How Much Sunscreen to Use on Face?

Updated Date: by Reet Patel

The morning routine is a sequence of activities that most people go through every day, and it’s how we start our day. It’s important to remember sunscreen as an essential part of the morning routine because it protects your skin from UV rays.

Apart from protection, several other factors are also important when it comes to determining how much sun protection you need, such as your skin type, how long you will be outside, and how sensitive your skin is. In this article, we will discuss how much sunscreen to use on your face for maximum protection against UV rays!

Why is Sunscreen Important?

how much spf for face

Sun exposure can cause wrinkles, sunburns, age spots, and even skin cancer.  With the regular use of facial sunscreen, you are far away from all the hassles.

It is also important to wear sunscreen in the morning because that is when you are most likely to be exposed to UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays are strongest from about ten in the morning until four in the afternoon.

Sunscreen is a key part of any morning routine, and it is important to apply enough sunscreen to get the UV protection offered by the sunscreen options. Most people do not apply enough sunscreen, which means they are not getting the full benefit of using it.

When you are applying sunscreen, be sure to use enough to cover all exposed skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using at least one ounce of sunscreen for your entire body, which is the equivalent of a shot glass.

You know the consequences range from mild to severe and lethal, and you also know sunscreen is the savior.  But do you know how much to use?  Keep reading for the answer.

How Much Sunscreen To Use On Face?

Sunscreen is an essential part of any morning routine, especially during the summertime when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Applying sunscreen every morning helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevents wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of aging. But exactly how much sunscreen should you use on your face?

One to two teaspoons is sufficient enough, but depending on how light or dark your complexion is—you may need more. This means that if you have a lighter complexion, use more sunscreen; if you have a darker complexion, use less sunscreen.  The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using about one ounce (or two tablespoons) for the entire body.

how much sunscreen should you apply on face

To avoid any greasy residue, be sure to apply sunscreen evenly and allow it to dry completely before applying makeup. And don’t forget to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating! By following these tips, you can help keep your skin healthy and protected from the sun’s rays.

We hope you know how much SPF you need, but when should you use this is another major question.  Keep reading to know what hour of the clock is the most perfect time to apply sunscreen.

When is the Best Time to Apply Sunscreen to Your Face?

  • It is best to apply sunscreen before you step out in the sun.
  • Apply liberally so that it will cover your face and neck, as well as any other area of skin that may be exposed – such as ears, hands, or arms
  • The amount needed for one application should not require more than a teaspoonful or a shot glass.
  • If you are swimming or perspiring heavily, it is also advisable to re-apply sunscreen after 40 minutes.
  • Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before exposure and reapplied every two hours.
  • It’s best to choose a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) product that will protect your skin from the full range of ultraviolet rays.
  • Some sunscreen products also contain antioxidants that fight against free radicals, which are thought to contribute to premature aging and wrinkles.
  • Make sure you choose a product with an SPF number above 15; higher numbers give greater protection against UVB rays but not necessarily UVA rays.
  • Sunscreen should be applied every day, not only when you are going to be in the sun for a long time.
  • UV radiation is present all year round – even on cloudy days – so it’s important to protect your skin from the sun every day.
  • Reapply sunscreen if you are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, even if it’s cloudy.
  • Sunscreen protects your skin from developing skin cancer and premature aging.
  • It is important to use the best sunscreen for men that contains both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Apply sunscreen every day, whether you are going to be outdoors or not.
  • Sunscreen should also be applied after you have been swimming, perspiring heavily, or toweling off because the protective qualities of sunscreen break down when it comes into contact with water.
  • If your skin becomes sunburnt and starts peeling, then you need to protect yourself from UV rays even more.

As you know the right time and the right amount of sunscreen for face matter, there are a few other misconceptions related to SPF usage that needs to be cleared.  So, explore some common misconceptions about sun protection in the next section.

Common Misconceptions About Sun Protection for Faces

When it comes to sun protection for your face, many people have misconceptions about how much sunscreen to apply and how often to reapply. It’s important to know the facts so you can protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions about sunscreen:

  • You only need sunscreen on sunny days.
  • Sunscreen is the same as sunblock, and you can use too much of either one.
  • You should apply sunscreen before going outside to prevent burning.
  • The best time for sunscreen application is right before going out into the sun.

