Are you applying the right amount of sunscreen?
Sunscreen boasts obvious benefits such as decreasing the risk of sun damage, fighting against skin cancer and helping to fight hyperpigmentation. Although lathering your body with sunscreen may have seemed like a good idea in the past, a little actually goes a long way. Your body simply needs a two-finger system to apply the product effectively.
Even if you are mindful of the amount of protection your sunscreen has, you will decrease its effectiveness by up to 75 percent if you are unaware of how much to use. According to research from WebMD, the two-finger rule should be applied to 11 different areas of the skin.
- Head, neck, face
- Left arm
- Right arm
- Upper back
- Lower back
- Upper front torso
- Lower front torso
- Right upper leg/ right lower thigh
- Left lower leg/ right upper thigh
- Left lower leg/ left foot
- Right lower leg and right foot
Each area of the body should be applied using ¼ or ½ a teaspoon of sunscreen squeezed directly from the tip to the end of your index finger and middle finger.
And sunscreen should be used for Black people too. According to licensed New York Esthetician Tiara Willis, Black girls should still use sunscreen relentlessly to fight against hyperpigmentation, a common skin concern for the community. The advocate for the two finger rule shared on her Instagram platform, “UV rays trigger melanin stimulating hormones from the brain which induce melanogenesis. So yes black people, we NEED sunscreen for this reason. If you’re fighting melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, sun damage — all of your serums are going to waste without this important step."
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know what this is about! Sunscreen, why you need it: Sunscreen is integral for skin health. UV rays contribute to advanced aging, hyperpigmentation, inflammation, sunburns and most infamously, skin cancer. Many skincare products increase sensitivity to UV rays as well (ex: alpha hydroxy acids). As of right now, there isn’t substantial data supporting UV rays causing skin cancer in black people, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, hyperpigmentation is one of the most common cosmetic concerns for black skin. Hyperpigmentation & black skin: We all have specialized cells called melanocytes that contribute to melanin production, but darker skin types have larger and more active melanocytes which is why hyperpigmentation is harder to treat on us. UV rays trigger melanin stimulating hormones from the brain which induce melanogenesis. So yes black people, we NEED sunscreen for this reason. If you’re fighting melasma, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, sun damage — all of your serums are going to waste without this important step. How much you need: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends about a FULL SHOT GLASS for your entire body and to use SPF 30-50 😳 For the face specifically, about 1/4 teaspoon is recommend. The 2 finger rule equates to 1/4-1/2 teaspoon which can be used for your face and neck. Less product used also = less spf you actually have on. “But I’m allergic to sunscreen:” There are MANY different UV filters out there. You may be referring to chemical UV filters, and people are most commonly irritated by oxybenzone and avobenzone. I recommend turning & learning your sunscreen label. Identify the common chemical filter and avoid it. You can also switch to physical sunscreen such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Outside of the U.S. market (especially in K-beauty), newer chemical filters are used and that may be better suited for you.
Applying the right amount of sunscreen is essential and your skin will thank you later.
Need to find the perfect sunscreen that won't leave a lasting white residue? Here are 3 universally friendly sunscreens to use as you tackle the two finger method.