Sun Protection and How to Apply it
Sun protection is a skincare product that protects your skin from the sun’s UV rays - It is so difficult to stress how important this product is for your skin. We all know by now that cigarette smoking and tanning beds are the two worst things you can do for your skin but skipping your SPF30 (or higher) is right up there in terms of long-term skin and health damage.
UV rays penetrate all levels of the skin - the epidermis down into the dermis. It can negatively affect collagen and elastin fibers that keep your skin tight and elastic. UVB light reaches the epidermis - it is shown to cause photoaging, damage DNA, and trigger the formation of precancerous cells.
The most serious result of sun damage is skin cancer. Before this, sun exposure can cause a long list of problems for the skin. Most common is a sunburn - a short-term and potentially painful condition. Sun exposure can also lead to long-term skin problems like hyperpigmentation, dryness, leather-like skin, and wrinkles.
That is why you can prevent sun damage by minimising your sun exposure and always applying a sunscreen (that you actually enjoy using) and reapplying it as needed.
Things like staying in the shade, wearing a hat, wearing sunglasses and covering up your skin, are all great precautions to keep your skin healthy and protected.
Sun protection needs to be worn correctly – yes, there are wrong ways to apply it. Knowing how is very important when you are applying a sunscreen during your skincare routine. Below we will answer the questions of how, when and how much.
Applying sun protection in the morning, is it enough for the rest of the day?
The short answer is - No. Sun protection is not effective the entire day and will break down and become less effective the longer you wear it. The key thing here is to apply sun protection every 90 minutes to 2 hours. If you swim or sweat, reapply it directly after rinsing off or towel-drying.
How much sun protection do you need to apply?
In skincare, less is usually more but for sun protection, that is not exactly the case. Sun protection should be applied to any exposed skin that is not already covered by clothing - not just the face, remember the shoulders, chest, forearms, and legs, ears, ankles neck and backs of the hands.
Do not underestimate the sun - it reaches you, even on cloudy days.
Knowing how much you need to apply: the face should receive about half a teaspoon, while a shot glass should cover the whole body. And we always say - when it's dried, apply another layer.
Should you wear your regular moisturiser on top of or below your sun protection ?
Most of the time - you should apply your SPF as the last step in your skincare routine. That is - when your moisturiser has dried, you "finish" your routine with a good layer of sunscreen.
Can you mix sun protection with your moisturiser?
We have seen many online influencers say that mixing sunscreen with their moisturiser or facial oil helps create a nicer, glowing finish on their skin. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. This is not a secure way of using a sunscreen simply because you have no control over how the protection spreads on the skin. It can separate on a micro level and give you patches of exposed skin.
Another reason this is bad advice is that the moisturiser can dilute and reduce the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Keep your sunscreen separate.
If your foundation says it has SPF – is that enough?
No, it is not enough. It can be used along with your sun protection but NEVER instead of it.
Usually foundations contain lower SPFs such as 15-20. This is not enough as a protective factor AND you would need to use a lot more foundation than you normally do to give your skin optimal protection - you would need so much that your skin would look unnatural and weird!
Do you apply facial oil before or after sun protection?
If you are using a 100% chemical sun protection - apply it before the facial oil as this allows the sunscreen to fully absorb. If you’re using a 100% mineral sunscreen: apply your facial oil, let it absorb for 2-3 minutes, and then apply the sun protection.
Nowadays there are many hybrid sunscreens meaning that they contain a mix of chemical and mineral filters. Our advice here is to apply them as your LAST step on a dry, absorbed skincare routine.
Can you reapply sunscreen over makeup?
We get this question a lot. And we know it's tricky as you don't want to ruin your on point eyeliner. The answer is yes - please reapply!
Luckily a few sunscreen brands have understood this difficulty of "not smearing your makeup" and have come out with some fabulous options.
Our all time fave is the Altruist Invisible Sunscreen SPF 50 - it is an invisible spray that sits flawlessly on the skin and gives it the optimal protection, leaving makeup undisturbed.
Should you use sunscreen even if you are indoors?
Yes. UV rays pass through glass windows. It is important to wear SPF inside your home, as well as inside your car. In fact, the majority of UV hand ageing occurs while driving.
What about getting your vitamin D boost?
Wearing sun protection daily does not disrupt your vitamin D production. This is a myth and fear-mongering saying that has to be dumped.
"UVB wavelengths happen to be the specific wavelengths that trigger vitamin D production in the skin. Nonetheless, clinical studies have never found that everyday sunscreen use leads to vitamin D insufficiency. In fact, the prevailing studies show that people who use sunscreen daily can maintain their vitamin D levels." Source: Skincancer.org
If you wash your face, should you reapply sun protection?
Here it all depends on the time of day and your lifestyle. If you are planning to go out into the sun again, ex, early afternoon then yes, apply your sunscreen just like you would your moisturiser - no need ton do your whole skincare routine again.
If you are cleansing your face because it is the end of the day, then there is no need for sunscreen. Enjoy your evening routine and a good snooze.
Always apply sun protection a few minutes after your morning skincare routine. And reapply through out the day.
Do not forget areas such as; ankles, legs, neck, under the nose, lips, ears, corners of the eyes, backs of hands, any tattoos (if any), feet, shoulders
When you use sunscreen properly, your entire skincare routine will work better in the long run. And in 10 or 20 years from now, your skin will thank you for the protection.
We are always available to answer any skincare and sunscreen questions. Let us help you find your favourite sunscreen here.