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The importance of sunscreen is so ingrained that, for many people, thinking of summertime pool trips conjures up memories of the distinct smell of sunscreen before anything else. You've heard dermatologists and health experts say enough times that wearing sunscreen every day is nonnegotiable whether you spend all day in the sun or curled up inside.
But figuring out how to use sunscreen daily gets complicated. After all, you already have your morning skincare routine and a host of products that you use every day. Does it come before or after your moisturizer? And how does reapplying work with makeup?
Don't worry! Once you get the hang of it, it's easy to get daily sunscreen protection without disrupting your normal beauty routine.
Adding sunscreen to your daily routine is a small step that can have an impact on your skin. Sunscreen is recommended by many health agencies, dermatologists and oncologists for skin cancer prevention as well as protection against premature skin aging.
And incorporating sunscreen isn't all that difficult if you know where to start. Think of it as the thread between your morning skincare regime and your makeup routine. It's the last step in your skincare, usually after your moisturizer, or the first step in your makeup routine, before you put on primer. Here's where to start:
You know that wearing sunscreen is important, but it's just as important to find the right one. Some products are clearly labeled as sunscreen, while other skincare and makeup products offer some sun protection by incorporating sunscreen. While makeup products with sunscreen are a great backup, don't rely on them as your primary sun protection.
Choose a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that's labeled as broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA rays and UVB rays. Always make sure to reapply sunscreen if you are going to spend a lot of time outside during the day.
The formula you choose is up to you — there are tons of sunscreens on the market today that are formulated for different skin types, including sunscreen for acne-prone skin, for sensitive skin and for dry skin.
While traditional advice says to apply sun protection as the last step in your skincare regimen, that isn't the only place you can incorporate it. Think about your current skincare routine: You may follow some variation of cleansing, applying toner, exfoliating and then moisturizing. Usually, it's best to apply SPF a few minutes after you've moisturized — wait for your skin to dry first for even application.
But lots of moisturizers already have sunscreen in them. Check your moisturizer's label — if it's a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, you can combine those last two steps before you move on to your makeup routine, saving yourself a bit of time and effort in the morning.
Not only that, but face serums like the Neutrogena® Invisible Daily™ Defense Face Serum Broad Spectrum SPF60+ can also be a great addition to any morning skincare routine, and an easy way to get Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection to tackle the day. It is lightweight and moisturizing, so it will fit seamlessly into your routine after cleansing and toning.
Layering sunscreen with your skin care routine can help complement certain benefits while staying protected from the sun. Not only that, but sunscreen can also work as a great makeup primer, so try swapping your regular moisturizer with one that has broad spectrum SPF 30. Better yet, a face serum with broad spectrum sunscreen can be a great start to your makeup routine with a foundation that has a healthy dose of SPF as well.
Many foundations that contain sunscreen start somewhere around SPF 15. That may not be enough on its own, depending on your skin type, but it's a great supporting player to pair with another sunscreen product. After you've got your sunscreen and SPF 15 foundation, continue with your morning makeup routine as normal.
Reapply, reapply, reapply. This step can be more difficult than just adding sunscreen to your morning routine. Sunscreen is not a set-it-and-forget-it deal — if you're going to be exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time, you should reapply sunscreen about every two hours.
After a couple hours of UV exposure, the ingredients in sunscreen start to break down and lose their ability to protect your skin. Plus, in the summer heat, who isn't sweating their sunscreen off at least a little?
If you're going to be out and about, it's worth knowing how to use sunscreen daily and all day long. Keep a convenient sunscreen spray, stick or powder on hand for touch-ups, or bring along a travel-size moisturizer with SPF in your bag to give your skin a sun-savvy boost when you need it. The Neutrogena® Invisible Daily™ Defense Face Mist SPF 50 can be a great addition to your makeup arsenal when on-the-go, as it’s gentle and lightweight enough to go over any makeup look.