lady applying sunscreen to at the beach

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

It is important to remain protected from the sun's harmful UV light. But how often should you apply sunscreen throughout the day to stay safe?

How often should you apply sunscreen?

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

In short, you should apply your first layer of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun and reapply at least every 2 hours. You should reapply your sunscreen more often if you are taking part in water activities or sweating heavily.
ladt applying sunscreen to her arm

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

Why applying sunscreen Matters

Applying sunscreen is incredibly important to keep you skin safe from the sun's UV light. Sunscreen acts as a filter for UV light and prevents it from penetrating the skin. Without it our skin is left exposed to sun induced damage, which can be very serious and is something none of us want.

Applying sunscreen daily also helps to prevent premature ageing that is induced by the sun. Too much sun can cause dark spots, wrinkles and sagging of the skin.

mother with sunscreen on her back and her daughter hugging her

how often should you apply sunscreen?

Wear Sunscreen Everyday

A good habit to get into is to apply sunscreen as part of your daily skin care routine. This is because UV light is always present in the day, no matter what the weather. Of course in stronger sunshine, the intensity level of UV light is heightened, but even on cloudy days the sun's light can cause damage to your skin. 

Consider using a specific sunscreen for your face such as  NIVEA SUN UV Face Soothing Sensitive Sun Cream SPF 50+, or moisturiser with SPF such as NIVEA Q10 Power Anti-Wrinkle Age Spot Day Cream SPF30 for convenient daily protection.

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

All Day Sun Cream

Simply put, all day sun cream does not exist. To maintain a safe level of UV protection throughout the day you must reapply sunscreen as necessary. Every sunscreens protective barrier begins to fade after the original application, so to think you have an all day sun cream is a dangerous thought that can leave your skin exposed.

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

Reapplying your sunscreen is very important to ensure you stay protected throughout the day, here is how often you need to reapply sunscreen and how to correctly apply it:
people swimming

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

Unfortunately as there is no such thing as an all day sun cream, one application in the morning is not enough to keep you protected from the sun throughout the day. You therefore need to be reapplying your sunscreen to stay safe. 

As for how often should you reapply sunscreen, it varies on what you are doing. At a very minimum you need to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours. You also need to reapply your sunscreen immediately after swimming or any water based activities as well as after excess sweating.

A lot of sun damage happens later on in the day, when the original protective layer has faded and people have forgotten to reapply their sunscreen. If you find applying sunscreen a chore, why not try our new Protect & Dry Touch Refreshing Sun Mist SPF 50 or Protect & Dry Touch Invisible Sun Spray SPF 50? Both of these non-greasy sunscreens come in a convenient spray so are very easy to apply and are quickly absorbed by your skin.

woman applying sunscreen to her shoulder

How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen?

Apply Your Sunscreen Correctly

So now you know how often you should you apply sunscreen (and reapply!) you need to make sure you know how to apply sunscreen correctly. This is important as improper application can leave your skin exposed.

You should be using at least 2 tablespoons for your body and a blob the roughly the size of s 10p for your face. If you are using a spray, spray all over until you have and even glazed covering. Dot the sunscreen from the bottle all over your body and then gently massage into your skin until it is all gone. Make sure to cover your ears, back of hands and neck - these are often missed places!

Remember that all sunscreens are different, so make sure to check the instructions on your bottle for application advice also.

How often should you apply sunscreen?

Extra sun safety tips

As well as wearing sunscreen, here are a few more tips to stay safe in the sun:

  1. Wear sun protective clothing
    Wearing long sleeves and a hat will keep the sun off your skin and help you stay protected. It is also recommended to make children wear a long-sleeved swimming top for days out at the beach or pool to keep their young skin safe.
  2. Wear sunglasses
    UV rays can damage your eyes as well as your skin, as well as making you squint uncomfortably throughout the day, putting strain on your eyes. Sunglasses are a good way to shield your eyes from the sun.
  3. Seek shade as much as possible
    This can help to keep you cool, prevent overheating and avoid overexposure to the sun. This is particularly important between 11am-3pm when the sun is at its strongest.
  4. Drink lots of water
    When you are hot you tend to sweat more, losing vital fluids at a quicker rate. It is very important you replenish these lost fluids to stay hydrated.
  5. Sun strength & time of day
    It is advisable to avoid direct sunlight when it is at its strongest (11am-3pm in the UK), but if you are out during this time, ensure you are protected as appropriate. This means long sleeves and a high SPF sunscreen, and try to stay in the shade.