Don’t Love Your Sunscreen? Don’t Toss It — Use This Derm’s Genius Tip

In the quest for your go-to sunscreen, you might find yourself blowing through a few options—especially if you’re unable to test them first in-store. Perhaps a confection left you with a ghostly cast (common with mineral formulas, yet disheartening every time), or maybe you’re not too fond of the texture, the scent, or you’re just less than enamored with how it rests on your skin. Fair! 

No matter your gripe, it’s so easy to toss the tube(s) to make room for an SPF product you truly love. But wait—don’t rid the unsuitable goop just yet. As dermatologist Camille Howard-Verovic, D.O., founder of Girl+Hair, shares in a recent TikTok video: “I think you should use it on your hands.” 

Why you should repurpose sunscreen as hand cream. 

When it comes to skin care, many of us pay most attention to the face. This makes sense, of course, as it’s the most visible real estate. But did you know your hands are actually one of the first areas to show signs of aging? It’s true: Because you use your paws so much on a daily basis (putting them through more work), wash them frequently (which can compromise the microbiome), and forget to coat them in proper sun care (unless you’re constantly reapplying, then hats off to you), your hands are extra susceptible to environmental aggressors and premature aging—you know, fine lines, crepey skin, and the like. 

All the more reason to slather on a sunscreen, no? And while you can use whatever sunscreen you please to protect your paws, Howard-Verovic suggests repurposing those less-than-favorable tubes that didn’t quite work for your face. You might not mind a slight white cast, an oily coating, or thick texture on your hands as much—and, thus, the once unfit sunscreen sees new life. 

Since the beauty industry is notoriously wasteful—an estimated 120 billion units of product are produced each year, most of which ends up in landfill—this tip also keeps you from wasting a perfectly good product you just didn’t love. Of course, you could always just gift your faulty sunscreen to a friend (one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, as they say), but if your only option at the moment is to toss it? Well, say hello to your trusty new hand cream. 

If you’ve tested a sunscreen and didn’t quite fall in love with the results, don’t throw it out without a second thought—simply repurpose the gloop for your hands. As Howard-Verovic (and other experts) agree, your hands deserve some sun care, too, and you might be a little more forgiving with formulas.

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