Whether you slather it, spray it, blot it, or swipe it – the most important thing you should do with your sunscreen this summer is wear it. A daily defense from UV rays is the best way to help prevent all the negative effects of the sun – hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and of course, skin cancer—without giving up the good stuff like Vitamin D. Now that you know what to do and why to do it, all that’s left to do now is find which formula to use and how to properly apply it. Take a peek at our fool proof guide; it’s chock-full of pro tips from L'Oréal Paris skin care expert dermatologist, Dr. Gervaise Gerstner.
Best for the Base Layer: Lotion
It doesn’t matter if you’re spending your summer days at the beach or in an office, you still need sunscreen. One of the best ways to cover up from head to toe is with a sheer lotion, one body part at a time.
Application Tip: Dr. Gerstner suggests using about a tablespoon of lotion per body part and applying it right after your morning shower and roughly 30 minutes before you leave the house. A quick towel-off so that your skin is almost dry will allow for premium absorption.
Best for Scalp Protection: A Dry Oil Spray
Newsflash: Your scalp is just as susceptible to a burn as the rest of your skin, especially if you have a distinct hairline part. One easy way to avoid a scalp-burn is by wearing a hat, but you can also minimize your risk with a spray-on sunscreen.
Application Tip: Opt for a pump versus an aerosol spray; you’ll have more control over the direction of the spritz. Try one with argan oil for double duty hair and skin nourishment. Dr. Gerstner’s favorite oil: L'Oréal Paris Advanced Suncare Invisible Protect Dry Oil Spray SPF 50.
Best for Office Touch Ups: A Stick
Though the suggested rate of reapplication is every 85 minutes, something often gets in the way – like an open office seating plan. A sunscreen stick will allow you to apply more frequently and more discreetly. Bonus: You don’t have to rub it in with your hands.
Application Tip: Kind of a no-brainer -- Remove cap, swipe on sunscreen.
Best for Beach Touch Ups: A Spray
Let it be known that “sandy hands” are not an excuse when it comes to reapplying seaside sun protection. The simple solution: use a spray. Dr. Gerstner notes “you’re probably using enough if you’re going through a bottle per person every two to three days.” She also recommends mist sprays for little ones, for her kids she loves L'Oréal Paris Advanced Suncare Invisible Protect Sheer Spray.
Application Tip: Keep a washcloth in your beach tote and use it to dust off sandy arms and legs. You should also take note of the direction of the wind, and stand downwind of your spray nozzle so that you’re getting the benefits of your bottle (and not misting the couple two towels away).
Best for Under Makeup: A BB Formula
The perfect sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen, BB sunscreen acts like a primer to even out your complexion and give your foundation a better, well, foundation. Look for formulas that boast antioxidants & vitamin E and white grape seed which all help with skin smoothness and luminosity.
Application Tip: Choose a quick-absorbing formula that leaves a matte finish (try: L'Oréal Paris Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion). Wash your face and blot it dry. Then, working in small circles, use the pads of your fingers to rub in your BB sunscreen.