hesitant to apply sunscreen because you’re afraid of how it will look. Don’t be! You just need to choose the right products.

Even if your makeup products say they contain SPF, it’s likely not enough to actually protect your skin from the sun. You should apply sunscreen after you do your makeup. This provides the most protection and makes it easier to reapply throughout the day. You want your sunscreen to be on the outermost layer of your skin. Using a mineral sunscreen, like a powder, works great over makeup because you can easily reapply it with a brush.

Protecting Your Face from Harmful Rays Should Be a Top Priority

Now that you know how much sunscreen to use on your face, you can make sure you’re applying sunscreen correctly every single day to help you maintain a youthful, healthy looking skin. Protecting your face from harmful UV rays should be a top priority! Sunscreen protects your skin from skin damage, sunburn, premature aging, and even skin cancer.

So now that you know why wearing sunscreen is important and how much sunscreen to apply to your face, you should never go a day without it. Colorescience mineral sunscreen provides UVB protection, as well as environmental protection. It doesn’t leave that annoying white cast on your face, like many other sunscreens do, and is easy to reapply throughout the day. Take the proper steps to protect your skin from harmful rays today and you will be asked your beauty secrets for many years to come.