Does sunscreen only last two hours?

Does sunscreen only last two hours? 1 Does sunscreen only last two hours?

I have a confession to make. I rarely, if ever reapply my sunscreen throughout the day, but I use sunscreen religiously most mornings.

And you should too. Because if you’re spending money on creams, serums, and anti-aging products and you’re not using sunscreen then it doesn’t matter what you do.

Your skin is going to age quickly.

I don’t always like the feeling of sunscreen on my face and will sometimes skip the sunscreen and use a moisturizer with SPF instead because it feels better. But rarely do I remember to reapply it every two hours. It just doesn’t happen.

Does sunscreen only last two hours

To compensate for that, I like to use moisturizer or sunscreen with SPF 50 or 60 and take it with me but always forget it in my purse and it just doesn’t get used.

But is that really so bad? Do you really need to reapply it every two hours? (Not necessarily every 2 hours but at some point throughout the day yes!) Or is it okay?

Does sunscreen really wear off after two hours? Why do sunscreens only last 2 hours?

You often hear that you have to reapply sunscreen every two hours or your skin will get sun burnt, skin cancer etc.

But I’ve always wondered if that meant that sunscreen just stopped working after a few hours. Is that true though? Does sunscreen wear off? Will it just stop working? Why?

Well, it turns out that yes, sunscreen does wear off and will stop working as well as it did when you first applied it as the day goes on. And there are a few reasons for this.

The first is that your skin will use up the active ingredients in sunscreen throughout the day. And the second is that it will wear off, wash off or you’ll sweat it off throughout the day which will really speed up this process.

And if you go swimming or get wet then you’ll need to reapply before the two-hour mark because you would have washed or wiped it off long before then.

And these are just some reasons why it’s essential to re-apply throughout the day.

But if you’re inside for most of the day and away from windows and direct sunlight then you don’t have to reapply it so often.

However, if you find that you’re exposed to a lot of natural light even if you’re inside all day, then yes you should reapply it at regular intervals throughout the day.

How do you reapply sunscreen throughout the day?

If you’re not wearing makeup then reapplying sunscreen is fairly straightforward. You get your sunscreen, put it on and you’re done.

Now if you’re wearing makeup it might take some work. How do you reapply sunscreen on top of your makeup without smudging it?

You do it carefully.

Some sunscreens are much better for reapplication than others.

Chemical sunscreens tend to be better for this because they have a lighter consistency, will sink into your skin quickly and most don’t give off a white cast and won’t show over the top of your makeup.

Now physical sunscreens have a thicker and creamier consistency that requires rubbing to blend into your skin.

Those sunscreens will cause the most damage to your makeup and are not the best for reapplying throughout the day.

Types of sunscreen to use over makeup:

  • Powdered sunscreen – these are designed to go over makeup and keep you protected from the sun
  • SPF setting spray – this is a setting spray SPF hybrid that you can easily mist all over the face and on top of your makeup without smudging it
  • Gently dabbing your sunscreen on top of your makeup with a sponge or beauty blender can be a good option too. Just put your regular liquid or cream sunscreen on the sponge (make it slightly damp) and lightly dab all over your face until it blends in. This can take some time but can work really well.

Do you need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours?

Sunscreen is important, but does it really need to be reapplied every two hours?


Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours to prevent sunburns, but as long as you are applying it regularly, frequent reapplication won’t make much of a difference.

The best way to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun is by combining sunscreen with a hat, clothes that cover you up more, and staying in the shade if you’re going to be outside for a long time.

What happens if you don’t reapply sunscreen every 2 hours?

Not reapplying sunscreen throughout the day will most likely lead to sunburn and peeling skin.

Not reapplying sunscreen for an extended period of time can lead to more serious issues like cancer.

If you typically forget to reapply sunscreen, which I know I do, then set an alarm on your phone or write yourself a note in your phone so that you remember when it’s time to reapply.