a week of summer essentials. sunscreen.

sunscreen is an integral part of my daily routine, even more so during summer months when we are outdoors more often. year after year, it's easy to get lazy and sloppy about our application, so here are a few simple reminders and myth-busters.

how much SPF should you wear?
a sunscreen with at least 15-30 SPF is recommended.
higher SPFs offer little additional benefits. they may create a false sense of security - making you think that since you aren't red or burning, you are not damaging your skin, or that it's ok to stay in the sun longer.

when should you use sunscreen?
always. sunny, rainy, or cloudy, you should always wear sunscreen.
the sun is there, doing its damage, even if you can't see or feel it.

how much sunscreen is enough?
nickel size each for face and neck. don't forget your ears!
one ounce (shot glass) for your body, more or less depending on your size.
most people apply only 1/4 of what is needed and aren't getting the full SPF protection stated on the label. if you use the same tube for the entire summer, chances are you aren't using enough! if you have left over after summer, chances are you didn't use enough!

here's an example for the products i'm currently using:

how often should you apply sunscreen?
apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure, then generally reapply every two hours.
reapply more often with excessive sweating or swimming.

does layering products increase SPF?
no. the product with the highest SPF is what you would get - in this case, 55.
however, it's likely you're not using enough foundation or powder to get its full SPF, so don't count on them solely.

order of products: ideally, your sunscreen should go on last. if you are wearing makeup, moisturize first, apply sunscreen second, and makeup last. give each layer ample time to soak in (3-5 mins).
mixing products: adding moisturizer (with no SPF) to a foundation with SPF 17 will dilute the foundation, and you may not get the full SPF 17 protection. make sure each product has a minimum of SPF 15 to maintain their effectiveness.

what research is showing...
sunscreen does not provide 100% protection. harmful infrared radiation can penetrate UV filters (our typical UVA/UVB sunscreens) and cause damage to the skin. try layering an antioxidant serum under your sunscreen for greater protection.

try these:

it happens.
even with our best intentions, we sometimes forget to reapply sunscreen or miss a spot and end up with a nasty burn. take cool showers and apply an after-sun care product with aloe to cool and prevent peeling.

my favorite:

do you have any sunscreen application tips?


  1. yes.. I'm guilty of applying too later and not often enough!! Thanks for this reminder. Really need it esp in sunny Singapore!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  2. great info. I need to get better at putting sunscreen on.

  3. Amen to this! I can't believe how many people I see burnt to a crisp! Crazy.

  4. Great post! I cannot stress enough about the inefficiency of mixing sunscreen with other things or skimping on sunscreen mentally relying on the high spf number. I guess people don't know spf 55 will drop down to spf 8 or something if mixed or not used in recommended amount. Applying "a lot" of spf 15 is so so much better. ;o

  5. awesome graphics! love the how-to on the layers to apply. i was always confused about whether makeup or sunscreen should be applied first.


    1. i was never really sure, too...so i had to research!

  6. Fab post!! I always wear sunscreen and I apply it every few hours. I'm all about protecting myself from the sun's harmful rays.

    Best, Mree

  7. My skin is very fair. Sunscreen is a must for me.

  8. great post! i'm very consistent about putting on sunscreen but i'm not as good with reapplying. i need to remember to put it on more often to make sure i'm protecting my skin.

  9. Thanks for sharing some myths about sunscreen. It would be unsafe not to reapply as it does not keep protecting your skin.

  10. i can;t believe i never wore sunscreen as a kid!

  11. My skin is very sensitive. Sunscreen is a must for me.

  12. These are so important to know! Great job on this post Becks!

  13. Fantastic recommendations! So important to carry a ton of sunscreen on these beach weekends.

  14. Great pointers! Years ago I started wearing sunscreen every day on my face, neck and hands, and everywhere else whenever I am outside for any length of time. I am sure that is why at 51 I am practically sag and wrinkle-free!


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