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Your skincare routine boxed off.

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How to *actually* apply SPF

By Ellie Hummerston

September 02, 2021 • 2 min read

How to *actually* apply SPF

When you ask a dermatologist what the single best thing you can do for your skin is, they’ll probably say ‘wear SPF’. And, more importantly, wear it every day. 

While you might be thinking - ‘I have it built into my foundation or moisturiser,’ it’s likely that this SPF is not enough to properly protect your skin. And, even when you do pick up your factor 50, then there’s a chance that you’re not applying it correctly or frequently enough. 

Ready to up your SPF game? We’ve got you covered. 

Am I using enough SPF? 

Honestly? No. You’re probably not using enough SPF. 

Studies show that time and time again, we don’t use enough sun cream to see the full benefit. For the face alone, you want to apply roughly a ten pence sized dollop, more if you’re covering your neck. Or, you can use the ‘two-finger rule’, run your SPF along the length of two fingers. And, remember to cover those easy to miss spots; around your eyes, around your lips and behind the ears. 

You will also need to wait fifteen to thirty minutes before your sunscreen is effective

How often should I reapply SPF? 

You should be applying sun cream every two hours. But if you’re swimming or even just exercising heavily, then you want to apply a little more frequently. And, remember that if you’re out in the midday heat, then it’s also worth popping a hat on to protect your scalp. 

What order should I be applying sun cream? 

As a general rule, when it comes to skincare, you should be applying your thinnest products first, and layer on the rest in order of thickness. But, what order you apply sun cream depends on the type of SPF that you’re using. 

There are two types of SPF; chemical (organic) and physical (inorganic). If your SPF is chemical then you should aim to apply it as your first product and then top up throughout the day. If your sunscreen is physical then you can add this as the last step in your routine. If you experience oily skin, then you might not need to moisturise as frequently as you previously did, as SPF is generally a hydrating product. 

Do I need to use sunscreen indoors? 

Short answer? Yes. 

Slightly longer answer? While most glass windows UVB rays, UVA rays can still penetrate through your windows. UVA rays can cause a lot of skin damage, as they’re actually the root of both premature ageing and skin cancer. So, applying suncream, even if you’re just working from home, can have huge benefits. It’s also worth making sure that you apply sunscreen when you’re in the car, as the majority of sun damage caused to hands is due to sun damage while driving. 

However, being at home means you don’t have to worry about reapplying as frequently as the standard two hours. 

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