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How a lot sunscreen is sufficient on your face?

Are you confused about how a lot sunscreen is sufficient on your face? Sources give conflicting quantities or methods to measure it (ounces, grams, tablespoons, teaspoons, fingers, cash!!). Then there are the questions on how typically to you actually need to reapply face sunscreen and the way excessive of an SPF do you want to put on?

You additionally get blended details about spray and powder SPFs, sunscreen in make-up or moisturizer, and whether or not you want SPF within the winter, aren’t actually exterior a lot, or are going exterior within the morning or late afternoon.

Your face is prime actual property on the subject of pores and skin solar harm. We all know that over 80% or extra of the indicators of pores and skin growing older extra are because of solar publicity – not your age. – Dr. Bailey

You’ll be able to stop and sluggish facial pores and skin growing older by accurately making use of sunscreen and utilizing the correct solar safety. You can too decrease your threat of getting pores and skin most cancers in your face by solar defending your pores and skin – however what precisely does that imply?

There are such a lot of questions on facial sunscreen that I’m going to interrupt this down into sensible suggestions and provide the proper solutions. Know too that your pores and skin will finally let you know in case you are doing a great job solar defending it –

  • tan, burn and darker freckles equal a fail,
  • no tan, burn and darkening of freckles equal a win!

Precisely how a lot sunscreen to make use of in your face based on a dermatologist

apply 1 ounce shot glass of sunscreen

The AAD advocate 2mg per sq. centimeter of physique floor space per utility of sunscreen. That quantity is just not a useful information so let me break it down on your face.

We begin with 2 mg per sq. centimeter as a result of this dose is how SPF is examined.

For the typical grownup measurement physique (aged 14 or extra as much as 176lbs), this equates to a shot glass of sunscreen, which is 1 ounce, to cowl the human physique pores and skin floor space at 2mg of sunscreen per sq. centimeter of pores and skin floor.

Doing the mathematics on this utilizing the physique floor space Wallace Rule of 9s (a calculation methodology used to find out % of pores and skin injured in a burn unit!) we discover that:

  • The full floor space of the back and front of the pinnacle and neck is 9% of the physique floor.
  • The entrance of the face and neck are 4.5%. 4.5% of 1 ounce is ¼ teaspoon.
1 quarter teaspoon of sunscreen is enough for your face and front of your neck

1/4 teaspoon is sufficient sunscreen on your face and the entrance of your neck for most individuals. 

How a lot sunscreen do you want on the face in teaspoons?

You want a beneficiant ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen on your face, the entrance of your neck, your ears and the little house behind your ears in entrance of your hairline. Use extra when you have a excessive brow or giant face.

To be protected, goal for between ¼ and ½ teaspoon of sunscreen on your face/neck/ears. That is enough for most individuals. – Dr. Bailey

Professional-tip #1: you see suggestions starting from ¼ tsp to ½ tsp for the ‘face’. I imagine the confusion is because of ‘consultants’ not realizing that the Wallace Rule of 9s defines the back and front of the pinnacle and neck as 9%. Folks neglect that the floor space of the face and entrance of the neck is simply half of that and thus 4.5%.

Professional-tip #2: You gained’t all the time have a ¼ teaspoon with you so go take a look at one now. Put it in your cupped palm and work out how a lot space in your cupped palm matches 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon. Memorize the scale. That’s your hack for making use of sunscreen on the seashore or any time you don’t have a ¼ teaspoon round.

What number of TBS (tablespoons) of sunscreen to make use of on the face?

There are 3 tsp in a TBS. The mathematics finally ends up at 1/12 a TBS of sunscreen per utility.

You want 1/12 of a Tablespoon of sunscreen on your face.

The Tablespoon is the large spoon within the measuring spoon image above. I prepare dinner quite a bit and even I don’t discover this convenient. I like to recommend you keep on with the ¼ to ½ teaspoon of sunscreen on your face, ears and the entrance of your neck.

How a lot sunscreen to make use of on the face in ml (milliliters)?

