Exactly How Much Sunscreen Should You Use on Your Face and Neck?

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Sunscreen is a year-round product and one that should have a place in your morning skincare routine. No matter how sunny it might be, or whatever the season, the importance of using sunscreen every single day (even in winter!) can’t be understated.

Not only does sunscreen help protect your skin against burning, skin damage and skin cancer, but it’s also a handy anti-ageing tool. Fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots, pigment irregularities and broken capillaries are just a few of the skin concerns that can occur as a result of exposure to UV radiation.

So, the reason behind wearing SPF is double-pronged — most importantly, to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and in turn, reduce the chance of developing potentially life-threatening skin cancers and secondly, to protect your skin from burning and damage that leads to premature ageing.

Now that we’ve established the importance of sunscreen, it’s time to talk about its application. Anecdotal evidence seems to point to the fact that people simply aren’t applying enough in the first place and aren’t reapplying later in the day. Let’s start with the amount.

How Much Sunscreen Do You Need For Your Face and Neck?

The Cancer Council recommends applying 5mL of sunscreen (which is approximately one teaspoon) for each arm, leg, body front, body back and face. That works out to a total of 35mL (roughly seven teaspoons) for a full-body application.

To effectively cover your face, neck and ears, you need to use one teaspoon worth of sunscreen. To help you visualise just how much this is, we recommend grabbing a teaspoon and squeezing sunscreen into it — chances are it’s much more than you first thought. And while it might look like a lot of product, don’t be put off by this.

Instead of applying the whole glob of sunscreen in one go, take a little bit at a time and apply to your face, neck and ears, layering the product so you’re not left dripping with sunscreen and waiting for it to soak into the skin. It will eventually all settle in, just keep rubbing until it’s gone.

If you’re still unsure about the amount you need to use on your face, neck and ears, there’s a handy hack that esthetician Tiara Willis uses, which includes squirting a line of SPF on your index and middle fingers. This works out to be roughly a teaspoon, so employ this trick if you’re unsure if you’re using enough.

How Often Does Sunscreen Need to Be Applied?

If we’re just talking about your face, neck and arms, you should be applying one teaspoon worth every morning and then reapplying the same amount every two hours — this is most important if you’re out and about in the sun for hours on end.

And, when it comes to the first application, this should be 20 minutes before exposure to UV so the product is able to create the protective barrier. Simply apply sunscreen straight after your vitamin C serum and you’re good to go!

If you’re after a brand new sunscreen product that is non-greasy, doesn’t turn gloopy and sits under makeup perfectly (it’s possible!), check out our list of SPF BFFs.

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