How to properly apply sunscreen for outdoor activities

How to properly apply sunscreen for outdoor activities
Published Saturday, May 15, 2021
by Feature Staff

Sun safety is a vital part of spending any amount of time outdoors. After all, whether you're going for a morning walk or partaking in one of your favorite sports, you don't want to get a sunburn. But just putting on these products isn't always enough to ensure you're protected. Those who are older and have more sensitive skin, in particular, may often find that they aren't as safe as they initially thought. Read on to learn how to properly apply sunscreen and ensure you're getting the most out of these products.

Put on sunscreen while indoors

As you're rushing out the door for the day, it's easy to forget about putting on sunscreen until much later. However, by that point, it's too late because the sun's UV rays have already damaged your skin. Applying your sunscreen indoors gives your skin the time to absorb it fully and form the protective barrier you'll need for the next several hours. So, be sure to make this a part of your routine.

Rub the product evenly over the skin

The next step to properly applying sunscreen is rubbing it in as evenly as possible over the entire exposed area. While the way you wear sunscreen can depend on the type of product you use, you still want to ensure you're getting an even coat. You should rub lotion-based formulas thoroughly and only stop when there's no longer a greasy residue on your skin. With spray variants, continue to apply the sunscreen until there's a slight sheen on your skin. Then, allow it to dry.

Use a larger amount on your body

When it comes to putting sunscreen on your body, though, it's a slightly different story. This is because there are several differences between facial skin and body skin that affect the absorption of products. Since facial skin is much thinner than body skin, you don't need as much product to achieve full protection on your face. But this also means that you'll need to use more sunscreen on the other exposed areas of your body to get the same effect. As such, try to make a conscious effort to use more sunscreen on your arms, legs, back, and chest to obtain maximum coverage.

Reapply your sunscreen

Finally, remember to reapply your sunscreen while you're out. This is often one of the hardest things for people to remember because their activities occupy their attention. The unfortunate reality is that sunscreens are only effective for an average of two hours, and reapplication is the only way to reestablish that protective barrier. Therefore, we recommend that you set a reminder for yourself to take a break and get this task done. may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at