Beauty Hacks

What is the correct way to apply sunscreen? Prevent skin aging by knowing when to apply, order, and ingredients

Sunscreen is essential for protection against UV rays. However, if you apply it incorrectly, you may not get the desired effect.

Even if you think you are applying the product correctly, it is surprisingly common for you to forget to apply it or accidentally burn it. Learn why you should always wear sunscreen, understand SPF and PA, which are useful when choosing sunscreen, and learn how to apply sunscreen effectively to protect your skin.

Why you should always wear sunscreen

Many people think that they only need sunscreen in the summer, or when they plan to be outdoors for long periods of time and are at high risk of sunburn.

However, UV rays rain down on us throughout the year, causing various types of damage to our skin. Therefore, sufficient effects cannot be expected with temporary use.

Let’s take a closer look at why you should always wear sunscreen, no matter the season.

It can prevent skin damage and aging caused by ultraviolet rays.

When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays, active oxygen is generated within the cells. Active oxygen is a troublesome substance that causes oxidation and aging of the body.

Active oxygen not only denatures the collagen and elastin fibers themselves, but also destroys or damages the fibroblasts that play an important role in their production, damaging the skin. As a result, the firmness and elasticity of the skin decreases, making it more prone to wrinkles and sagging.

Proper use of sunscreen can prevent skin damage caused by UV rays.

Because it can prevent the appearance of stains

Sunscreen is also essential for preventing age spots.

When cells called melanocytes in the epidermis become energized by exposure to ultraviolet rays, melanin pigment increases. Melanin pigment is an important substance that protects the skin from ultraviolet rays, but when it is deposited on the skin, it causes age spots.

Sunscreen helps prevent age spots by revitalizing melanocytes and suppressing the increase in melanin pigment.

It can lower your risk of serious diseases such as skin cancer.

Ultraviolet rays are said to be one of the causes of serious diseases such as skin cancer. Sunscreen also helps reduce your risk of contracting these illnesses.

Although some cancers can occur unrelated to ultraviolet rays, it’s always a good idea to be careful by wearing sunscreen.

Know the SPF and PA of sunscreen

Comparison image with and without sunscreen

Next is “SPF” and “PA”, which you need to know when choosing a sunscreen. If you understand SPF and PA correctly, you will be able to choose a sunscreen according to the occasion you use it and your skin concerns.

Understanding SPF correctly

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is an index that protects against short wavelength UVB (ultraviolet B rays). SPF is a number that indicates how long you can prevent inflammation caused by UVB compared to not applying sunscreen, and the higher the number, the longer the effect will be.

Let me explain a little bit about UVB here.

UVB is the type of ultraviolet light that is the main cause of sunburn outdoors. It causes strong damage to the epidermis, causing inflammation and redness of the skin (sunburn), darkening of the skin due to melanin pigment deposition (suntan), and the appearance of age spots and freckles.

Therefore, in order to prevent sunburn outdoors and prevent age spots and freckles, it is important to choose a sunscreen by paying attention to its SPF value.

Understand PA correctly

PA (Protection Grade of UVA) indicates the effectiveness of protecting against UVA (ultraviolet A rays) . PA is expressed not as a number but as a 4-level “+”, and the higher the number of “+”, the more effective it is at protecting against UVA.

Approximately 90% of ultraviolet rays are UVA. UVA, which has long wavelengths, passes through the epidermis and damages collagen and elastin fibroblasts in the dermis, so it can be said to be the main cause of wrinkles and sagging skin.

What’s more, UVA rays can pass through glass and enter your home or car, so you won’t be disappointed even if you’re indoors. In order to prevent skin damage and aging, it is necessary to properly apply sunscreen with a high PA value even when you are not going out .

By parts! The correct way to apply sunscreen

Now, let’s explain the correct way to apply sunscreen, part by part. We’ll also introduce areas that you tend to forget to apply, so check them out and protect your whole body from UV rays.

How to apply sunscreen [face]

Image of how to apply sunscreen on the face

The best time to apply sunscreen to your face is after skin care and before makeup.

Take an appropriate amount of sunscreen and place it on 5 areas: cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. Apply gently with your middle finger and ring finger in the following order: cheeks → forehead → nose → around the mouth → face line → around the eyes.

How to apply sunscreen [neck]

Take an appropriate amount and place it on several places on your neck and legs. Spread it gently and blend it evenly.

