This Is Exactly How Much SPF Derms Say You Should be Applying to Your Body

This Is Exactly How Much SPF Derms Say You Should be Applying to Your Body featured image
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We’ve always known that sunscreen is important, but if the recent innovations in the world of SPF formulas and the rising number of skin cancer cases across the country have taught us anything, it’s that it is more important than ever to take sun protection seriously. It’s no longer enough to just wear SPF when you’re at the beach—proper sun care has to be a priority every day.

While many of us in the beauty world and beyond know the “two finger rule” when it comes to face sunscreen—you need at least two finger lengths’ worth of sunscreen to protect your whole face—I found myself wondering lately how much SPF we should be applying to our bodies. If you have the same question, keep reading to hear what experts have to say about proper body SPF application.

Featured Experts

  • Marisa Garshick, MD is a dermatologist in New York.
  • Daniel Schlessinger, MD is a dermatologist in Omaha, NE

How Much SPF Do You Need to Apply to Your Arms, Legs and Stomach?

When you’re at the beach or poolside, you’re likely eager to take a dip and not thinking too much about your exact SPF application (I too have fallen victim to the haphazard spray that ends in splotchy burns). To ensure you’re applying the right amount of sunscreen to your arms, legs and stomach, Omaha, NE dermatologist Daniel Schlessinger, MD recommends using the shot-glass method.

“Most people need at least one and a half ounces of sunscreen—the size of a shot glass—to appropriately cover their body,” Dr. Schlessinger says. New York dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD agrees, saying that “for the face, we recommend the two finger rule, and for the body it’s about one ounce or enough to fill a shot glass.”

How Much SPF Do You Need to Apply to Your Face, Neck and Chest?

While we know that the face warrants at least two fingers worth of sunscreen, what about the neck and décolletage? According to Dr. Schlessinger, “for the face, neck, and chest, I recommend a half dollar-sized amount of sunscreen.”

So, to recap, starting with the face you need two finger lengths. Moving down to the neck and décolletage, apply a half dollar-sized dollop. From the chest down, make sure you have enough to fill a shot glass.

Body Sunscreens to Try

Now that you know how much SPF you need to be applying to your body, check out some of our favorite body sunscreen formulas to keep your skin protected, hydrated and glowing all summer long.

1 / 4

EltaMD UV AOX Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 40 ($45)

This NewBeauty Award-winner is a an 100 percent mineral sunscreen that is both lightweight and water-resistant and features a white-to-clear formula and 360º sprayability to help guide your application and make sure you don’t miss a single spot.

elta md AOX body mist

Key Ingredients

Zinc oxide, vitamins C and E, coconut fruit extract, aloe vera, glycerin

Free From

Fragrance, parabens, dyes

2 / 4

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 100 ($27)

La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios line is one of our favorites when it comes to SPF, and this body and face SPF is your all-in-one formula for keeping your skin protected head-to-toe. Its melt-in formula soaks into the skin and is perfect for all skin types, even sensitive.


la roche-posay anthelios melt-in milk spf 100

Key Ingredients

Cell-Ox Shield Technology, vitamin E, glycerin, vitamin B5

Free From

Oils, fragrance, oxybenzone

3 / 4

Kopari Sunglaze Sheer Body Mist SPF 42 ($39)

If you’re looking for a body sunscreen that provides ample sun protection but also gives your skin that fresh-off-the-runway glow, Kopari’s Sunglaze Sheer Body Mist is the one for you.

kopari sheer sunglaze

Key Ingredients

Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, 100 percent organic coconut oil

4 / 4

Vacation Classic Lotion SPF 50 ($18)

When it comes to body sunscreen formulas that deliver on UV protection but also give you that luxurious, resort feeling upon application, Vacation’s Classic Lotion SPF 50 takes the cake. With a scent profile of banana, coconut, pool water and even swimsuit lycra, applying your shot glass-sized dollop will have you transported back to your happiest summer memories.

Award Photo: Classic Lotion SPF 30
Award Photo: Classic Lotion SPF 30

Key Ingredients

Coconut oil, aloe vera, banana extract, niacinamide, vitamin E

Free From

Oxybenzone, parabens, octinoxate

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