The Amount Of Sunscreen You Should Use For Maximum Protection

The Amount Of Sunscreen You Should Use For Maximum Protection

Many of us have probably experienced squeezing out what we think might be way too much sunscreen, and so we desperately try to smear the extra on the closest person, or shove some back into the bottle (with no luck).

As it turns out, we may actually need all of that…and more.

According to this article by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the general recommendation is 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. In plainer terms, that’s about 30g of sunscreen, or enough to fill one shot glass (or two tablespoons). What’s more, you should save one small dollop for the face alone.

If you use a non-cream type sunscreen, such as a spray, apply enough until an even sheen appears on the skin. The trouble with sprays is, you can’t really know whether you’ve used enough of it.

The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using liberal amounts, but avoiding spraying directly into your face. Instead, spray your hands first and then apply that to your face.

How much sunscreen should I be using on my face and body? [Skin Cancer Foundation]


  • As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors and under the sun as part of work, I firmly believe that too much sunscreen is always better than too little. Even if you think you’ve squeezed too much on your hands and it’s forming a visible white layer, you can rub in what you’ve already applied into your skin, wait a minute or two for the first layer to dry, then using the remainder for a second layer of sunscreen. And remember that it’ll only last about 2 hours. You WILL need to reapply after a couple of hours.
    Also consider that wearing a brimmed hat or being in shade doesn’t mean you don’t need sunscreen as UV rays can reflect or radiate from the ground.

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