Image of how to apply sunscreen on the neck

How to apply sunscreen [hands and feet]

When applying to hands and feet, apply a generous amount of sunscreen directly onto the skin. Using the entire palm of your hand, apply it in large circular motions.

Image of how to apply sunscreen on your wrist

Be careful of areas that are easy to forget to apply!

Areas around the face that are easy to forget to apply are the hairline, between the eyebrows, eyelids, ears, the sides of the nostrils, and the face line. Please note that it is easy to forget the “back of the neck” as well.

It’s easy to forget to apply it on your body, such as the backs of your hands, the tops of your feet, your knees, the backs of your knees, as well as the sides of your body, back, and décolleté, so be careful. Sho.

Q&A on how to apply sunscreen

sunscreen images

To help you learn more about sunscreen, we will introduce how to use it correctly in a Q&A format.

Q. Do all sunscreens contain the same ingredients?

The ingredients contained in sunscreen vary depending on the product. There are two types of ingredients that protect your skin from UV rays: UV absorbers, which absorb high-energy UV rays, and UV scattering agents, which block, reflect, or scatter light. Some products contain one or the other ingredient, while others contain both ingredients.

Q. I heard that UV absorbers are bad for the skin. Is that true? 

Just because it’s a UV absorber doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad ingredient. Not limited to UV absorbers, certain ingredients may cause irritation or allergic reactions depending on the constitution of the person using them.

Q. Please tell me how to choose a sunscreen for people with sensitive skin or those who tend to get rough skin from sunscreen.

Even people with sensitive skin need to protect their skin from UV rays every day. To protect your delicate skin, we recommend choosing products that are fragrance-free, patch-tested, allergy-tested, and have a hypoallergenic formula.

If you have sensitive skin, you may be irritated or allergic to the fragrances and preservatives in sunscreens, or even the chemical ingredients in sunscreens themselves. Therefore, if you have experienced side effects from sunscreen in the past, apply sunscreen to a small area of ​​your skin and wait for a few days before using. If it does not suit your skin, do not continue using it and discontinue use.

Also, you don’t necessarily need to use a sunscreen with a high SPF. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to skin irritation from sunscreen, one option is to use one with a low SPF and reapply frequently .

Q. How many times a day should I apply sunscreen?

Many people may think that sunscreen will last all day.

However, sunscreens that contain UV absorbers break down when exposed to UV rays, making them less effective over time. Also, all sunscreens can become less effective if you sweat, rub against clothing, or go swimming. Regardless of the type of sunscreen you use, be sure to reapply it every two hours when you’re outdoors . In particular, products with low SPF have short-lived effects, so it is important to reapply more frequently.

The order in which you apply sunscreen is also important. Sunscreen is meant to protect your skin, so we recommend applying sunscreen after skin care and before applying foundation.

Q. Is sunscreen effective even in small amounts?

For sunscreen to be effective, it is important to apply it generously and evenly. In order to get the most out of the SPF advertised on the package, be sure to understand the appropriate amount.

For the face and neck, you
 can expect the desired SPF effect by applying an amount equivalent to one 500 yen coin to your hands. For other parts of the body, a suitable amount is about the size of two 500 yen coins each on the arms, thighs, below the knees, front and back of the body .

Q.If I use “drinkable sunscreen”, do I not need to apply sunscreen?

“Drinkable sunscreen” is a supplement that contains antioxidant ingredients that help remove active oxygen after sunburn and vitamins that are said to be good for the skin.

However, even if you drink “drinkable sunscreen”, you cannot physically block UV rays. It is difficult to prevent skin damage caused by ultraviolet rays unless you apply sunscreen, wear clothing, hats, sunglasses, etc.

Think of “drinkable sunscreen” as a supplement to sun care, and don’t be overconfident.

Q.If I use sunscreen, do I need to take other sun protection measures?

You shouldn’t rely solely on sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays . Protect your entire body from UV rays by wearing sunscreen clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, and seeking shade whenever possible.


Applying sunscreen properly and taking measures against UV rays will help prevent skin aging. It can also reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Some people worry that sunscreen will have a negative effect on their skin. However, there is currently no strong scientific evidence that sunscreens cause any significant harm.
To maintain beautiful skin not only now but also in the future, be sure to apply a sunscreen that suits you every day.

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