What should I do to add sunscreen to my skincare routine as the weather gets hotter

Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is caused by sun exposure. Sun exposure causes approximately 7,200 melanomas each year in Australia.

A lot of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots, and fine lines.

Is there a way to prevent this with a simple change in your skincare routine?

Read more: Sunscreen: here’s why it’s an anti-aging skincare essential.

When should I start wearing sunscreen?

In Australia, it is recommended that we use sunscreen when the UV index reaches three or more. This is true for most of Australia. You can check the UV Index by using the Cancer Council’s SunSmart App or the weather forecast.

In addition to “primary sunscreens,” or products that are specifically designed for sun protection, sun protection factors (SPFs) can also be found in a variety of beauty products such as powders, foundations, and moisturizers. They are called secondary sunscreens because their primary purpose is not sun protection.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration regulates primary sunscreens. SPF is determined through testing on human skin. SPF is a measure of how quickly the skin burns under intense UV radiation with or without sunscreen. If it takes 10 seconds for the skin to burn without sunscreen and 300 seconds with sunscreen, then the SPF will be 30 (300 divided by 10).

Does the SPF on my makeup or moisturizer protect me all day?

When people use moisturizers or makeup with SPF, they don’t follow the three steps necessary to make sunscreens work:

In one study, 39 participants applied their SPF moisturizers or makeup in the morning and were photographed with UV photography. They were then photographed again in the late afternoon without reapplying throughout the day. Researchers were able to see how much protection the products still provided by using UV photography.

The participants found that the SPF products were less effective by afternoon, and they missed certain facial areas.

Take a look at how much you are using. Pexels/Cottonbro Studio

The type of product is also important. Powder makeup is usually applied lightly. Liquid foundation can be laid thicker.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration tests primary sunscreens to ensure they are effective when applied with 2mg per square centimeter of skin.

Do you apply that much powder to your face, neck, ears, and ears?

These products won’t provide effective sun protection when used on their own.

Should I stop using skin care products with SPF if they don’t provide better protection?

These products are still protective, and according to some research, layering makeup with sunscreen can help cover areas missed by a single application.

The SPF factor is not added when you layer. When wearing SPF 30 sunscreen with makeup that has SPF 15, it doesn’t add up to SPF 45. The highest SPF product will provide the most protection (in this case, SPF 30).

SPF makeup can be compared to “icing on a cake.” You can use it as an addition to the sunscreen. If you missed any areas when applying the sunscreen, the SPF makeup will allow you to cover them.

Read more: Explainer: how does sunscreen work, what is SPF, and can I still tan with it on?

Should I apply sunscreen before or after makeup?

Whether you use a chemical sunscreen or a physical one depends on your choice. Chemical sunscreens must be absorbed into the skin in order to block the sun’s radiation. Physical sunscreens are applied on top of the skin as a protective shield.

Physical sunscreens are those that contain zinc oxide or titania dioxide as the primary ingredient. Please think of the zinc sticks we used to use on our lips and noses at the beach. People with sensitive skin can use physical sunscreens. They are thicker and stickier than older versions, but they still feel like chemical sunscreens.

Apply sunscreen first and then moisturise. This will provide the best protection from sun damage when using chemical sunscreens. Allow the sunscreen to sink in and dry for a few moments before applying other products. Apply chemical sunscreen 20 minutes prior to going outside.

Allow chemical sunscreen to dry for a few moments before applying moisturizer. Pexels/August de Richelieu

Apply moisturizer first, then sunscreen, and finally, makeup when using a physical sunblock.

It’s best to remove all makeup before reapplying sunblock, but for some people, this may not be possible. In that case, gently patting sunscreen on top of makeup is an alternative. Reapplying sunscreen over makeup is best done with physical sunscreens.

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