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How Often to Reapply Sunscreen in the South

How Often to Reapply Sunscreen in the South

Sunscreen is one of the most crucial products in your skincare routine.

It protects your skin from harsh UV rays and can also help keep your skin looking healthy, vibrant and youthful for as long as possible. 

 
If you live in the South, you likely already know how intense the sun can get. Reapplying your sunscreen to ensure adequate protection all day long is key — and knowing how often to reapply sunscreen is essential to staying safe, even on cloudy or cooler days. 

Choosing the right sunscreen

While there are plenty of options, choosing the right sunscreen makes all the difference. Although everyone's skin has different needs, there are three criteria that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends when looking for the most effective sunscreen:

  • An SPF (sun-protective factor) of 35 or above. SPF 30 and below won’t provide enough protection from the harsh Southern sun. However, a high SPF (like SPF 50) doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting additional protection.
  • Broad-spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB rays). UVA rays can penetrate glass and are the driving factor between tans and sunburns. UVB rays aren’t as prevalent, but they are more intense. You’ll need protection from both.
  • Water resistance. Water reduces the amount of time that sunscreen can be effective. While no sunscreen is truly waterproof, water resistance helps it stay on the skin and protect you longer. 

From there, you’ll want to make sure that you’re choosing a sunscreen formulated for your skin type and specific needs. If you’re concerned about how even your skin tone is, you may want to choose an option that has a little bit of tint, like our 100% Mineral Tinted SPF.

If your skin is sensitive, dry or breaks out frequently, you'll want to make sure the sunscreen you use contains ingredients that help nourish your skin in addition to protecting it. 

How often should I reapply sunscreen?

To reduce damaging sun exposure, you’ll need to reapply your sunscreen. Unfortunately, even the best sunscreen won’t last all day — the longer you go between applications, the more likely you are to burn.

Deciding how often to reapply sunscreen is going to depend on what you’re doing. UV rays can impact you anywhere, but certain activities (anytime you're sweating or swimming) require you to reapply sunscreen sooner than others. 

However, as a general rule of thumb, you should reapply your sunscreen every two hours. If you're in direct sunlight, sweat profusely (like during a workout) or are in or around the water, you should apply even more frequently. On humid days, like we experience often here in the South, you'll want to reapply your sunscreen more frequently, too. 

Applying and reapplying sunscreen doesn’t require the entire bottle, though. For most of us, just a shot glass of sunscreen (around one ounce) covers our body sufficiently. The amount of sunscreen you use isn’t directly related to the coverage you get — so save your money and don’t overdo it. 

How else can I protect my skin from the sun?

In addition to using and reapplying sunscreen appropriately, there are other ways to keep yourself safe from the sun’s damaging rays. 

One of those ways is to also pay attention to the clothes you wear when you’re spending time outdoors. Investing in a wide-brimmed hat or a cover-up for your swimsuit helps reduce ultraviolet radiation on your skin. 

Don’t forget to wear sunglasses, either. UV rays from the sun also can impact the eyes (and the skin around the eyes), leading to corneal damage and decreased vision. Remember, the sun is also the main way most of us get vitamin D, which is essential to our overall health.

What happens if I see signs of sun damage?

Even with diligent sunscreen usage and protective clothing, damage from the sun can happen. This UV exposure can compound over time and lead to visible signs of premature aging — fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots (hyperpigmentation) and a loss of firmness and radiance. 

If you live in the South, visit one of our skin care clinics — we'd love to create a personalized skin care plan for you to help reduce visible signs of aging and keep your skin healthy. 

Our treatments include:

Where in the South can I find a good med spa?

  • Skin Pharm Dallas: Our Dallas skin care clinic is located right next to the West Village shopping center — an ideal way to round out your self-care day (and get out of the heat). 
  • Skin Pharm Houston: Located near River Oaks, the providers at our Houston skin care clinic are here for all your skin needs. Check out nearby Highland Village for post-treatment shopping and give your skin a break from the sun.
  • Skin Pharm Austin: Our Austin skin care clinic has everything you need to elevate your skin care routine. Conveniently located near Westlake Shopping Center, book a treatment with us or stop in anytime to stock up on your skin care staples. 
  • Skin Pharm Atlanta: Our Atlanta med spa is here to help keep your skin looking its best. Stop by Buckhead Village afterward to give your skin a break from the sun. 

In summary...

Choosing the right sunscreen is just as crucial as knowing how often to reapply it. While the sun in the South can be especially intense, finding a sunscreen you'll wear every day is important for everyone, no matter where you live. 

If you're looking for a new daily SPF, shop our collection here. And if you're looking to improve existing signs of sun damage or aging, we'd love to help — book a skin consultation with us to get started! 

SOURCES:

The efficacy and safety of sunscreen use for the prevention of skin cancer | PubMed

Sunscreen FAQs | AAD

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) | FDA

Comprehensive Review of Ultraviolet Radiation and the Current Status on Sunscreens | PubMed

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