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September 2, 2017

Ask the K-Beauty Squad: How Do You Reapply Sunscreen?

Got an issue? Have a quandary? Ask the K-beauty Squad! The beauty of K-beauty is everyone’s got a different way of approaching almost everything. There’s rarely a right or wrong answer (except, maybe, wearing sunscreen every day), so ask away! Here, the Squad shares how they reapply sunscreen (and yes, the answers are super varied!).


There are few skincare topics that inspire more confusion, more debate, more misinformation than sun protection: what to apply, how to apply, how to reapply. The information seems to be all over the place, depending on who you ask. Some say you don’t need to reapply mineral sunscreens. Others say you need to reapply even after 15 minutes.


One thing that is not in debate with the K-beauty squad is that we have to apply sunscreen every single day.


So we asked the K-beauty squad how they reapply (if at all) their sun protection. Here’s what we said.


QUESTION: How do you reapply sunscreen?



reapply sunscreen


Anna (combination skin, acne-prone & hyperpigmentation)

For me, I wear a face full of makeup anytime I’m not in the house (not skin blessed), so reapplying anything in lotion, cream, or stick form is out of the question. Cushion compacts have changed my life because not only can I reapply sunscreen, I can also touch up my makeup on the go: I’ve done it in the medina in Marrakech, on a gület in the Turkish Mediterranean, and strolling through ruins of Angkor Wat. My go-to for travel is Sulwhasoo’s Perfecting Cushion (any version) — it’s hydrating, dewy, and, perhaps most importantly, I can apply it without looking. (Because if you’ve ever been to Morocco, you know you have to be on donkey cart alert at all times.)


Coco (dry skin, sensitive & reactive)

I’m a spray addict. I’ve been known to carry two to three aerosol sunscreens with me at all times. One of my joys in life is doing makeup, so I’m almost always wearing it, which is cute but not ideal for reapplication of a sun lotion. Sprays save the day! Aim, spray my face like a beauty queen in Texas spraying her hair, and my makeup and skin are saved!


Sheryll (oily T-zone/normal, acne-prone)

I’m with Coco. I usually wear makeup so I swear by sunscreen sprays. I’m in the sun a lot and my apartment has big windows in both the living room and bedroom so even when I’m indoors working all day I still get a lot of sun exposure. I apply in the morning, reapply before the gym, wash my face after I work out, then apply sunscreen again. I’ve always wanted to try the cushion sunscreens!


Ruth (combination skin, sensitivity & redness)

I’m just going to come right out with it and admit that I actually never reapply sunscreen. (I’ll see myself out.) Honestly, I didn’t start wearing sunscreen religiously until maybe two to three years ago in my early 20s, when I finally saw the light and became a K-beauty convert. Up until then, I absolutely hated wearing sunscreen because in my mind, it was synonymous with oil, grease, and unpleasant tackiness. Now, I’ll blend about a quarter-sized amount of sunscreen all over my face and neck before foundation, and I check that off as my sunscreen quota for the day. (But clearly, there’s room for SPF improvement.) I’m currently alternating between Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF50+ PA+++ and Kiehl’s UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+.


Jude (normal, hyperpigmentation)

I don’t really reapply often, either! It’s my understanding that with chemical sunscreens, they only really need to be reapplied after about two hours of actual sun exposure (so like, if you go out for 30 minutes then back inside, no need to reapply, but if you go out for 30 minutes, come back in, then go out for another 90, yeah, reapplication time). So I just refuse to stay outside longer than two hours. HAHAHA.


On the rare occasions that I’m out in the sun for longer than that, I just very gently pat the sunscreen over my makeup with my palms, then pat again to kind of blend everything down, and don’t let anyone get a close look at my face. (I think mineral sunscreens don’t need to be reapplied unless you’ve physically rubbed or washed it off! But I don’t have the best track record with mineral sunscreens.)


Miranda (dry/combo, pores & redness)

Honestly, I’m so bad at reapplying! Because of this, I make sure that the touch-up products I take with me have a high SPF content, so I’m almost forced to reapply. My all-time favorite is The Face Shop’s CC Ultra Moist Cushion because not only is it pore-filling with the most beautiful coverage and a whopping 50+ PA+++, it’s the highest SPF makeup I have. My fave for no-makeup days is any primer with SPF used alone; it makes reapplication with regular sunscreen a breeze.


