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How to Apply Sunscreen & Our Tips for Selecting the Best Sunscreen

Woman wearing all pink holding a pink planner, notebook, pen and a tube of UV Expert Aquagel Defense SPF 50 sunscreen

Sunscreen is perhaps the most important part of your beauty routine. Sunscreen is designed to help protect the skin against the harmful effects of the sun, including sunburn, skin cancer, and even visible signs of aging. Sunscreen is a recommended form of sun protection & and undergoes rigorous testing to ensure efficacy. With our helpful sunscreen guide, you’ll learn information about sunscreen including how to apply sunscreen and tips for selecting a formula based upon your skin type.

Sunscreen FAQs - How and When to Apply Sunscreen

To better understand the importance of SPF and sunscreen we asked Kayte Epperly, Scientific Communication Liaison at L’Oreal Research & Innovation US Skin Care Development, some important information on how to use sunscreen effectively in your beauty routine.

When do we need to wear SPF?

Ideally you should wear it at all times, but especially if you are outdoors, even if it is an overcast day.

Are all sunscreens created equal? What are the different SPF factors, and the differences between UVA/UVB protection?

Sunscreens in the USA need to meet specific guidelines set forth by the FDA. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) correlates to the sunscreen’s ability to block UVB rays. An SPF 30 blocks roughly 97% of the UVB rays with higher SPFs block slightly more. This number does not correlate to how often a sunscreen needs to be reapplied.

UVA rays also known as “aging rays” can prematurely age your skin, cause wrinkles and age spots. They are able to pass through glass windows.

UVB rays also known as “burning rays” are primary cause of sunburn and cannot pass through window glass.

Broad Spectrum means that the sunscreen will help protect against UVA and UVB rays.

The type of sunscreen you use comes down to personal preference and the format you select should be one that you would use regularly.

What is the recommended level of sun protection for daily wear?

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a minimum SPF 30 or higher for daily use.

How much sunscreen should you apply?

Sunscreen should be applied liberally ensuring that all exposed areas are covered. To fully cover most adult bodies you need about 1 ounce (or a shot glass full).

What is the best way to apply & reapply sunscreen?

It is recommended to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to going outdoors for the sunscreen to absorb into your skin. You should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.

Sunscreen should be applied onto dry skin and rubbed in thoroughly. To be sure you don’t miss any spots, you can apply in front of a mirror or ask someone to assist on hard-to-reach areas.

Our Sunscreen Products for Your Daily Routine

UV Expert Aquagel Defense Sunscreen with SPF 50

Lancôme UV Expert Sunscreen with SPF 50 is a makeup primer plus sunscreen plus daily moisturizer with SPF all-in-one. Consisting of a water-like gel formula which feels lightweight on the skin UV Expert is an ideal sunscreen for face to wear on bare skin or underneath makeup as a face primer and daily facial moisturizer with SPF. It’s easy to blend and leaves skin feeling hydrated without any greasiness stickiness or white residue. Thanks to its oil-free and non-comedogenic formula it’s suitable for all skin types including normal dry oily combination and sensitive skin. Plus with its sun protection factor of 50 you can be sure you’re using a product that goes above and beyond the daily recommended sun protection factor!

Rénergie Lift Multi-Action Day Cream with SPF 15

Rénergie Lift Multi-Action Day Cream with SPF 15 combines anti-aging with the daily sun protection your skin needs. Specially formulated to feel comfortable and fresh on the skin, this facial moisturizer with SPF gives your skin protection without greasiness or stickiness. Not just sunscreen, its anti-aging properties help visibly lift and firm skin to fight the visible signs of aging and leave skin feeling fresh. The lightweight formula smooths over skin without the product gathering or peeling making it another great option to wear underneath makeup or on its own.

Skin Feels Good Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 23

Skin Feels Good with SPF 23 is an ideal option for those looking for a tinted moisturizer and sunscreen for face all in one. Designed to be worn as a buildable foundation and tinted moisturizer hybrid the lightweight and oil-free formula ensures skin feels good with all-day hydration and a natural glow. Ideal for doubling up sun protection with UV Expert (use as a makeup primer) or Rénergie Lift Multi-Action -- Skin Feels Good formula is infused with antioxidants and a sun protection factor of SPF 23 and the formula works to protect skin against free radicals and environmental pollutants.

Shop the Lancôme’s best sunscreen sun protection and SPF products based on your skin type and preferences at Lancôme.


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