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How Much Sunscreen Should You Use?

Posted by Allison Kelly on

Everyone needs sunscreen. Whether you’re at the beach or eating lunch outside at work, sunscreen keeps you safe from the sun’s harmful rays. But are you sure that you’re getting the full effect of your SPF?


The SPF rating given to a sunscreen is decided in a controlled environment using a very specific amount of lotion. In the real world, sunscreen is often applied quickly and less effectively, meaning that your SPF 50 may only be giving you SPF 10 protection. Yikes.


The majority of people aren’t applying enough sunscreen, which can lead to burns and skin cancer even when you think you’re protected. Not sure how much to apply? We’re here to help.


Let us start by saying that there is no amount that will work for everyone. The amount of sunscreen that you should wear depends on your body size, skin exposure, and daily activities. Obviously, a toddler does not need to apply the same amount of sunscreen as an adult. That being said, it’s hard to over apply sunscreen!


Dermatologists recommend applying one ounce — or the equivalent of a shot glass — of sunscreen to your entire body. Assuming you won’t have a shot glass in your pocket every time you need to apply sunscreen, it can get tricky to know if you’re applying enough. We’ve broken it down for you so you’ll be prepared, even when you’re on the go!

Back: Two quarter size amounts

Stomach & Chest: Two quarter size amounts

Legs: Two quarter size amounts PER leg

Arms: One quarter size amount PER arm

Face & Neck: one quarter size amount


Shocked by how much sunscreen you should be using? You’re not alone. Most people are only using half of the recommended amount of sunscreen! While it may seem like a lot, applying your sunscreen correctly can help protect you from sunburn and sun cancer. Make sure to reapply every 2 hours (or 1 hour if you are swimming or sweating). You’ll thank yourself when you’re not sunburnt tomorrow!

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