Sun, How To

A Guide to Pairing & Layering Skincare Products and SPF

by Tyshia Ingram
December 9, 2020

Some skincare ingredients are a match made in heaven. These complexion power couples play so well together that they complement each other in your skin care routine.

Perfectly layering skincare products can take some trial and error, but for those in need of a shortcut, we know a few tried-and-true skincare combos that everyone will love. Spoiler alert: They all start or end with SPF.

How to Layer Skincare to Include SPF

Sun protection is the star of every skincare routine. SPF not only protects your skin from burning, premature skin aging and cancer-causing UV rays, it also enhances all the other ingredients in your routine, allowing them to maintain and improve the look of your skin without having to contend with sun damage.

No matter your routine, with the right pairing, you can make layering skincare products with SPF a breeze! Here are five time-tested combos:

1. Dry Skin Regimen

A skincare routine designed to tackle dry skin is likely full of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is an essential hydrator found naturally in skin and recognized by dermatologists. Hyaluronic acid binds to water and holds it within skin’s surface for more supple and smooth skin.

Plus, not much is more drying than a sunburn. If you have dry skin already, avoiding sunburn is important year-round. Pairing hyaluronic acid with a gel-based sunscreen that contains additional hydrating ingredients (like glycerin) can give your skin what it needs to stay supple.

2. Anti-Aging Regimen

If your skincare routine is all about working to prevent the signs of aging for as long as possible, pair retinol with a sunscreen that's at least an SPF 30 or above. Retinol is a great solution for anti-aging with its ability to renew the look of collagen-depleted skin.

The only downside? It can also make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. Check your retinol packaging to see when best to apply, and always make sure to use a sunscreen with broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher during the day.

3. Day to Night Regimen

Start your day with a broad spectrum SPF face serum that not only protects your skin from UVA/UVB damage, but also combats environmental aggressors. Neutrogena® Invisible Daily Defense Face Serum Broad Spectrum SPF60+ is an easy addition to any morning routine and added benefits like an enriching antioxidant complex to fight things like ozone and pollution will help your skin survive the day. With an invisible, weightless protection finish, this face serum can work on all skin tones!

However, for your sunscreen to be as effective as possible, it is important to reapply every couple of hours – even if you’re wearing makeup. That’s why a sunscreen face mist like the Neutrogena® Ultra Sheer™ Face Mist Broad Spectrum SPF55 works well for quick and easy sun protection touch-ups throughout the day.

This power-packed face duo will keep your skin protected from harmful sun exposure, and also maintain your skin’s natural glow for a full day of glam!

4. Sensitive Skin Regimen

If you have sensitive skin, adding new products into your routine may always be somewhat of a gamble. You never really know when an ingredient will disagree with your skin and cause burning, stinging or redness. But you can avoid the worst of the negative reactions by keeping your skincare choices as gentle and simple as possible. That includes avoiding sun exposure, which the journal Frontiers in Medicine notes can cause sensitivity to flare up.

Try starting your morning skincare with a gentle hypoallergenic cleanser. Top it off with a sunscreen that uses zinc oxide as its active ingredient. Mineral-based sunscreens, such as ones with zinc oxide, are milder and less likely to cause irritation for sensitive skin.

5. Anti-Breakout Regimen

Is there anything more frustrating than feeling like you've finally mastered your skincare routine, only to have a breakout? For moments like this, pair a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment with a noncomedogenic sunscreen that won't clog pores.

Why this pair? Benzoyl peroxide is an acne-fighting ingredient that kills the bacteria causing your breakout. Lastly, use a sunscreen that's free of oil after an acne treatment that helps prevent new acne pimples from forming.

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