All about sunscreen – What you need to know: Facts & Tips, Reapplying, SPF and PA ratings

Sunscreen, one of the most important skincare products. When many people hear the word “sunscreen”, they think about summer and the beach. Well, not blaming that at all, even I also have to think about that (ahh the beach and sun 😍). But looking past this, you might already heard it but hereby a friendly reminder: it is really is recommended to wear it every single day, even in winter or when it is cloudy and no sunshine to be seen.

As it is such an important skincare product, we will be covering some important facts related to sunscreen. Do I need to wait to put on makeup on my sunscreen and how long? Do I need to wait before going outside after applying makeup and how long? What are the different kinds of sunscreens? What exactly is the SPF and PA rating? At what time interval do I need to reapply sunscreen and how to do this if you have makeup on? In this blog post you will get to know the answers to these questions.

Let’s first begin with the topic about the different SPF!!

The different SPF (most popular ones/included in the recommended range)

You must of have seen the different sunscreen packaging with each a different SPF rating. The three most popular ones are SPF15, SPF30 and SPF50+ (there’s even SPF100+, more about this later!!). The differences between these numbers are big. But how different are they really? Let’s compare SPF50+ vs. SPF 100+.

SPF50 blocks 98% of UVB rays. SPF100 blocks 99% of UVB rays. So you would already question yourself, then what are all the SPF ratings in between? Yes, indeed, not too much of a difference.

Let’s look at more differences below.

  • SPF2 (blocks 50% of UVB rays)
  • SPF4 (Blocks 75% of UVB rays)
  • SPF10 (Blocks 90% of UVB rays)
  • SPF 15 (Blocks 93% of UVB rays)
  • SPF 30 (Blocks 97% of UVB rays)
  • SPF 50+ (Blocks 98% of UVB rays)
  • SPF 70+ (Blocks 98.5% of UVB rays)
  • SPF 100+ (Blocks 99% of UVB rays)

Many people might think, that for example SPF30 protects double as much as SPF15. Well, no. :’D It’s only 4%. The most shocking one would be the SPF50 vs the SPF100. That’s not double protection at all, it’s only 1% difference!

Is waiting time needed before applying makeup on sunscreen and how long?

Waiting a few minutes to apply makeup on your sunscreen is suggested, around 3-5 minutes. This so that the sunscreen has time to get into and set on the skin well to be able to act as a “screen” on your skin (what basically the name of this product says hah).

Is waiting time needed to go outside after applying sunscreen?

In general, it is the best to wait 15-30 minutes before going out after sunscreen. The UV filters then have enough time to be absorbed by the skin and form a protective layer (just like with the makeup, but after 15-30 minutes the UV filters are absorbed most of the part, so then it is the best to go outside).

Different kinds of sunscreens

  • Creams, Lotions, Milk

These three are the most common ones. Especially people that want to keep their skin hydrated, this will be the option. Lotions and milk will sink into the skin faster, people who most likely want a thicker, layer will choose the cream.

  • Gel

Gel dries quickly and mostly gives off a kind of a matte finish. It works best with oily, acne prone skin.

  • Stick

Sticks might be more convenient to put on and might also be better for oilier skin. It might also act sturdier on the skin.

  • Spray

People might prefer this one for the ease of application. It also avoids oily and sticky parts on your skin after applicating.

  • Cushion

A good thing about this one is that it won’t tug on your skin. It gives more of a glowy, dewy, glassy finish.

Important facts about sunscreen and UV rays

Sunscreen SPF

If we look back at the fact that the difference between the SPF rate’s actual percentage isn’t much at all compared to the difference in the rate number itself, you might question yourself

“Which one should I choose?”

SPF30 and SPF50 and all in between is recommended!

But then you might ask “Why shouldn’t I just go for SPF100+ if that is the highest?”. That is a good question.

It all depends on how you apply it too.

People might apply not enough because they think the SPF rate is high anyways. But if you don’t apply the right amount, it won’t provide the UVB protection that is required. People then are exposed to even more ultraviolet radiation than the people using a lower SPF. (This is also how people who use foundation with SPF might think it will protect and they don’t need sunscreen. The way you apply foundation would never be an enough amount to reach the real SPF coverage/protection that the package of the foundation mentions).