Here is an explanation to break all the myths:

  1. Some people believe that if it isn’t sunny outside, you don’t need sunscreen. However, the sun’s harmful rays are present even on cloudy days. These rays can damage your skin without any visible signs of sunburn or discomfort.
  2. Many people believe that using too much sunscreen is just as bad as not using enough. However, using the right amount of sunscreen helps to prevent sunburn and protect your skin from UV rays.
  3. People often think that they should wait until they’re outside before applying sunscreen. The truth is, it’s best to apply sunscreen before going out into the sun because it creates a protective barrier on your skin.
  4. Some people believe that they only need to apply sunscreen before going outside for too long or when planning an outdoor event. The truth is, even if you’re just stepping into the sunshine briefly, like walking from one building to another, you should still apply sunscreen.

The bottom line is that sunscreen is an essential part of the skincare routine, and it’s important to use it enough to avoid UV exposure.  Knowing how much sunscreen to wear on your face can help prevent sunburns and long-term damage from the sun’s rays. So be sure to keep these common misconceptions about how much sunscreen to wear on your face in mind.

You know what matters and what not but do you know which sun protection cream suits the best with your skin type.  The compatibility matters a lot and that’s the reason you must check it.

Choose Sunscreen According to Your Skin Type

Since the men’s grooming market is flooded with ample options for sunscreens, it becomes a daunting task to choose the right sunscreen that matches your skin type.  Here is the list of sunscreens that offer the best sun protection and are also compatible with your skin type.

Sunscreen for Dry Skin

Dry skin is already thirsty for moisture and sun exposure can worsen the situation, resulting in cracked and flaky skin.  Such skin type men should always prefer a high SPF lotion or cream with moisturizing properties.  This way, your skin will not only be protected from sun damage but also remain soft and supple throughout the day.

Sunscreen for Oily Skin

The biggest nightmare for oily skin men is leaving a greasy or sticky residue post-applying any skincare product.  Considering the residue factor, we suggest using a lightweight formula that takes no time to absorb.  Plus, this formula doesn’t clog pores and offers a matte finish.

Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is the most vulnerable to itching, redness, and irritation.  Such a skin type requires a gentle and mild formula.  Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are two of the active ingredients to look for in sunscreen products.  On the other hand, paraben and oxybenzone are avoidable ingredients.

Sunscreen for Combination Skin

Combination skin requires balancing both dry and oily skin.  It means that the skincare products should neither deplete moisture nor add greasy residue.  For such a skin type, we recommend gel-based since they are lightweight and oil-free.

Sunscreen for Acne-prone Skin

Acne-prone skin is a result of clogged skin pores.  Anything that adds more gunk into the pores is not advisable.  It means you must seek non-comedogenic sunscreen labels.  Also, facial sunscreen should be fragrance-free and include only natural ingredients.  To get the optimum results, we suggest using spray sunscreens or lotion-based ones.

Sunscreen for Fair Skin Tones

Fair skin men should always opt for higher SPF broad-spectrum sunscreens.  It means anything above SPF 50 would be worth your investment.  Also, make sure you apply it often to maintain your skin’s pH levels.

Sunscreen for Dark Skin Tones

hawthorne sunscreen


No matter your skin type, it is always important to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours when outdoors and after swimming or sweating. Sunscreen should also be applied before using any other products in the morning routine. Happy sunning!

You are all set with the perfect product protecting you from sun damage but do you know how to use it? The answer to these questions is in the next section.

How to Apply Sunscreen? (Do it with 8 Quick Tips)

Applying sunscreen reminds us of how we brush our teeth and keep them protected from cavities.  The only difference is with sunscreen, you keep your skin protected from UVA and UVB rays.  However, your skin gets adequate protection only if the sunscreen application process is done correctly and efficiently.

Failing to do so can welcome disasters like early skin aging and skin cancers.  To protect you from such hassles, here is the stepwise procedure for uniform coverage.

Tip 1: Use an Adequate Amount of Sunscreen

amount of sunscreen for face

According to the study by the skin cancer foundation, a shot glass of broad-spectrum sunscreen is enough to cover your entire body.  On the other hand, a tablespoon is enough to coat exposed skin from direct sunlight.  Use liberally on your delicate skin.

Tip 2: Put Small Dots of Sunscreen on Your Face

sunscreen on face

Putting small dots of sunscreen on your forehead, nose, cheeks, neck, and chin allows maximum coverage.  Another benefit the dotting thing brings to the table is an even distribution of sunscreen across your face.  Lastly, you would have faced no issue in massaging and absorbing the product.

Tip 3: Apply Moisturizer Followed by a Broad-spectrum Sunscreen

how much spf do you need

Moisturizer is an essential part of the grooming routine.  Make sure you moisturize your face post-applying sunscreen.

