Myth Buster – Layering Sunscreen to Build Sun Protection
When we’re making the most of the sunny summer days, we want to make sure our skin is as well protected as possible. And when it comes to SPF ratings, it’s fairly simple – the higher the better, right?
But what about layering different sunscreens to get a stronger product? Some people think that by mixing a SPF15 and an SPF30, for example, that they can boost the protection to an SPF45.
So can you mix and match to achieve a higher level of skin protection? Let’s look at how you can use your sunscreen and other products with an SPF rating to achieve the best results for your skin.
Mixing up the SPF
If you mix sunscreens, unfortunately you won’t be able to achieve a higher SPF rating. It’s a nice idea to think we could increase our protection by adding SPF15 and SPF5 to make SPF20, but skin protection doesn’t work like that.
An SPF 15 moisturiser and an SPF15 foundation don’t add up to SPF30 protection – you’re still protected at the maximum level of the product with the highest SPF, so in this case it’s still just SPF15. By adding a lower SPF to the mix, you could even dilute the products, making your sunscreen less effective at protecting you from harmful UV rays.
While having different SPF-rated products in your beauty routine is a bonus, you shouldn’t rely on them to protect your skin. Not only do the SPF ratings not add together to give you more protection, you might not even be getting the level of protection that is stated on the bottle.
That’s because the way you use a product like foundation tends to be different to how you would apply a sunscreen – for example, your foundation application might not be thick enough to reach the maximum SPF the product can offer, and you wouldn’t typically apply it to some areas (like the back of your neck or the tops of your ears) that are still vulnerable to sunburn.
The Right Protection
The best kind of sun protection is going to come from a dedicated sunscreen. Carroten have a range of sun care options for face and body. A dedicated facial sunscreen is usually the best option if you’re going to wear other products, as it helps to protect your sensitive facial skin. Carroten face sunscreen selections include matt look, Sensicare and anti-ageing options.
You can easily add your Carroten facial sunscreen to your beauty routine – most people choose to apply their layer of sunscreen over their moisturiser but under their foundation. Make sure you leave each layer alone for a while to allow it to sink in and not get mixed up with the product before or after.
Studies show that most people use only 1/4 to 1/2 as much sunscreen as they should, so you might choose two thin layers of your sunscreen product to make sure your whole surface area is well covered. However, one layer should be enough if you don’t skimp on product and spend time making sure all exposed areas are well covered.
Your face needs special attention because it is particularly susceptible to the signs of ageing brought on by the sun, as well as being exposed to the sun. However, it’s not the only area you need to look after. Any part of your body that will receive exposure to the sun needs a good layer of sunblock, paying special attention to your hands and the tops of your shoulders. Carroten’s Moisturising Suncare Milk SPF 50+ spreads evenly and helps moisturise your skin, making it a great all-over option.
The general rule of thumb for reapplying sunscreen is that you should reapply every time after swimming, towelling or sweating. And while sunscreen is absolutely essential, it doesn’t make you indestructible – you’ll still need to practice other forms of sun safety in the hottest part of the day, like seeking shade and wearing protective clothing.
Sadly, SPF ratings don’t work like a maths equation – you can’t add different SPF products to get a higher level of protection. The best sun protection is always going to be a dedicated sunscreen with a rating of SPF30+ or higher. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to get products with an added SPF.
You don’t need maths for sun protection. The best kind of sunscreen layering is simple – one good, thick layer of Carroten 30SPF or 50SPF sunscreen on every part of the body that could be exposed to the sun, and you’re giving yourself the best protection for your skin.