Mastering Your Sunscreen Routine

Mastering Your Sunscreen Routine


Are you applying your skincare in the right order? When it comes to applying sunscreen, the order of your skincare routine plays a pivotal role in maximizing its effectiveness. It all depends on which type of sunscreen you are wearing. By understanding the distinction between mineral and chemical sunscreens and learning the optimal order of application, you can enhance the efficacy of your sun protection regimen.

The key distinction between mineral-based and chemical-based sunscreens lies in their mode of action:

Mineral Sunscreen:

Mineral sunscreens contain zinc and titanium dioxide. They work by forming a physical barrier that reflects and scatters UV rays away from the skin. Mineral sunscreen should remain on the top layer of your skin. It should be the last step in your routine before your makeup (if you choose to wear it).

Chemical Sunscreen:

Chemical sunscreens require absorption into the skin to be effective. Once the product is absorbed into your skin (20-30 min), the chemical sunscreen absorbs the UV rays and converts UV radiation into heat which then dissipates from the skin. It should be applied before your moisturizer for optimal absorption.

To ensure optimal sun protection, keep the following factors in mind:


Regardless of the type of sunscreen used, reapplication every two hours is crucial. Even if you are wearing makeup or have applied moisturizer, reapply sunscreen to maintain effectiveness.


Apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen for proper coverage. Use approximately a quarter teaspoon of sunscreen for the face every two hours when you are outside in direct sunlight.

Other Protective Measures:

Seek shade whenever possible, as no sunscreen can provide complete protection. Wear long-sleeved shirts and hats to shield your skin from harmful UV rays and use polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV damage.

Properly applying and reapplying sunscreen is crucial for effective sun protection. By following the correct order of skincare products and understanding the science behind sunscreen absorption, you can enhance your skin's defense against harmful UV rays. Additionally, incorporating other protective measures further bolsters your sun protection regimen. Remember, it is easier to protect your skin than to correct it. Embrace these practices, and enjoy healthy, radiant skin for years to come.

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Note: Heather D. Rogers, MD is not sponsored or financially compensated by any brands she recommends. Her recommendations are thoroughly researched, focusing on effectiveness and safety. She prioritizes your skin and health over external pressures or personal gains.

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