How Do I Get the Best Results From My Sunscreen?

Sunscreen is super-important, and a few key prep steps will ensure that your product blocks the sun’s rays to the best of its ability. The best way to prep your skin for sunscreen depends on whether you use a physical or chemical formula.

Sunscreen is super-important, and a few key prep steps will ensure that your product blocks the sun’s rays to the best of its ability. The best way to prep your skin for sunscreen depends on whether you use a physical or chemical formula.


How Do I Get the Best Results From My Sunscreen?


The Best Way to Prep for a Physical Sunscreen


Cleanse your skin well, but there's no need to exfoliate. Physical sunscreens don’t actually penetrate the skin and, thus, don’t need to reach the dermal layer to provide broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection.

However, committing to a proper cleanse will ensure that your sunscreen is able to bind to the skin and stay on for as long as possible. This is particularly helpful for the face, as applying a physical sunscreen to unclean skin will likely trap sweat and oil and cause breakouts.

For oily and acne-prone skin, the best way to minimise potential breakouts is to choose the lightest sunscreen possible. mesoestetic Dermatological Sun Protection SPF 50+ is a great formula for oily or sensitive skin.

Physical sunscreens go to work immediately, so there's no wait time before you're fully protected. Keep in mind that you should apply SPF to dry skin as opposed to sweaty or wet skin so the product can bind to the skin properly.


How Do I Get the Best Results From My Sunscreen?


The Best Way to Prep for a Chemical Sunscreen


Chemical sunscreens need to sink into the skin, so first cleanse with a product that offers light exfoliation. Removing old skin cells allows the sunscreen to penetrate effectively enough to protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays—particularly UVA, which penetrate to the dermal layer.

Skinstitut L-Lactic Cleanser contains lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid, which gently removes the top layer of dead skin. Lactic acid is the gentle giant of AHAs and milder than other popular acids, such as glycolic acid.

A wonderful product to boost the broad-spectrum protection of a great chemical sunscreen, such as Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+, would be an antioxidant serum. Cosmedix Benefit Balance Antioxidant Prep is a great choice due to its comprehensive list of antioxidant ingredients.

Due to concern over some combinations of chemical sunscreens accelerating free radical damage, an antioxidant product will help cover all your bases to ensure solid broad-spectrum protection.

Chemical SPFs take about 20 minutes to absorb, so give the product time to absorb before heading out for the day.

After your prep and initial application, the best way to maximise your sunscreen’s potential is to reapply it regularly. Sunscreen generally only holds up for 2 to 4 hours. If you plan on being in the sun for an extended period, you absolutely have to reapply SPF to remain protected.

Take your sunscreen with you wherever you go. If you’re not keen on messy liquid formulas or are wearing a full face of makeup, try a sunscreen spray such as La Roche–Posay Anthelios XL Spray SPF 50+ or Cosmedix Reflect Natural Sunscreen SPF 15.

Note that if you’ll be outdoors more than in, an SPF 15 isn’t quite enough to prevent sun damage for most people. With that said, go forth and have a blast. You now know everything you need to know to have damage-free fun in the sun!

 

How Do I Get the Best Results From My Sunscreen?