Maximize Your SPF by Layering It On

Posted on May 26, 2017
Woman in bikini applying sunscreen on shoulder beside pool

Protecting your skin from the sun is serious business. If you’ve read the FDA guidelines, you know you need a shot glass-full of sunscreen per day applied to every exposed body part you can think of, and some that you can’t. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that your SPF 30 moisturizer is going to do the trick, and it may not. To make sure you get full protection, you need to layer your SPF products. Read on to find out how to do it.

Sunscreen Products

You may have noticed a lot of products popping up on the market with added SPF.  There are concealers with SPF, primers with SPF, moisturizers with SPF, and of course, there’s good old sunscreen. Which is the best to use? The answer is all of the above.

As long as one of your skincare products carries a rating of SPF 30 or above and you apply it generously, you can add as many other products to the mix as you like, and you will get better results. However, if layering is not for you, you’re probably best off using a daytime moisturizer rated at SPF 30 or above applied liberally followed by a foundation with any SPF number greater than that.

Layering Sunscreen

While there are really no rules for applying sunscreens, it’s important to cover the exposed areas, like your neck and face. The idea is to layer by texture. If your skin is oily, you should start with a matte finish, lightweight formula with a 30 SPF, followed by a sunscreen infused primer and then a powder or liquid foundation, also containing sunscreen. If you want to add eye cream to them, do that after applying the moisturizer, directly before applying makeup.

Why You Should Layer Sunscreen

People just don’t apply enough sunscreen. That’s why the FDA tells you to reapply the stuff every two hours. If you repeat this enough times, eventually you should end up with enough on your skin to meet the daily requirements.

If you look at most studies, when it comes to sunscreen, there can’t be too much, but there certainly can be too little. That means, the more sunscreen you get on your face, the better, which is why layering is so effective. It allows you to get a lot on your skin before you go out, bringing you closer to the daily requirement.

However, since it is not known exactly how much added protection layering gives you, you need to make sure that at least one of the products you’re applying is rated a minimum of SPF 30 and that it is applied generously and evenly. For example, there is no evidence that applying an SPF 30 product followed by a SPF 20 product will guarantee an SPF of 50, but it will give you greater protection, and that is what’s important.

Are you layering your sunscreen? Let us know how you do it! What products are you using and in what order? Let us know!

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