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How To Apply (and Reapply) Sunscreen: 5 Tips for the Perfect Application

By now, we know that bare skin when exposed to UV radiation from the sun without any sun protection can cause premature skin aging and possibly lead to skin cancer. As much as choosing the right sunscreen is important for the skin, the application and reapplication of sunscreen is just as important.

A fact - Most people only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. That means we’re leaving at least 50% of our skin exposed to UV rays that have potential to damage our skin! Imagine the cumulative effect of this exposure on our skin. Yikes!

Don’t worry, this article will come in handy for you. We’ve got you covered with some of the most useful tips on how to apply and reapply your sunscreen, even when you have makeup on!


How to apply sunscreen on your face?

Generally, sunscreen is applied during the final step of your skincare routine and before applying your makeup. However, there are some k-beauty enthusiasts that prefer applying their sunscreen before using a moisturizer to ensure that the sunscreen is completely absorbed into the skin layer. Regardless of which preference you choose, the key is to apply your sunscreen before sun exposure. The recommended amount of sunscreen to apply to the face is 2mg of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. That is about a nickel-sized dollop or half a teaspoon. Since it’s impossible to carry around utensils to help measure this amount, a nickel-sized dollop is about two finger lengths. However, all of us come in different shapes and sizes and with different amounts of skin surface, therefore, do be generous with the amount of sunscreen based on your skin’s needs.

Start by applying sunscreen to the center of your face and slowly work your way into the hairline to make sure all areas are covered. If you are using a sunscreen spray, it is recommended that you spray until your skin is completely shining (which isn’t always a bad thing).

Here’s an extra makeup tip: It is always important to keep in mind to choose a foundation with adequate SPF if you are looking to apply makeup after your sunscreen. Most Korean cushion foundations have up to SPF50 in sun protection for long-lasting coverage under the harsh summer sun. If you are looking for a BB cream instead of a foundation, check out the Dr.Ceuracle Vegan Kombucha Tea BB 30ml. It offers weightless and natural coverage with sun protection of SPF 30 and PA++.


How To Apply Sunscreen 5 Tips for the Perfect Application


How often do I apply (and reapply) sunscreen?

First and foremost, sunscreen should be the most important step in your morning routine. This means that you should apply sunscreen everyday regardless if you are exposed to direct sunlight or not. Even on cloudy days, Ultraviolet A rays can penetrate through the clouds and reach your exposed skin. Think of sunscreen exposure like brushing your teeth. While missing a day or two would not have a huge impact on your skin, missing your application for long periods of time can equate to a lot of UV exposure over your lifetime.

The SPF in your sunscreen is affected by the amount of sun exposure and not so much the length of time the sunscreen has been applied to your skin. The general recommendation is that you reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when exposed to sunlight. This is because as UV rays hit the sunscreen on your skin, the chemical blockers from your sunscreen absorb the ultraviolet rays and the SPF of the sunscreen essentially gets broken down, making reapplication necessary. The frequency of reapplication increases when you are exposed to sweat and water activities. Regardless if you choose a chemical sunscreen, a hybrid sunscreen or a physical sunscreen, the key is to maintain consistent application everyday.


How to apply (and reapply) sunscreen with a sunscreen stick?

One of the most common questions that we get related to sunscreen sticks is how much is enough? Unlike lotion-based sunscreen, it is hard to tell how much is enough. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best application method for sunscreen sticks for best protection is to apply four passes back and forth to each area that you are protecting with thick, even strokes. This is to make sure that you are using enough sunscreen to protect your skin. It is also recommended that you are blending it into your skin as sunscreen sticks have a thicker consistency than liquid formulas.

The AHC Natural Perfection Fresh Sun Stick is an excellent choice of sunscreen that is formulated with SPF 50 and provides long-lasting UV protection that is water-resistant.


 How To Apply Sunscreen 5 Tips for the Perfect Application


How to reapply sunscreen over makeup?

There are three different ways that you can reapply sunscreen over your makeup.


Reapply with a makeup sponge

Using a clean makeup sponge, dab and press the sunscreen over your makeup. Avoid blending the sunscreen into your makeup as it will end up smudging your makeup.


Reapply using a powder sunscreen

Powder sunscreens tend to mimic the texture of setting powders and are lightweight to be applied over makeup. Although they have mineral SPF in them, they are not meant to be used as a primary form of SPF because they have less ability to be absorbed into the skin. Gently brush the powder over your makeup with the retractable brush like you would with a powder foundation. One of our favourite powder sunscreen products (not Korean), is the (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF35 by Supergoop! It is a 100% mineral sunscreen that comes in 4 different shades and with a matte finish.


Reapply with an SPF spray sunscreen

An SPF spray functions like a setting spray that you can spritz over your face to top up on your SPF while under the sun, without disturbing your makeup. Always allow the mist to set before going out under the sun. The (Re)setting Refreshing Mist SPF40 is a lightweight, hydrating spray that refreshes your look while providing your skin with sufficient SPF protection and is water and sweat resistant for up to 40 minutes.


How to apply sunscreen around the eyes?

The most common reason why many people avoid applying sunscreen to the area around the eyes is due to skin sensitivity and irritation from the sunscreen. However, it is most susceptible to sun damage because of the thinner layer of skin in this area. Although most sunscreens for the face can be used for areas around the eyes, sheer, tinted sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide may be a better choice for eyelids as they are less irritating to the skin than chemical sunscreens.

The first step is to create a thin film out of the sunscreen and close your eyes. Using your ring finger, gently pat the sunscreen on the top and bottom of your eyelids, corners of the eyes and surrounding areas. Be sure to apply sunscreen to any creases or folds in the skin.



Proper application and reapplication of sunscreen is the key to protect your skin from premature aging and skin related cancer. It is important that you start your day off with a generous amount of sunscreen and reapply as necessary throughout the day to maintain the SPF protection for your skin.

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