You want a beneficiant 1.2 ml of sunscreen or your face and the entrance of your neck. It’s because ¼ teaspoon equals 1.23ml. Once more, in case your brow is excessive or face is giant, use extra.

I like to recommend utilizing 1.25 to 2.5 ml of sunscreen on your face/ears and the entrance of your neck relying on the scale of your face and neck.

Make sure to apply sunscreen to your ears each day.

Professional-tip: Metric measurements are extra exact than teaspoons in my view. In case you have a ml measure and like pondering metric, go see how a lot of your cupped palm matches 1.25-2.5 ml and memorize it.

Apply a nickel measurement dollop of sunscreen to your face alone. Use one other nickel on your neck, ears and behind your ears.

Some individuals want this measurement. I discover it problematic as a result of product consistency determines how thick that ‘nickel measurement dollop’ shall be. I additionally suppose the cash have gotten blended up as a result of I see individuals recommending that you simply apply 1 / 4 measurement dollop. That mentioned, The Pores and skin Most cancers Basis recommends this measure and it really works visually for some of us. 

Apply one-finger lengths of sunscreen to your face.

two fingers of sunscreen are needed for the entire head and neck

You will note the ‘finger size’ measure of facial sunscreen trick talked about as ‘two finger lengths’.

The quantity of sunscreen utilized alongside your index and center finger from palm to fingertip is enough to cowl your whole head, neck and face. That is 9% of your physique floor space.

In case you have no hair and have to cowl your whole head and neck, use 2 fingers.

In case you are simply masking your face and the entrance of your neck, that’s 4.5% and you should utilize 1 finger size. Once more, I believe consultants have given portions for all the head and neck. The two-finger rule is for a 9% physique floor space, of which there are literally 11! 

This ‘finger’ sunscreen utility dosage methodology was developed in Australia in 2002 and applies to cream and ointment merchandise.  Keep in mind, the scale of your sunscreen applicator and the product’s consistency will decide the scale of that squeeze and I discover it unreliable. Once more, I want the ¼ teaspoon measurement.

How a lot SPF sunscreen to make use of on face?

Dermatologists advocate utilizing an SPF 30 or larger broad-spectrum sunscreen in your face.

SPF 30 broad spectrum face sunscreens

Search for the phrases ‘broad-spectrum’ to point that the UV safety contains each UVA and UVB rays.

  • UVB rays are the robust summer time/mid-day sunburn ray.
  • UVA accounts for over 90-99% of UV rays that attain you right here on earth relying in your location and the season.

All of my pure mineral Sheer Power Pure Bodily Sunscreens present broad-spectrum safety in opposition to UVA with SPF 30 or larger values. 

Why is it vital to make use of face sunscreen that blocks UVA?

  • UVA is basically as robust in winter as it’s in summer time, and in morning versus at midday.
  • UVA comes by glass.
  • UVA rays are longer than UVB and they also penetrate deeply into your pores and skin to trigger untimely pores and skin growing older and pores and skin thinning.

Do you want a face SPF larger than 30?

That’s just about the identical. We advocate an SPF 30 or larger.

I don’t ever advocate utilizing sunscreen decrease SPF than 30. – Dr. Bailey

Tips on how to apply sunscreen to your face accurately, based on a dermatologist

Right here is the step-by-step means of making use of sunscreen to your face accurately:

  1. how to correctly apply sunscreen to the face

    Wash your face and apply any skincare merchandise earlier than you apply your sunscreen.

  2. Apply a beneficiant ¼ tsp to ½ tsp of SPF 30 Broad Spectrum sunscreen to your face and the entrance of your neck.
  3. Rub within the sunscreen till it covers your whole pores and skin evenly.
  4. Work the sunscreen into your hairline to guard that uncovered pores and skin.
  5. Apply sunscreen to your ears – the back and front and the little triangle behind your ear as much as the hairline.
  6. Make-up is utilized on prime of sunscreen.

Why is sunscreen utilized after your different skincare merchandise?

As a result of they should take up into your pores and skin. Sunscreen binds to outer lifeless pores and skin cells on the highest layer of your pores and skin.

Why is make-up utilized on prime of sunscreen?

