A suncare & beauty destination from the Experts in SPF™


Sun 101

The One Mistake You’re Probably Making With Your SPF Every Day

icon svg
The One Mistake You’re Probably Making With Your SPF Every Day

After you pick up a steady SPF obsession, the next thing to think about is reapplying it. Here, we tell you why reapplication matters, and also how to reapply sunscreen.

To give you a sense of how important SPF reapplication is, we’ll put it this way: If you aren’t reapplying it throughout the day, then your skin isn’t reaping its full benefits. You may be diligently applying it in the morning, but by lunchtime, that same SPF has faded off of your skin…

So, why does this happen? And how can you get into the habit of reapplying it every two hours (which is technically how often you need to do it, by the way)? Also, what’s the easiest way to reapply, especially when you have makeup on? We tackle all of these questions below!

Why reapply?

So here’s the deal… Any type of sunscreen (chemical or mineral) will naturally break down on your skin when they are exposed to sunlight. The sun breaks down all sunscreen actives over time, and mineral actives are more likely to be wiped off of the skin over time since they sit on the skin’s top layer.

“Sunscreen contains ingredients that block UV light from penetrating into the skin, either by absorbing the UV light and converting it to heat or by physically reflecting it,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. “Chemical blockers actually become inactivated as they do their job, and mineral blockers, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are spread evenly in sunscreen formulas across the surface of the skin. Over time, however, these ingredients tend to clump together, making them less effective.”

On top of this, if you sweat at all (and we all naturally perspire even when we don’t think we are BTW), your sunscreen will break down. Furthermore, anytime you touch your face, you’re physically removing the sunscreen that’s there.


One thing to keep in mind: it’s totally OK to reapply mineral sunscreen over chemical sunscreen and vice versa

Here are the best ways to reapply your SPF.

How to reapply your sunscreen is entirely based on personal preference and the situation you’re in. One thing to keep in mind: it’s totally OK to reapply mineral sunscreen over chemical sunscreen and vice versa. The most important thing is that you’re getting adequate SPF protection, which is SPF 30 to 50. Here are a few other pointers when it comes to reapplication…

When we’re at the beach, we love applying and reapplying Everyday Sunscreen on our face and body. It’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, smells good and is fast-absorbing. You can also reapply with our PLAY Antioxidant Mist, which is super fast and easy and can be applied to wet skin – just be sure you spray diligently and evenly, so that your skin glistens afterwards.

For everyday reapplication, we’re all about our two makeup-setting superstars with SPF: Defense Refresh (Re)Setting Mist and 100% Mineral Invincible Setting Powder. If you have normal skin (or any type of skin, really) and you prefer sprays to set your makeup, then Defense Refresh is the way to go. It dries quickly, has SPF 40 and smells amazing, thanks to rosemary and peppermint oils. Just close your eyes, hold the bottle about eight to 10 inches away from your face and spritz about seven to 10 times all over.

If you have oily skin that needs to be mattified throughout the day, then our 100% Mineral Setting Powder is your pick. It contains SPF 45, 100% mineral actives that are great for sensitive skin and it’s available in four shades. Remove the pin when you first use it, tap the brush on your wrist a bit (you should start to see powder in the bristles), then brush gently onto your skin. Your skin is protected – not to mention flawless – in five seconds flat. Also, this powder comes in three different shades so you can match your foundation, as well as a translucent shade if you’re just looking for a mattifying powder.

Remembering to reapply…

“My best tip when it comes to remembering to reapply sunscreen is to set reminders on your phone that go off every two hours,” says Zeichner. That’s definitely one way to do it––and certainly the most accurate. But if you’re not an alarm type of person, then we also recommend pairing SPF reapplication with activities that are already on your daily agenda…a mid-morning meeting, running out to get lunch or grabbing an afternoon coffee.

We also like to keep SPF nearby at all times, like in our bathroom vanity, handbag or desk drawer. After all, one of the main goals at Supergoop! is to create sunscreen products that make it easy and fun to use all the time and at any point in your routine. “We’re a very solution oriented brand and are very proud of the ways in which we deliver SPF so that everyone, no matter your skin type or tone or daily activity, can build an SPF wardrobe that is right for them,” says our founder, Holly Thaggard.

The good news: No matter how you choose to remind yourself to reapply, it only takes 21 days to form a habit…so you’ll be on the road to SPF success in no time!

+What’s your best tip for remembering to reapply your sunscreen? Share it in the comments below!

More to Explore
Sun 101 This Is How Much Sunscreen You Need to Wear Read More
Sun 101 The One Mistake You’re Probably Making With Your SPF Every Day Read More
Sun 101 How to Make Wearing Sunscreen a Daily Habit, according to Dr. Wendy Wood Read More