High SPF users most likely would believe that they could stay longer in the sun, especially if the high-SPF product will mention this. People in turn will stay outside longer. Low-SPF product users would stay outside a shorter time, while High-SPF product users would keep staying outside longer. You could see it already coming: They will still be exposed longer to a higher amount UVB radiation while the difference between the percentage of UVB protection isn’t even that much! High-SPF products are easily misused. According to the FDA, they want to prohibit labels higher than SPF50+, but has not put into work yet.

UV Rays

UV rays are a major risk for most skin cancers and sunlight is the main source. Even it’s cloudy and there is no sun, remember!! There are still UV rays. And it is also important because near water, sand, snow, and even grass it reflects the damaging UV rays. So, it is really important to protect yourself and keep retouching! More about this below in this blog post!


The sun’s light reaching consists of two types of harmful rays: UVA (which penetrates deep into the thickest layer of the skin and do not cause sunburn, you don’t feel it affecting the skin) and UVB (which burns the surface of the skin, playing a main role in the development of skin cancer). UVA rays are a cause for premature aging like wrinkles and dark spots while UVB rays are a major factor that contributes to the development of cancer.

What is the PA rating and what does the “+” mean?

If you wonder what PA rating is, it is the rating telling you how well the sunscreen protects your skin from UVA rays, how much it filters. (Like SPF tells you how well the sunscreen protects you from UVB rays). The +’s indicate how high the protection level is from the UVA.

  • PA+: To protect medium UVA rays with only a protection factor of Persistent Pigment Darkening of 2-4, which means the PPD will react at 2-4 hours of sun exposure.
  • PA++: To protect medium UVA rays | Moderate enough protection with a factor of PPD between 4-8 hours of sun exposure.
  • PA+++: To protect very strong UVA rays | Has a good UVA protection with a factor of PPD of more than 8 hours of sun exposure. This rating in most countries is the highest and therefore the limit.
  • PA++++: It protects with a factor of PPD of more than 16 hours. In many K-beauty products and Japanese ones too PA++++ is easier to find than in products from other countries as, as earlier mentioned, most countries have PA+++ as their limit.

Reapplying sunscreen (on makeup)

It is recommended to reapply every 2 hours. A dermatologist, John Zampella, mentioned that if you put on a SPF50 sunscreen, that 2 hours later you’ll still get some protection but the SPF50 rating is not accurate anymore. At the point two hours later it probably will be downgraded to a protection an SPF10 would provide. This is why it is recommended to reapply every 2 hours.

How does reapplying sunscreen work with makeup then?

For reapplying on makeup all above listed sunscreens are suggested, except lotions or too fluid or too milky sunscreen that might mess up your makeup!

You could reapply on your face any way you want as long as you apply it gently to avoid messing it up, dapping it in is recommended. The same kind of makeup sponge pads (those that are always included in foundation cushions) are very handy if you want to easily reapply for a dewy finish. Then after letting it dry for a few minutes, and you have some foundation or powder cushion to retouch your makeup, apply that on top of you reapplied sunscreen. (It is suggested to use makeup with SPF protection on top of sunscreen as layering the SPF is a good way to get enough protection throughout the day).

SKIN&LAB – Fre C Sun Lotion

The K-beauty brand SKIN&LAB Fre C Sun Lotion has SPF50+ with PA++++.

This sunscreen hydrates and brightens the skin because of the included Centella extract and Vitamin C. It has no white cast and the finish is matte.

The main ingredients are Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Centella Asiatica Extract.

Vitamin C

It antioxidates, neutralizes the active exygen, decreases the melanin that is created, represses the enzyme of the produced melanin.

Vitamin E

Protects and blocks damaged skin and decreases pigmentation.

Centella Asiatica Extract

Calms damaged skin to improve pigmentation and dullness. It prevents dryness of skin and controls the skin’s condition too.

It has a light texture without being oily or sticky.

It should be applied 30 minutes before going out and reapply every 2 to 3 hours.

Below some more interesting facts about this sunscreen and UV topics we talked about!!

If you have any questions, suggestions, requests, etc. you can leave it in comments or go to the @skinnlab_global Instagram. You can also share your experience with the SKIN&LAB products you own on Instagram, and we will repost it on our story! 😊

Hi We are global marketing team of lablog. We try our best that give honest and useful information that you can believe and share with your people. Please, join our blog and hope we can help you a little bit for your beauty life. Thank you.

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