The film is protected on both sides. I first measured my phone's screen area using the grid. Then I trimmed the edges around. Then I removed the film away from the adhesive side and applied it to the phone surface. Once in place, I carefully removed the top film by scratching at the corner with my fingernail until it separated from the attached film. But my product WAS cool to the touch. I kept it inside from the time it arrived in the mail.