Sunscreen Q&A with Dr. Ranella Hirsch

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of adults do not apply sunscreen regularly and more than one-third of the U.S. population reported experiencing sunburn in the previous year. These are alarming statistics, especially since melanoma and sun-induced skin cancers are increasing each year. Here, Dr. Ranella Hirsch, noted Boston dermatologist, explains how to properly apply sunscreen so your skin is protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Q: When should you use sunscreen?
Dr. Hirsch: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 30 be used year round. 

Q: Where should you apply sunscreen?
Dr. Hirsch: Sunscreen should be applied to any exposed skin. This includes, minimally, the face, décolleté, and backs of hands and forearms, but should be adapted for an individual’s weather and clothing.  

Q: If you’re using a sunscreen on your face, what should the order be (if you’re also using makeup etc.?)
Dr. Hirsch: Always apply sunscreen first.

Q: When should you apply sunscreen?
Dr. Hirsch: Always apply at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.

Q: How much sunscreen needs to be applied to the face and body and how often should you reapply?
Dr. Hirsch: One ounce, or the amount needed to fill a shot glass, is considered to be an ample amount to protect exposed skin. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours and more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.

Protect Your Skin: Vichy Capital Soleil Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion provides water-resistant broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection in a lightweight, non-greasy formula. The sunscreen contains a unique combination of effective UV filters withVitamin E and White Grape Polyphenol, powerful antioxidants to protect skin at the cellular level.

Vichy Capital Soleil Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion is available in SPF 30 ($27.50, 5 fl. oz.) and SPF 60 ($29.50, 5 fl. oz.) and is sold at select CVS/pharmacy, Duane Reade and Walgreens stores, and sold online at