OK, so you put sunscreen on, thinking you’re done for the day and your skin is protected. Wrong, say dermatologists, who recommend reapplying at least every two hours if you’re in direct sunlight, and more often if you’re swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen, only water-resistant, so even sunscreens with the highest SPFs need to be applied routinely in order to maximize effectiveness.
“If you’re in the sun, your sunscreen is good for a max of two hours, and depending on the sunscreen it might not even last that long,” explained Lisa Garner, a Texas-based dermatologist, who told HuffPost that when our skin absorbs our sunscreen, it “uses up” the active ingredients that are protecting skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
This happens even faster when you’re swimming or sweating, so be sure to constantly reapply, giving skin enough time to absorb before you head back into the water.
As for days when you’re mostly inside at home or at work or aren’t enjoying any outdoor activities, you should still touch up, choosing a cosmetic-based powder or mineral sunscreens, or moisturizers and lotions that have a solid amount of SPF in them, before you see any sun exposure.