Hiking Season - When to Apply Sunscreen

The hiking season is fast approaching! This means it’s almost time to spend your days outdoors, exploring trails in the bright sunshine. You already know you’ll need a good broad-spectrum sunscreen for these adventures, but you’re also going to need other products to protect your face. These may include moisturizer, to keep your face from getting dry, and bug spray, to keep the mosquitoes from eating you alive.

Moisturizer First

Moisturizing is important when you’re going outside, especially in higher altitudes where there’s a lot of dry air. Many dermatologists recommend using it first, then putting sunscreen on top of that. That’s because you don’t want the water in your moisturizer to dilute the effectiveness of the sunscreen. You can even mix moisturizer and sunscreen together, as long as they each contain a safe level of SPF protection (25+) so that you’re not diluting the formula.

Sunscreen Next

Choose a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen for maximum protection. Make sure to apply a uniform layer, and apply sunscreen liberally. Most sunscreens are designed to get absorbed into your skin, while bug spray should stay on top of your skin, which is why you need to apply sunscreen first.

SolRX’s WATERBLOCK sunscreen is not only resistant to water but also to sweat, making it a great choice for summertime hikers.

Then, Insect Repellent

You need to wait for at least 5-10 minutes to allow sunscreen to dry. If at all possible, wait a half hour. This will allow plenty of time for the sunscreen to bind to your skin before you add insect repellent. Make sure to cover all exposed areas of skin, but use the minimum amount needed. Apply a light layer, then add to it as needed.

Adding Makeup

If you’re going to wear makeup, do it between your sunscreen and insect repellent. Wait at least 3-5 minutes before adding makeup, such as foundation, to make sure that the sunscreen is not diluted further. Don’t use excess pressure, and don’t rub. Do not use makeup with SPF as your sole form of protection from UV rays, because most people do not use enough makeup to provide the level of protection listed on the container.

Reapplication

If you’re staying out in the sun for long periods of time, you will need to reapply. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied more than insect repellent in general, but if you are using both you’ll have to reapply both products, keeping in mind the above instructions.

If you’re using a formula with the 8 hour WATERBLOCK technology from SolRX, frequent reapplication isn’t necessary.

Please note that if you are using medication that must be applied to your face, that goes first. Moisturizer comes next, and may actually help absorption of any medication. Makeup follows, then insect repellent. The general rule of thumb is that products designed for absorption into your skin should go first, followed by products designed to stay on top of skin. Just make sure you are adding enough, and reapply when necessary!