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When Should You Apply Sunscreen?

At the beach or in the mountains, in summer or winter, under a cloudy sky or in the shade, the skin must always be protected from the sun and more precisely from UVA and UVB rays, which are responsible for various skin damages. Choosing the right protection factor is not enough to ensure optimal effectiveness. You also should reapply sun protection regularly. Find out in detail when and how often exactly to (re)apply sunscreen.

Should You Wear Sunscreen Every Day?

Regardless of the weather conditions (summer, winter, cloudy weather, etc.) or where you are (by the water, in the mountains, near the equator, in cold areas, etc.), always remember to use a sun protection product every day. In fact, it should be an integral part of your morning skincare routine. Apply it after your day cream and before your makeup.

However, sunscreen is not enough 

for optimal protection if you wear 

makeup. In fact, if you overlay 

other products, you reduce the 

effectiveness of the sunscreen.

That's why we recommend that you use either a foundation/powder with an SPF or a face mist containing sun protection in addition to sunscreen. Furthermore, sunscreen should never replace the rules of caution:

  • Avoid prolonged exposure as much as possible, especially between 11am and 3pm. If this is the case, protect yourself as much as possible.

  • Wear protective clothing (T-shirt, cap, etc.).

  • Remember to protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses with an anti-UV filter.

In addition, it is recommended to wait 20 minutes before any exposure to the sun. In order to work, the sunscreen must form an even film on the skin and the 20 minutes is the time it takes to form. Specifically, when you apply a sunscreen, the water in the product, which is necessary for its formulation, must evaporate and the other ingredients must penetrate the skin so that a film of UV filters remains to protect you from the sun. However, many people make the mistake of applying it only once they are on the spot (beach, mountain, etc.), when the skin will already have suffered the harmful effects of the sun during the journey. Thus, using a skin care product early on will protect the skin in depth and prevent sunburn.

In addition to the areas directly exposed to the sun, it is also recommended to pay attention to certain areas of the body, including the ears, feet, eye area, neck and even the lips. For example, there are sun sticks that can protect and care for all sensitive areas, such as the lips and eye area.

How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

In theory, the more generously and thickly sunscreen has been applied, the longer its barrier effect against UV rays works. However, it must be assumed that no one applies enough sunscreen or sun lotion. According to estimates, it has been shown that applying half as much cream as recommended only provides half the protection indicated on the label. Moreover, just because your cream has a high SPF does not mean it will last longer. In addition, between perspiration, swimming and repeated rubbing on the skin, the protective layer is gradually removed. All these circumstances show the need to increase the rate of reapplication of sunscreen.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended to reapply the sunscreen as often as possible, at least every 2 hours or more, in order to optimize protection and avoid sunburn, regardless of the intensity of the sun, in the city or at the beach, in summer or winter, even if the sky is cloudy or if you remain in the shade. Moreover, the lower your phototype, the higher the protection factor of your cream should be and the more regularly it should be applied, regardless of the length of exposure. Indeed, these skin types are very sensitive to UV rays and can easily get sunburned, even during a short exposure.


  • BUABBAS H. & al. Photoprotection: clothing and glass. Dermatologic Clinics (2014).

  • WULF H. C. & al. Application of sunscreen - Theory and reality. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology and Photomedecine (2014).

  • LIM H. W. & al. Sunscreens: An update. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2017).


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