Make-up would smear in the event you utilized sunscreen on prime. It’s best to use your make-up over your sunscreen.

How do you reapply sunscreen in your face in the event you put on make-up?

You need to use a powder sunscreen to reapply SPF over make-up to forestall smearing your make-up. That is the great thing about powder sunscreens.

I don’t advocate utilizing powder sunscreen as your main sunscreen as a result of it’s not possible to know that you’ve the ¼ tsp or extra of product on your face within the brush applicators that powder SPF merchandise are disbursed in. However they’re a fantastic instrument to reapply sunscreen over make-up. – Dr. Bailey

powder spf sunscreen with iron oxide to block visible and blue light

My Sheer Power Pure Bodily SPF 30 Refresh Powder Sunscreen is what I think about the proper resolution to facial sunscreen reapplication over make-up. The tinting know-how works nicely for nearly all pores and skin pigment tone. It additionally incorporates over 3.2% iron oxide to dam seen and blue gentle out of your units. These seen and blue rays can worsen pores and skin pigment issues and likewise trigger some pores and skin harm. 

Is sunscreen in your make-up sufficient?

Sunscreen SPF in make-up vary from 4 to 30.  I do not advocate utilizing sunscreen decrease than 30. Plus,

  • Are you sure that the SPF in your make-up is labeled ‘broad-spectrum’? That is vital to guard your face from solar harm.
  • Most significantly, are you going to use the requisite ¼ tsp of make-up with an SPF 30 and is it providing you with broad spectrum UV safety?

Usually, the reply to each questions in ‘no’.

However, in the event you apply make-up, particularly mineral make-up over sunscreen, you get added safety. That’s as a result of most make-up is opaque and can block some UV. Mineral make-up particles assist to dam and scatter some UV rays, although they sometimes aren’t SPF rated (an costly FDA regulated course of).

I like to recommend utilizing mineral make-up with iron oxide as a result of iron oxide additionally protects pores and skin from seen gentle rays (sure these are completely different than UV rays) that may darken pigment issues reminiscent of melasma. Mineral make-up sometimes is pigmented with iron oxide so take a look at a merchandise ingredient checklist to see.

mineral makeup with iron oxide to help protect from visible and blue light

My mineral make-up contains iron oxide. So does my SPF 30 Powder Refresh Sunscreen that may double as mineral make-up and blends nicely into most pores and skin coloration tones.

I like to recommend mineral make-up powders with iron oxide be utilized on prime of your SPF 30+ facial sunscreen for one of the best safety to battle pores and skin growing older.

Will moisturizer with SPF defend your pores and skin?

Usually, no. Most individuals don’t use sufficient moisturizer and apply it evenly over their face to get sufficient safety. I like to recommend that you simply use the correct moisturizer to maintain your pores and skin nicely hydrated and apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or larger mineral zinc oxide sunscreen on prime.

How a lot face sunscreen do you actually need to use each day?

best face sunscreen for every day

The truth is that few adults apply facial sunscreen each day however you want to as a result of that is job safety for derms and results in solar broken pores and skin.

Apply ¼ tsp of sunscreen to your face, the entrance of your neck and your ears each day and also you cease 80% of your facial pores and skin growing older.

Discover a sunscreen you’re keen on and simply do it – it will definitely turns into simple.

What about steady spray sunscreen on your face, is it OK?

Spray sunscreens ought to by no means be sprayed on the face. You don’t wish to inhale the lively or inactive substances into your extremely absorbent lungs.

Different drawbacks of spray sunscreens:

  • It’s arduous to know that you’ve utilized the correct amount of sunscreen when it’s sprayed on the pores and skin.
  • Spray sunscreen layers in your pores and skin in droplets and it’s essential to smear and mix the droplets for uniform protection.

The FDA has mentioned that spray sunscreens want additional analysis to find out if they’re GRASE (usually acknowledged as protected and efficient). 

