How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

MAGIC SANDS STOPWATCHSkin Cancer awareness month helps us to focus on the details.  You may use sunscreen every time you go out, but do you know how long it protects you?  The time between apply and re-apply may be shorter then you think!

Going out to the beach without sunscreen, I’m sure you started to sun burn pretty quickly, maybe 15 to 20 minutes depending on your skin tone.  Those who have fair skin my burn faster than those who have a golden or olive skin tone.

Take into consideration the time of day and your activities to determine how often you should re-apply.  The hours between 10:00am and 4:00 pm, UV rays are much more intense. You may have to re-apply far more often, even if it’s cloudy. Keep an eye out for sunburn, if your cheeks or forehead start turning a rosy hue go ahead and re-apply and make sure you put an even layer on each time.  For those with sensitive skin, try using a chemical free sunscreen, this should help prevent rashes.

Most sunscreens recommend that you apply every 90 to 120 minutes; however that time is reduced if you swim, sweat or towel off.  If you start to burn sooner then it’s time to get slathering.  Also remember that the higher the SPF does not mean it lasts longer, SPF 30 is recommended for everybody and SPF 50 for those with fair skin, but to receive that protection you must apply it in sufficient quantities and at least every two hours..

What SFP do you use? How often do you re-apply?

50+UPF Sunny Sleevez


About sunnysleevez

I'm a freckly red head, originally from London now living in LA with 2 pale children. Frankly with our coloring we have no business being such an outdoorsy family and living in southern California. I grew up in a time when factor 8 sun milk was considered the best protection available to combat the hot rays of a holiday in southern Spain, that lead to 3rd degree burns and the rest of the vacation spent in the shade of our apartment. As a family we love to be outside, going to the beach, camping, swimming & hiking. We can't completely avoid the sun (nor should we) but taking sensible measures to avoid unnecessary UV damage is a priority. How do we do that? By staying in the shade in the middle of the day, wearing sun protective clothing (that's why I created Sunny Sleevez), a broad brimmed hat, UV rated sunglasses, using chemical-free broad spectrum sun screen on exposed areas & eating a healthy diet with as few chemicals as possible & lots of antioxidants.
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3 Responses to How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

  1. jillianmak says:

    I burn in five minutes. No exaggeration! I reapply every half hour!

  2. I live in Australia, where SPF 50 is not readily available yet (it was only Ok’d for sale back in Nov 2012) so I buy mine from the US and ship it over. I love the Nivea Dry Touch SPF 50 🙂

  3. Thanks for your frequent reminders about using sun screen and about the dangers of skin cancer. You may be interested in a blog we posted in November 2012 about why we were supporting Movember. Ian is also a fair-skinned Brit who now battles skin cancer because of too much sun as a youth.
    We’re happy to nominate your blog for a Shine On Award. The details are here.
    Best wishes!

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