Tip 4: Make Habit Of Wearing Sunscreen Daily

what spf do you need for your face

Sun damage ain’t a once-in-blue moon thing.  Your skin remains vulnerable to sun damage even on cloudy days, which is why you must inculcate a habit of daily applying sunscreen.  No matter you are stepping out for a walk, the broad-spectrum protection should be on.

Tip 5: Apply Before Stepping Out In The Sun

apply sunscreen

In this scenario, it depends on what sunscreen type you are using.  For instance, physical sunscreens take no time to absorb and you can step out immediately after applying them.  On the other hand, chemical sunscreens do require time for absorption.  It means you must at least apply chemical sunscreen 15-20 minutes before stepping in the sun.

Tip 6: Use Zinc Oxide-Packed For Uv Protection

can i use sunscreen on my face

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are two ingredients that absorb in no time and prevent UVA & UVB rays.  Quick absorption and prevention are the two key benefits why these ingredients are advisable.

Tip 7: Don’t Forget The Two-Hour Reapplication Rule

how often should i reapply sunscreen

Sunscreens when applied remain effective for up to two hours.  The reason behind it becoming ineffective to protect skin is exposure to the sun’s UVB rays.  Don’t worry, it ain’t going to affect your skin till the time you have slathered sunscreen’s layer.  The only point is you need to set a two-hour reapplication rule.

Tip 8: Wear Makeup

spf needed for face

Makeup is the last thing you must wear post-applying the recommended amount of sunscreen.  Just ensure that you use mineral-based makeup with at least SPF 15 or 20.  It will cover your facial skin surface and protect you from harsh rays.

So these are the tips that even top dermatologists recommend.  It’s all about how well you protect your facial skin.  Now, do you think applying once suffices?  So how often do you reapply sunscreen?  Let’s figure it out.

Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

It’s a common misconception that if you apply sunscreen in the morning, you’re good to go all day. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case – sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours.

The two-hour reapplication process is mandatory since throughout the day you travel, exercise, and sweat.  Sun breaks down the sunscreen layer, which is one of the reasons to reapply and avoid ultraviolet rays.

Apart from this, can you do anything to keep your skin protected?

Follow these tips for sun safety:

Firstly, wear sun-protective clothing that covers your neckline, a brimmed hat to create shade for your forehead, and jeans or trousers to cover your legs.

Apart from this, what else you can do if not create a shade is seek shade, wear UV-protective sunglasses.

Lastly, always prefer buying water-resistant sunscreen to prevent it from dripping off when sweating or while taking shower.

If you still have questions, keep reading the next sections.  We have compiled a few frequently asked questions that any man can have related to sunscreen.


1. What Is The 2 Finger Rule Sunscreen?

The two-finger rule is a guideline for how much SPF you need. Simply put, it’s the equivalent of using two fingers to apply sunscreen to your face. This amount will help protect you from the sun’s rays without leaving behind a greasy residue.

2. Is Spf 20 Enough For The Face?

SPF 20 is a good baseline for how much sunscreen to put on your face, but if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time, you may want to apply more. It’s also important to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re sweating or in the water. Make sure to get all the areas around your eyes and lips, as those are typically the most sun-sensitive.

3. What Is The Difference Between Physical And Chemical Sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s harmful rays into the skin, while physical sunscreens work by deflecting the UV rays. Chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate which can be harmful to your health if you are exposed to them in large quantities. Physical sunscreens usually have mineral ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are not harmful to your health.

4. Which Is Better, Spf 15 Or Spf 30?

When it comes to sunscreen, you might be wondering how much SPF you need. The answer is that it depends on your skin type and how long you will be outside. If you have fair skin and are going to be in the sun for a short period of time, SPF 15 is fine. However, if you have darker skin or plan to be outside all day, SPF 30 is a better choice.

5. Should You Use Sunscreen In Winter?

Yes, the sun emits rays 365 days, irrespective of the season. It means you should always wear sunscreen for adequate protection.

6. Are Spray Sunscreens Safe?

No, the spray sunscreens aren’t safe if they are directly sprayed since you are at risk of inhaling ingredients that aren’t beneficial for the lungs. Plus, the continuous spray sunscreen would leave droplets on your skin, which needs to be smeared. Another drawback of spray sunscreen, you would never know whether you have applied the correct amount or not.


Sunscreen should be an essential part of your morning routine. It saves you from sunburns, skin aging signs, skin cancer, UVA rays, and UVB rays.  Applying the right amount also helps avoid greasy residue and protects your skin from UV rays.

Make sure to choose a sunscreen that is compatible with your skin type.  If you are planning to spend time swimming, you can use a water-resistant sunscreen.


Published Date: Jan 13, 2022

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