Proper Sunscreen Application

Your sunscreen is only as effective as your application!

To follow my recent Sunscreen 101 blog post, I wanted to share information on how to properly apply your sunscreen. I will highlight what to look for in a sunscreen and walk you through how to best apply sprays, lotions and sticks.

First things first, here is what you should look for in your sunscreen:

  • Broad spectrum defense against UVB and UVA rays. (Protection against burning, skin cancer, and aging.)
  • Mineral ingredients: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
  • SPF 30. This will block 97% of UVB rays. (SPF 15 is the minimum level of protection for skin defense against cancer.)
  • Non-aerosol sprays.
  • Non-nano particles. (These are larger particles that have a lower risk of being inhaled or absorbed.)

My favorite sunscreen brand that meets all of these requirements is Beautycounter. All of their options feel great on your skin, are easy to use, provide innovation technology and ingredients (like antioxidant-rich California poppy to help protect against oxidative damage that leads to signs of aging) and are safe for coral reefs. (Most chemical sunscreens cause damage to coral reefs. Coral reefs protect coastlines from wave and storm damage, offer the most diverse ecosystem on the planet and provide habitat and shelter for marine organisms.) 

Here is a list of Beautycounter’s sunscreen options and how to best apply them. Keep in mind, these application tips are for ALL sunscreens.

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 – Convenient and easy to use! Great for wiggly kids or for those who like a quick application. Beautycounter’s Mist utilizes a bag-on-valve actuator system to dispense the sunscreen—no aerosols or propellents necessary!

Body Application: Liberally spray on body. The Mist sprays on white but will become transparent as you rub it in–this will help guide application and ensure all of your skin is covered.

Face application: Spray Mist onto your hands and then rub it into your face. 

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 – An all-star water-resistant, non-chalky mineral lotion that feels great on your skin.

Body application (adult): Apply 1 oz. of sunscreen to cover your entire body. This is the size of a shot glass.

Body application (children): Roughly 1/2 oz. of sunscreen to cover entire body. Use best judgement based on size comparison to adult application above.

Face application: Apply an amount equal to the size of two almonds. Be sure to cover ears, back of neck and hairline.

Just a heads up: There is no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen—only water-resistant. Water-resistant sunscreens are durable against washing off. Beautycounter’s Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is water-resistant for forty minute, so if you are in the water, I recommend reapplying every hour or so.

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 – This is a must-have! Water-resistant sunscreen stick infused with cocoa butter to help provide a nice glide-on application. This is a popular sunscreen for gym bags, ski bags, backpacks or cars. (We use this frequently on our cheeks!)

Body or face application: Simply roll onto your skin. The Sunscreen Stick offers 80 minutes worth of water-resistance.

I have a few of these around our house—because they offer a longer water-resistance time, I like to use them on the boys when they are splashing in their kiddie pool or running through the sprinklers. They are also nice to keep in your car and rub on the top of your hands while you are driving—UVA rays (aging rays) penetrate glass, so one of the main way to protect against the signs of agin is through sunscreen.

Beautycounter also offers a travel size in their Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist!

I hope this helps you become more effective in your sunscreen application! Cheers to a safer sun season! 

Gina Schade

Gina Schade

Gina is a certified health coach and author of The 90/10 Life Cookbook, and director at Beatycounter. She helps her clients create a toxin-free complexion they feel 100% confident in!

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