With summer on the horizon, I want to revisit an important topic, sunscreen. I write about it often because it’s serious business. A case of melanoma (mine) tends to make one hyper-vigilant but we should all be diligent. So how much sunscreen do you need? I know that layering a 50 SPF on top of a 30 SPF doesn’t add up to 80 SPF protection but it can’t hurt in assisting with coverage issues, so let’s get into it.
The cancer foundation recommends you apply a shot glass full of sunscreen to cover your body and half a teaspoon just for your face. That may not sound like much but if you measure it you’re likely to find you don’t apply anywhere near that much.
Since I only use physical sunscreens I would look like a pasty mess if I applied 1/2 a teaspoon at one time. Layering allows me to apply smaller amounts and let it dry before adding another layer. I apply half the required amount, let it soak in, then apply the other half.
I start with this Josie Maran Moisturizer with 47 SPF. It’s very creamy and usually enough moisture for my aging skin. I let that soak in while I dry my hair then I apply this brightening primer. It has an SPF of 20, dries immediately, and really smoothes out the look of my complexion.
Then depending on how my skin feels, I apply either this tinted Australian Gold SPF 50 sunscreen or this tinted SPF 41 moisturizer by Elta MD, in place of a foundation. The Australian gold comes in 2 shades, I use the fair to light. The Elta MD is quite emollient on its own, so I choose based on the day.
On days I know I will be out in the sun more than usual I add this translucent Jane Iredale 30 SPF powder to my neck and chest for additional coverage.
I keep this stick sunscreen in the ashtray of my car…best use for an ashtray I know of:) I apply a layer to the backs of my hands and fingers whenever I get in the car because they’re in direct sunlight on the steering wheel and I don’t want more spots.
Not all the sunscreens I try are a success. I read glowing reviews for this HydroPeptide sunscreen so ordered the tinted and untinted version.
The untinted version felt creamy but left a dry, white film that felt tacky. The tinted version has very little color and left a dry cakey finish. I had to wash everything off and start over with my regular sunscreen so I can’t recommend these.
My face looks surprisingly natural with all these layers on and I haven’t had a sunburn or new damage for many years. So while layering takes a bit more time, all the products work well together and give me solid mineral protection without looking like a mask.
Do you have a favorite sunscreen to share?
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