Free shipping on all orders over $50  |  Play smart. Play safe. Non-toxic suncare

How Much Sunscreen Should You Use?

by kelly / October, 9 2013 01:00

1 fl oz of sunscreen / sunblock in a shot glass - the amount needed for your whole body

Yes there is actually a scientifically recommended amount of sunscreen everyone should use. I never knew this until I started a suncare company!

If you are like me you probably slap a little sunblock on, assume you have it covered and go about your day. No real rhyme or reason. However, the reality is most people do not apply anywhere near enough. But don't worry - I'm here to help you with specific info and photos on how much to actually apply.

How Much Sunscreen Should You Apply

According to a number of experts including the Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) the recommended amount of sunblock is about one fluid ounce (the size of a full shot glass) to cover the entire body.

When to Apply and What SPF to Use

They also recommend to apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before heading out into the sun. Your sunblock's SPF should also start at a minimum of SPF 15 (we recommend SPF 30) for adequate protection. Additionally, you should apply every two hours, even if you use the recommended amount and especially if you are out in the sun all day, swimming or sweating a lot.

How Much Sunscreen to Use on Your Face & Body Parts

Now that you have a better understanding of how much to use at one time, let me break it down further. How do you use that one fluid ounce across your entire body? For that we go to the "rule of nines". These rules actually have to do with measuring burn percentages but we've used them to estimate how much skin covers various areas of the body and face.

Wikipedia and WebMD have more about these percentages (click the links for the full scoop) but the basic breakdown for adults is as follows:

  • face & front of neck - 4.5% of total skin
  • back of head and neck - 4.5% of total skin
  • chest & stomach - 18% of total skin
  • back - 18% of total skin
  • one shoulder & arm - 9% of total skin
  • one leg - 18% of total skin
  • unmentionables - 1% of total skin

Now, we have to do a little more math magic for two reasons. One - to account for the fact that you're probably not putting sunblock on your unmentionables or scalp (assuming you have hair) and two - to make these percentages actually mean something. I guess you'll never know when you'll use those high school math skills.

Anyway, the infographic below shows how much sunscreen you should use per body part:

Picture showing how much sunscreen you should use on each part of the body

Let's take it a step further. To really make this useful we need to turn these numbers into something we can all relate to - a few quick pics. So check out the photos below for a visual idea on how much sunblock you should use on each body part. Don't forget to apply that sunscreen when you head out to the sun - now you know how much and how often.

Photos to better explain how much sunscreen / sunblock should be used on your face, arms, shoulders, chest, stomach, back, legs and feet

Find even more suncare tips and advice from us here.

Tags: , , , , ,

blog comments powered by Disqus