Any smartie Sapien babe knows the importance of sunscreen compliance and reapplication. As an SPF lover myself I’ve basically mastered reapplying and overcoming any obstacle that could come between me and my sunscreen. Wearing makeup? No biggie. Can’t wash your hands? We can get around that. Forgot? Set a timer, easy peasy. I could do this all day. There are multiple methods of reapplication; lotion, spray, powder, stick, or UPF clothing. Once you have a clear understanding of the reason why you need to reapply and design a strategy that works for your lifestyle, you’ll never look back.

Why Reapply?

Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation

“Unlike with a UPF hat or sunglasses, sunscreen’s effectiveness against ultraviolet (UV) rays doesn’t remain constant.

A sunscreen’s Sun Protection Factor (SPF) measures how well the product will protect you from the sun’s UVB rays— the type of UV that is primarily responsible for sunburn. For example, if your unprotected skin begins to burn within 20 minutes of sun exposure, applying an SPF 15 sunscreen would theoretically keep your skin from burning 15 times longer: 300 minutes, or about five hours. But experts agree that no sunscreen can remain completely effective for that long, as active ingredients degrade over time. This is why dermatologists and The Skin Cancer Foundation recommend reapplying sunscreen at least every two hours, regardless of the formula, SPF, or brand of the product.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

SPF is a measure of how much solar energy (UV radiation) is required to produce sunburn on protected skin (i.e., in the presence of sunscreen) relative to the amount of solar energy required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin. As the SPF value increases, sunburn protection increases.

  • Apply Sunscreen 30 Minutes Before Going Outside. This is particularly important if you’re using a chemical sunscreen, because it takes time for the skin to absorb the chemical filters that help protect you. Regardless of the type of sunscreen you use, applying sunscreen well before you go outside is a good habit to get into, so you don’t end up being exposed to the sun before remembering to apply sunscreen.
  • Use the Right Amount. Studies have shown that many people apply only half (or even a quarter!) of the amount of sunscreen they should be using for full effectiveness. You should go through sunscreen bottles pretty quickly if you’re applying the correct amount—an ounce, or about a shot glass full, should be sufficient for the entire body. And you should be reapplying the same amount throughout the day.
  • Apply it Everywhere. Speaking of the entire body, that’s where sunscreen should be applied! It’s easy to forget about spots like the top of your ears or the back of your neck, but those spots are common places for skin cancers. It’s especially important to liberally apply sunscreen to the face, since the skin there is thinner, and often highly exposed to UV rays. Finally, apply sunscreen before donning your clothes or swimsuit; otherwise, it’s easy to miss a spot at the edges of the clothing.
  • Reapply Immediately After Swimming or Sweating. Even if you put sunscreen on right before you jump in the pool then dry off, you should reapply right away. No sunscreen is truly waterproof — though there are great water-resistant formulas available — and toweling off means you’re wiping away the sun protection afforded by the product you used.
  • Don’t Rely on Sunscreen for Complete Protection. Sunscreen is just one part of an effective sun protection plan. It’s an important one, but no method alone is foolproof. That’s why The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends seeking shade and covering up with hats, sunglasses and clothing in addition to daily sunscreen use.”

At Sapien, we’ve researched and tested tons of sunscreen products in order to deliver you the very best and make light protection easy, enjoyable, and effective. Read below for some SPF tips from me to you, categorized by method of reapplication. Click any photo to shop the product shown.

  • Lotion

Reapplication with a lotion is my preferred method because it’s a 2 in 1 moisturizing and protective step and you’re likely to get the best application since it’s easy to measure the quantity. If you’re worried about makeup or wanna go hands-free, I recommend packing your SPF in a ziplock bag with a clean beauty blender or foundation brush for easy reapplication.

  • Powder

This is a perfect reapplication method for all of my on-the-go babes. When you’re using a sunscreen powder be sure to check that your product is loaded into the brush head before you begin. Get maximum protection by making multiple passes over your skin for a full, even coverage.

  • Stick

Sunscreen sticks are great for sweating and swimming, or for easy hand/body reapplication. As with any ‘alternative’ reapplication method, ensure that you’re getting adequate protection by applying multiple layers.

  • Spray

SPF sprays are convenient, hydrating, be sure to really douse yourself in this and get dewy. When using a body sunscreen spray, it is best to rub in the product after a hefty spray in order to make sure you’re creating an even shield.

Stay safe and dewy this summer. XOXO,



Diffey BL. When should sunscreen be reapplied? J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Dec;45(6):882-5. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2001.117385. PMID: 11712033.

Venosa, A. (2021, June 9). Reapply on the Fourth of July. The Skin Cancer Foundation.

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