Tips & Tricks For Easier Sunscreen Application

by Miki Hayes
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As fun as it can be to start spending more and more time outside when the weather warms up, there is one annoyance that comes with it. And that's having to worry about applying SPF all the time. But there are some sunscreen hacks that will help you stay better protected and even avoid some of the pesky side effects like greasy hands and white cast. Because, let's be honest, in your attempts to avoid sticky skin or at least reduce the time it takes to cover your whole body before venturing outside, you probably end up making some common sunscreen mistakes.

But the best type of sunscreen to use and how to apply it aside, if you want to make sure that you have all of those easy-to-miss spots covered, and that you're keeping your skin hydrated and free from some sunscreen woes, there are a few different types of SPF you may want to have in your arsenal. So to stay on top of your sun protection game, don't write off sunscreen oils, sticks, and even powders. Using these different types, there are seven hacks to make applying SPF a little less bothersome. Plus, they could even help you achieve some other benefits you didn't even know you could have from your sunscreen.

1. Use A Stick For Your Hands

Hempz Yuzu & Starfruit Daily Herbal Hydrating Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $16, Amazon

Dr. Jessica Weiser of New York Dermatology Group tells me over email that the backs of the hands and fingers are one of the most commonly missed areas for sunscreen application. And even if you do remember to put sunscreen on your hands, it can leave them feeling pretty greasy. So that you can have the protection you need without your hands feeling gross, use a stick sunscreen to apply on the backs of your hands and fingers instead of a traditional cream.

2. Dry Oil For Dry Skin

Vita Liberata Passionflower & Argan Dry Oil SPF 50, $45, Amazon

You felt how easily the salt, sun, and chlorine can dry out your skin. Especially if you already have dry skin to begin with, don't just use any old sunscreen. Use one that will also work to condition your skin while protecting it. A dry oil like this one will nourish your skin as it works to prevent sun damage. Plus, you can also use it in your hair.

3. Use A Multipurpose Hair Treatment

Macadamia Sun Shield Dry Oil Veil, $21, Amazon

If you don't like the idea of using the same product on your hair and on your skin though, try one specially formulated to protect your strands from UV damage. Yes, without a sunscreen for your hair, it could easily fade and become more brittle, according to Real Simple. Of course, you might as well make sure the SPF is doing double if not triple duty. A hair protectant like this one not only shields harmful rays but also makes hair softer and shinier while minimizing color loss and dryness.

4. Chill Your Sunscreen

Coola Sport SPF 50 Fresh Mango Moisturizer, $32, Amazon

Even though you know applying sunscreen is good for you in the long term, in the short term, it's kind of just a nuisance with no immediate gratification. For some added benefit to applying your SPF, I like to pop it in the refrigerator for a few hours before I'll need to apply it (and keep it in a cooler while I'm on the beach for reapplication). The colder temperature will feel so refreshing that you probably won't mind as much having to slather it all over your body.

5. Use A Stick For Your Lips

Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen Targeted Protection Stick, $21,Nordstrom

If you're going to be outside but want to rock some lipstick, try using a stick sunscreen as a lip primer. Of course you could use a lip balm with SPF too, but sunscreen sticks have a slightly tackier consistency than a lip balm. This means that it will help hold onto your lip color a little longer than a balm might while also providing the same sun protection that your pout needs.

6. Try A Powder To Reduce White Cast

Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45, $30, Sephora

Facial sunscreen is an absolute necessity. However, even when an SPF is formulated for the face, it doesn't always leave a matte finish or prevent that dreaded white cast. So if you don't want your glow to be masked, or just don't want to look quite so greasy, try a powder sunscreen instead. Not only is this sunscreen perfect for quick touchups, but it also starts working immediately unlike some other sunscreens that may need 15 to 30 minutes for the sun protection to activate.

7. Use A Stick For Your Brows

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70, $9, Amazon

Misplaced your brow gel? No problem. Just like the slightly tacky consistency of stick sunscreen makes it a good lipstick primer, it also makes it a great substitute for holding your brows in place. Just run a light layer over your eyebrows and quickly comb them into place. Your brows will be budge-proof and also totally protected from the sun's damaging rays.

Images: Raul Ortin/Moment/Getty Images; Courtesy of Brands