Definitive Guide on How Long Before Sun Exposure Should You Apply Sunscreen

  • By
  • In 
    Skin Care Tips,
  • Posted
    July 14, 2022
Apply Sunscreen Before Sun Exposure Canada

It’s no secret that sunscreen is vital for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. But how long before sun exposure should you apply sunscreen? What type of sunscreen is best for you? This blog post will answer these questions and more. 

Why Should You Use Sunscreen?

Sunlight is integral in many critical bodily processes, including vitamin D production. However, excessive sun exposure can damage your skin through ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The effects may include:

  • Sunburn
  • Premature aging
  • Skin cancers

Wearing sunscreen will protect you from these harmful rays. Everyone, regardless of skin colour, is susceptible to the adverse effects of UV rays and can benefit from sunscreen.

How do sunscreens work? They contain filters that absorb, scatter, or reflect UV radiation, preventing it from reaching your skin. Various sunscreen types are available on the market and fall into two primary categories:

  • Organic filters – chemical sunscreens
  • Inorganic filters – physical sunscreens

Organic filters work by absorbing UV radiation and converting it into harmless heat. On the other hand, inorganic filters consist of mineral compounds like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These materials reflect and scatter UV rays to protect your skin. 

When Should You Apply Sunscreen?

Now, you have a good understanding of the before and after the importance of sunscreen. But how long before sun exposure should you apply sunscreen?

Many sunscreen brands advise users to apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. However, people often ignore this critical instruction. For sunscreen to protect your skin evenly, it needs to dry and form a uniform film that binds to the skin before you go out in the sun. 

If you wear protective clothing, sweat, apply makeup, or move too much before the sunscreen dries properly, it will wipe away like wet paint. Consequently, you will have uneven, insufficient protection from the sun. 

According to one study, sunscreen needs eight minutes to dry. So, brushing against clothing won’t undermine its effectiveness. However, drying time varies between sunscreens, depending on their formulations. 

Another reason you should wear sunscreen before sun exposure is that sunscreen application takes time. When applying sunscreen to your arms, other skin parts could already be burning. Likewise, you may already be burning when applying sunscreen to your children. 

What Kind of Sunscreen Should I Use?

If you are in the market for sunscreen, choose one with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. With SPF 30 sunscreen, you will be safe from about 97% UVB rays.

A higher SPF offers only a little increase in UV radiation protection. The sunscreen you choose should also be water-resistant.

Contact Laserlicious Today for Top-Quality Skincare

How long before sun exposure should you apply sunscreen? You should know when and how to apply sunscreen after reading this article.

Are you having skin issues and looking for high-quality, reliable skin care products & skincare treatments in Toronto? Laserlicious is here to help clients in Toronto, ON. Contact Laserlicious today at (647) 409-0089 to schedule a free skincare consultation.