But if you are like us, you apply all sorts of beauty products to your face, neck, and body every day. So, how and where does the sunscreen step fall in the order of your beauty routine? First, last, or middle?!
Don't laugh. It's a tricky question. We thought we had the correct order for all our beauty products, but we were wrong in a couple of steps. So, here are some tips on how to correctly apply sunscreen with other beauty treatments. This information is coming from a source that knows a lot---The Skin Cancer Foundation:
Let's say you do obey the rules, and always slap on the sunscreen. But you also are loyal to your topical medications like Retin-A, for instance, or acne prescriptions?. What is the proper order?
Bradford R. Katchen, MD, associate professor of dermatology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City, had this suggestion. "If sunscreen is applied first, it might interfere with the medication’s penetration and might inactivate the active ingredient. For that reason, medication should always be the first product applied to a clean, washed face."
Fine. But what if you layer other beauty products like moisturizers and then foundations and more makeup?
Follow this routine. "If you’re also using a moisturizer, it should go on after the medication and before the sunscreen," adds Rosemarie Ingleton, MD, attending physician, Beth Israel Medical Center and clinical instructor, Mount Sinai Medical Center. "Applying a moisturizer after the medication could actually enhance penetration of the medication,” she notes. “If the moisturizer does not contain an SPF, apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher next. Finally, apply foundation, powder, blush and any other colored cosmetics."
Still somewhat confused? Don't be. The Skin Cancer Foundation lays out the layering order like so:
Medication, moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation, powder and lastly, blush.
And don't forget that sunscreens wear off while you're sweating or just sitting there doing nothing in the sun. So, re-apply every two hours, experts say.
Dr. Rachel Herschenfeld, a Harvard-educated dermatologist, suggests these excellent sunscreens. "One great brand is LaRoche Posay which makes the Anthelios line of sunscreens. The FDA did approve another stabilized form of avobenzone, called Helioplex, which is found in Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer SPF 55- great product available at many pharmacies.
In our research for this information, we stumbled onto a 2006 Washington Post article featuring Dr. Herschenfeld with more wonderful sunscreen tips. Check it out here.