Professional Tips for Making the Most of Your Sunscreen

Photography: Getty Images (Getty Images)

In order for sunscreen to be as effective as possible, it’s important to properly apply the formula on the skin. Here are some helpful tips to share with clients before they leave the spa:

  • “Let your sunscreen dry completely before applying make-up or getting in water.”—Ashleigh Kehrt, corporate educator, Image Skincare
  • “Apply a sunscreen every morning to the face, décolleté, hands, and arms. This ensures that if and when you venture outside, you’ll be protected without having to think about it. However, if you do intend to be out in the sun for long periods of time, be sure to reapply at least every two hours.”—Shannon Esau, CEO, Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals
  • “All sunscreen must be reapplied regularly every one to two hours regardless of SPF, especially after swimming and exercising intensely. In order to cover the entire body, use about the amount that would fill up a shot glass. SPF should be used daily and with the correct amount to be effective.”—Karen Asquith, national director of education, G.M. Collin
  • “Sunscreen should always be the last layer applied before makeup. If you are using a serum and/or a moisturizer, those should be applied first, followed by sunscreen. The goal is a sheer, even layer. Don’t skimp, but don’t apply too thickly either. Apply to one area at a time to be sure that the sunscreen spreads and blends evenly, covering the exposed area of the skin.”—Kathleen Dwyer, director of sales and marketing, Fallene, makers of Tizo
  • "Most people tend to get confused about the actual SPF number value and what it actually means. A good way to understand and determine what type of SPF a person should be using is by calculating how many minutes it takes a person to burn without protection during peak hours 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and multiply that number by the SPF sunscreen you are considering using. For example, multiply Fitzpatrick II skin type—burns in 10 minutes from peak sun exposure—by an SPF 20, and that equals 200 minutes. This means that the person can have an estimated 200 minutes of sun exposure with a sunscreen SPF 20 without burning. This equation is also dependent upon adequate application over the exposed skin and re-application at least every three hours, especially if the person is spending an extended period of time outdoors.” —Melanie Timms, director of marketing innovation and education, CBI Laboratories 
  • “It is important to apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before being out in the sun, and reapply at least every 80 minutes to ensure you are protected all day long.”—Chris Birchby, founder and CEO, Coola 


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