What about each day use of sunscreen on the chest/decolletage?

how much sunscreen should you put on your chest every day

It’s actually vital to guard the ‘V’ of your chest from solar harm to forestall creating deep vertical chest wrinkles, sunspots, and the discoloration of purple and brown mottling known as Poikiloderma of Civatte. These pores and skin modifications are because of solar harm not age, and they’re arduous to repair as soon as they begin.

Right here is my 62-year-old pores and skin lined in sunscreen. I’ve protected my chest from the solar for the final 30 years and it is made a distinction that issues to me. Sure, I am exhibiting off within the hopes that it will provide you with confidence that that is all value it. 

How a lot sunscreen do you have to apply in your chest?

The quick reply is that I like to recommend one other ¼ to 1/8 tsp as a result of, relying on the neckline of your shirt or gown, the floor space might be about the identical measurement as your face and neck. It may be half that in case you are carrying a button up shirt open on the prime. Thus, take a look at your uncovered pores and skin floor space in comparison with your face and neck to determine it out.

  • Utilizing the Wallace Rule of 9s, the pores and skin of your chest right down to the decrease ribs is 9%.
  • It’s about 4.5% to the nipples of the breasts on a person. You might be most likely exposing lower than this 4.5% floor space.

How typically do you want to reapply sunscreen to your face?

The 2 guidelines of facial sunscreen reapplication:

  1. You have to reapply sunscreen each 2 hours throughout steady publicity.
  2. You additionally have to reapply after sweating/swimming/wiping off product.

Sure, it’s inconvenient however true. Even if you find yourself not exterior, know that your sunscreen is migrating in your pores and skin and your protection is lessening as product migrates into folds and expression traces. Which means that in the event you apply sunscreen within the morning, spend the day principally within the workplace however plan to step exterior into the daylight on the finish of your day – you want to reapply facial sunscreen to be protected. That is the place Powder sunscreen is admittedly useful.

Professional-tips for solar security: Don’t simply consider getting your solar safety from sunscreen. Use a mix technique to preserve UV rays off of and out of your pores and skin.

Sun Protection Infographic

Begin first by masking as a lot pores and skin as you possibly can with clothes.

Think about carrying a better neckline or collar shirt that helps defend your neck and a hat that covers your brow. (For instance, I not often put on that fairly shirt in direct solar exhibiting off my hard-earned spotless pores and skin. I had on layers of sunscreen to guard my pores and skin from the chance!! I additionally often put on a hat.)

Then A.S.Okay. if the remainder of your pores and skin is protected:

The pneumonic of how I train solar safety:

A: Apply a great SPF 30+ sunscreen at the beginning of each day and reapply it when outdoor for prolonged instances.

Selected a product with 5% or extra zinc oxide for probably the most sturdy safety. Make certain you’re keen on your sunscreen so that you simply use it each day. If meaning you want to splurge on a product with a fantastic appear and feel in your pores and skin, that is the skincare product to try this.

S: Shade your pores and skin to forestall UV rays from a direct hit in your pores and skin. Be within the shade or create shade on your face with a brimmed hat that has a full circumference 3-to-5-inch brim.

Shade augments the safety of your sunscreen as a result of each UV ray saved off of your sunscreen means your sunscreen’s safety will last more (UV rays break down sunscreen molecules ).

Okay: Know the depth of your solar publicity and ramp up your safety accordingly. For instance:

  • On a seashore in the course of a summer time day on the equator, with intense and mirrored UV rays coming off the sand, you want to strictly observe the sunscreen reapplication guidelines.
  • In case you are swimming or sweating, you want a waterproof sunscreen that you simply reapply diligently.
  • In winter, whenever you utilized your facial sunscreen within the morning, you’ve spent many of the day indoors and are stepping out within the late afternoon, you could want only a dusting of SPF Powder to guard your pores and skin.


Writer: Dr. Cynthia Bailey M.D. is a Board-Licensed dermatologist training dermatology since 1987. She has carried out nicely over 200,000 pores and skin exams throughout her profession and authors the longest operating doctor written pores and skin well being weblog on the planet.

“I really like empowering individuals to take excellent care of their pores and skin by educating them and placing the ‘self-care’ into their skincare in order that they love the pores and skin they’re in!” Dr. Bailey

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