How should I use sunscreen?

June 20, 2023 | 03:36 pm PT
I usually put a huge amount of sunscreen on my body, and even use body sunscreen for my face sometimes. What is the recommended amount of sunscreen to apply and how should I use it? (Ngan, 29, Hanoi).


Sunscreen helps protect our skin as well as prevent skin cancer and premature aging. Hence, using sunscreen should be considered as part of your daily skincare routine.

You should apply around 1.2 milliliters (a third of a teaspoon), or an amount that equals the size of a coin, at a time to your face. For your entire body, you need more.

If you stay indoors, use sunscreen between one and two times a day. If going outdoors, it is recommended to reapply every two hours. If you go to swim or take part in activities that make you sweat a lot, you should reapply more frequently throughout the day.

Using body sunscreen for your face or vice versa does not really matter as their abilities to protect our skin from ultraviolet rays are similar. The biggest difference is that body sunscreen tends to be thicker and more greasy compared to that designated for the face.

It is advised to use sunscreen that is at least SPF 30. A sunscreen with SPF 30 can protect you from 97% of ultraviolet B rays, while those with SPF 50 can block 98% of them.

Some ingredients contained in sunscreen, namely zinc and titanium, require 15 to 20 minutes to be absorbed into the skin, so make sure you apply your sunscreen soon enough, especially if you are about to swim or participate in activities that make you sweat.

Dr. Doan Thu Hong

Vietnam Institute of Applied Medicine - VIAM

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