How do you reapply sunscreen? We’d love to know how you do it. Share your tips!


Got a burning question for the K-Beauty Squad? Email us at [email protected]!


She may have started her career as a lawyer, but Anna found her true calling long before that, while poring over the beauty editorials and skincare how-to’s in teen magazines. Sure, the ladies at the Estée Lauder counter may have scoffed at her when she asked for an eye cream at the age of 16, but hey, she was just ahead of her time. Today, Anna is a beauty editor, obsessing over skincare ingredients and the Oxford comma. Follow her travels on Instagram at @annanymity.




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Okay, need to try the cushion sunscreen!! As a Florida native, sunscreen is essential down here. 💖


I'm wearing sunscreen every day but, yes, re-applying is a pain. Reading this article sunscreen- or BB- cushions seem to be the perfect solution to touch up and all, but I always wonder if re-applying sun protection like that actually makes sense.
I mean you need a certain amount of sunscreen in order to actually protect your skin and I feel like "just touching up" isn't enough since you won't get the necessary amount of product back on you skin.
I would let it slip if it was sunscreen in cushion form but you can only put on so many layers of... Read more


I agree — you're definitely not going to get the same amount of protection from a cushion as you would a quarter size amount of sunscreen. But for me, it's better than nothing because I can't put regular sunscreen on over my makeup! That's why I always wear a hat when I'm outside and worship the shade.
For a spray, @cocopark recommended the Recipe Crystal sun spray and I love it! (See my comment below)


Well said! I guess little is better than nothing after all :D
Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check it out soon!


What spray do you usually use?


I use the Recipe Crystal spray sunscreen, per Coco's recommendation. I've found it's the finest mist that's super moisturizing and you really can spray over your entire face without disturbing your makeup! (And the mist is fine enough so you don't have to worry about misting over your closed eyes.)


Hi squad. Just wondering if it's recommended to use sunscreen around the eye.


HI @urvashi.buna, I don't directly put sunscreen around the eye area. It's a sensitive area and can cause stinging. I do pat whatever residue is leftover on my fingers to pat around the eye area (below and up by the eyebrows).

Ruth Kim

I agree with Anna. I also don't directly place sunscreen on the eyes. I'll distribute my sunscreen evenly all over my face, and as I'm blending and patting that in, I carefully use my ring fingers to get below my eyes and around my eyebrows. Try to remember to wear sunglasses whenever you're in the sun for protection on your eyes!


You're technically not supposed to put sunscreen around the eyes but I'd be lying if I said I didn't (because I am a crazy person). It stings like mad if it gets in your eyes so I am usually just patting the residue there like Anna said. Also some companies make sunscreen eyesticks for sun protection around the eye, A'pieu is one that comes to mind!


This is a good question! I don't apply it around my eyes mostly because I never apply anything around my! I should probably start using an eye cream but I'm sorta kinda lazy.


Q for the squad: How do you remove body sunscreen? I feel like I should be double cleansing my body as well as my face but I'm not sure what to use. Any advice/suggestions?


Wow, that's something I never thought of. I'll get the squad on it! Thanks @disjointed!


Hi @dizjointed! I polled the Squad and generally, they said they don't double cleanse the sunscreen off the body! @judechao says: "I find my shower pouf and body wash or body soap are just fine, especially after the wear and tear of the day." @sherylldonerson says she uses "soap first and then body wash but that's just a habit of mine. I don't double cleanse intentionally. I also use the scrubby mitt things and a wash cloth so I'd be surprised if I had sunscreen residue left!" I feel like because we sweat more on the body... Read more


Thank you so much Anna, @judechao and @sherylldonerson. I use a scrubby towel thing with soap or body wash in the shower. Sounds like that's enough!


I do the same! And I always use the excuse of "gotta get all thgat sunscreen off my body" to do a very self-indulgent in-depth scrub and follow it up with my favourite soft sponge and a hydrating soap. I just love ending up with silky-soft-smell-and-feel-nice skin :D


Nice review and experience Anna ,when traveling really the cushion it's much easier to put sunscreen our fuondetion ..


I know, I can't live without my cushion compact when I travel. What's your favorite cushion @hayfa?

this is the hardest part reapplying sunscreen..but i got to try cushion sunscreen or spray???


I will try to find a spray... not an easy task!