How to Apply Sunscreen Correctly and Mistakes to Avoid!

With the scorching heat of the sun, whether it is summer, winter, or monsoon, applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above is mandatory. We need to apply sunscreen irrespective of our age or the season outside, to protect our skin from the harmful UV-B rays that come from the sun causing skin cancer and many more skin-related issues. Apart from this, if you do not apply your SPFs correctly, it can leave you exposed to premature aging, and applying sunscreen correctly will help defend your skin against this and keep it healthy.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is a measure to protect our skin from harmful solar radiation (UV-B rays) that causes sunburn and more skin-related issues. The number on the SPF explains how sunscreen is capable of protecting our skin from harmful radiation. As the value of the SPF increases, the protection of our skin from sunburn also increases. It is always better to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above.

Sunscreen bottle

How to Apply a Sunscreen Correctly

Follow these steps properly!


The first step is to clean your face. Wash your face properly using a mild face wash and gently pat dry it using a towel.


Apply a moisturizer or a serum with no active ingredients. Serums and moisturizers containing vitamin C are highly recommended during the day. Let it set for a few seconds.


Apply three fingers of your sunscreen on your face because a tiny bit of it will not work. The sunscreen may leave a white cast, but it will get settled after a few minutes.

Sunscreen on hand


Let it get absorbed by your skin properly, and then apply your make-up. If you are not going to apply makeup then simply apply some compact powder with an SPF.


Last but not least, step out of the house only after 20-30 minutes of applying your sunscreen, and do not forget to reapply your sunscreen after every 2 hours.

Common Mistakes to Avoid while Applying Sunscreen

Avoid all these mistakes for the most effective results!

Not applying enough of sunscreen

Many people do not apply adequate amounts of sunscreen, and too little will do you no better in protecting your skin from the sun. That is why the three-finger rule is used for using sunscreen.

Forgetting to reapply the sunscreen

Well, nothing lasts forever – the effects of sunscreen degrade after two hours. So it is advisable to apply it after every two hours. You can also use the stick formulas to avoid any mess.

Girl applying sunscreen on face

Only applying sunscreen on sunny days

It has been found that 80 percent of UV rays can enter your skin on a cloudy day. So applying sunscreen only on sunny days will not help you protect your skin.

Immediately stepping out of the house after applying sunscreen

You need to wait for at least 20-30 mins before stepping out of the house after applying sunscreen to create an intended protective barrier.

Ignoring the product label

We often ignore the label of the product. The experts have advised that a proper sunscreen should have an SPF of 30 or more, water resistance, and a broad spectrum. If your sunscreen has these features, then it will show its magic.

Applying sunscreen only on days when you step out

Most people think that we need to apply sunscreen only when we step out of our home. But that is not the case – you must apply sunscreen every day, irrespective of you staying home or going outside.

Woman applying sunscreen on body

Applying sunscreen only on the face

Any part of your skin exposed to the sun can face damage like skin cancer, premature aging, and many more. Do not forget to apply sunscreen on your neck, hands, legs, or any body parts exposed to the sun.

Thinking that your skin tone does not require sunscreen

Sunscreen is required for all skin tones. Every skin tone gets exposed to the sun, so to protect your skin from damage, we need to ensure that we have applied the right amount of SPF in the right way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman applying sunscreen on a child
  1. How can we apply sunscreens to our children?
    Applying sunscreen on children is difficult but not impossible. Sunscreen in lotions and creams is the best way to apply on a child. In the case of spray sunscreen, it should be sprayed onto the parent’s palm and then applied to the skin of the child.
  2. At what age should a child start applying sunscreen?
    The skin cancer foundation states that it is better to wait until the baby turns six months old. The best way to protect the infants is by covering them with clothes.
  3. How to get rid of the white cast formed after applying sunscreen?
    The white cast will get settled in your skin after a few minutes of applying your sunscreen.
  4. I have dark skin. Is applying sunscreen necessary for me?
    It does not matter whether you have dark or light skin. Skin damage is caused due to exposure to harmful solar radiation. So if you want to avoid those critical situations, you must apply your SPF properly.
  5. What are some affordable sunscreens available in the market?
    Sunscreens by Nivea, Lotus, Lakme, and many more brands are available in the market but make sure your sunscreen has an SPF of 30 or above, water resistance, and a broad spectrum.