Mist Applying sunscreen before starting your day is like remembering to brush your teeth—it's a part of your morning routine. But reapplying sunscreen throughout the day? Not as easy to remember and definitely not as practical when you're on the go.

Regular sunscreen application is a vital part of sun safety and is a great starting point, but according to John Hopkins Medicine, sunscreen needs to be reapplied approximately every two hours—even more frequently if you're swimming or sweating.

Over time, both physical and chemical sunscreens become less effective. If you don't reapply sunscreen after your original application has worn off or broken down, that leaves your skin vulnerable to sun exposure. Proper sunscreen habits are important to prevent sunburn, discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles, and above all, skin cancer.

Sun Safety on the Go

Sunscreen gets a bad rap for being messy and leaving a white cast. Reapplying sunscreen in the middle of a school, work, or travel day might sound daunting, but it doesn't have to be complicated. If you're not sure how to protect your skin from sun exposure when you're away from home, here's how to take your sun care on the go, wherever you go.

1. Carry a Travel-Friendly Sunscreen

You may not think about the sun exposure you're getting as you travel. When traveling by plane, bus, car, or train, you're likely to sit near a window, and while the sunshine can feel good on your skin (and even better for your soul), all that unprotected sun exposure adds up quickly. It's crucial to reapply your sunscreen often when traveling—especially by plane, since the elevation shortens your distance from the sun.

Opt for a TSA-approved travel-size sunscreen that you can easily carry in your purse, pocket, or carry-on luggage, like the EltaMD Trial Size UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. With sunscreen on hand, you'll be much more likely to reapply your sunscreen on your journey. This tip also works when you're out and about doing activities on your travels or vacation.

Washing your hands before applying sunscreen is always recommended to avoid transferring dirt and bacteria to your face. The EltaMD UV Stick is revolutionizing easy sunscreen application on the go, when you might not have access to a sink. This travel-friendly sunscreen is a hassle-free way to reapply: simply swipe it across your skin for seamless sun protection. It's fast, effective, sanitary, and the small size tucks away in your handbag, suitcase, or even office drawer, making your mid-day reapplication a breeze. And the best part? No greasy hands!

2. Use Sunscreen Sprays

When you think of the beach, you may think of sunscreen sprays. There's no denying the fact that spray sunscreens are easier to apply than creamy formulas.

The EltaMD UV AOX Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 40 is a reimagined sunscreen spray experience with a sheer-finish. It's air-powered technology removes the need for chemical propellants, and features 360-degree sprayability for easy application from any angle while still being 100% mineral. It's also water-resistant for up to 40 minutes.

Although the aerosol spray isn't recommended for air travel, a spray sunscreen is ideal for sun-soaked days at the beach, waterpark, or mountains. It's also a good option to spritz on mid-day over your makeup.

3. Set a Timer

As they say, time flies. You have other things to worry about, so streamline your sunscreen reapplication process by setting a timer for every two hours. If swimming or sweating, set a timer for every 40-80 minutes, or as directed on your sunscreen label. When the alarm goes off, it's time to reapply your sunscreen. This way, your skin will stay protected all day long and you won't have to scratch your head trying to remember when you last reapplied.

4. Use the Right Tools

Some sunscreens leave you with a white cast on your face, so reapplying in the middle of your workday or during a day out can be inconvenient. Having the right tools on hand will help you seamlessly blend in your sunscreen. Keep a pocket-sized mirror in your bag or desk drawer, along with a makeup sponge so you can quickly blot the sunscreen on your face without smudging your makeup. Taking a mid-day break to reapply properly will leave you feeling refreshed and confident.

Between driving to work, walking on your lunch break, and sitting near a window, you're likely getting more sun exposure than you even realize. Remember that your sunscreen only lasts for the first two hours of your day, so you should make reapplication a part of your daily routine. With the right products and tools, committing to sun safety has never been easier.


  • Lacey Muinos

    Lacey is a Southern California-based freelance writer who combines her passions—fitness, health, and a vegan lifestyle—with her work to help readers feel and be their best. Her work has been featured in Healthline, Livestrong, Verywell Fit, Eat This Not That, KinderBeauty, and more.