We all know how important it is to protect your skin in the summer with a high-factor SPF. But did you know that applying broad-spectrum sunscreen every single day, even when it’s cloudy, is the beauty holy grail when it comes to ensuring your skin looks its best?
“Wearing sunscreen every day is the one thing you should start doing as early as possible if you want to avoid the signs of ageing, such as wrinkles, uneven skin tone and open pores,” says London facialist Cherry Woods. “Sunscreen is not just for holidays, or for summer, it’s for every day if you want to future-proof your skin.”
Duly noted. But what should the order of your makeup routine be? When exactly do you apply your sunscreen? Before or after your moisturiser? And what about serum? How do you layer all of your sun care and skincare products to avoid looking too greasy, shiny, or even too matte? Luckily, our Beauty Editor has the lowdown on how to layer up like a pro. Follow the simple steps for beautiful, and protected, skin this summer:
1. ALWAYS START WITH SERUM
“Face serums are lightweight gels that penetrate the epidermis to deliver active ingredients and offer an instantly skin-quenching drink,” explains skin specialist Ky Dolce. Serum is made up of smaller molecules that are able to penetrate more deeply and can therefore deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients such as retinol or hyaluronic acid. That means you can target specific concerns such as banishing wrinkles.
WHY?… STARTING LIGHT IS THE ULTIMATE BEAUTY RULE
The beauty school rule when layering is to start light! Serum is the thinnest product in your skincare routine and therefore needs to be applied first. Our other top tip? Take a minute’s break between applying each product to allow it to really soak into the skin. This will improve the efficiency of your serum and provide a hydrated base.
It might sound controversial, but you don’t actually need a face moisturiser with SPF. You just need a great moisturiser to apply before your high-factor sunscreen, one that is both nourishing and caring for your skin.
“Hydrate your cells!” advises Dolce. “If you don’t water a plant, it shrivels up and dies. The same will happen to your skin cells, leading to early signs of ageing.” Try a nourishing cream that will leave your skin looking plumped-up and youthful. SHISEIDO WASO Clear Mega-Hydrating Cream (£34.00) contains carrot extracts to soften and refresh your skin daily. Moisturiser is key to any layering routine because “it seals serums onto your skin, which can make them more effective,” explains cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson.
3. NEXT, SUN SCREEN
“Sunscreen sits on top of your skin, so if it goes on first, it prevents other ingredients (in your skincare routine) from penetrating” explains dermatologist Jeannette Graf. The best face sunscreen is one that’s lightweight enough to layer, yet with a high-factor SPF to protect your face from sun damage.
…INTRODUCING WETFORCE TECHNOLOGY:
Shiseido prides itself on its award-winning WetForce technology. This innovative technology provides a protective veil over the skin and turns stronger when it is in contact with water or perspiration; so you can enjoy being active outdoors. And just when you thought it couldn’t get better, this improved formula is now invisible on all skin tones, leaving no white marks and excess formula on the skin.
…IT’S TIME TO TRY:
SHISEIDO Expert Sun Aging Protection Lotion SPF 30/50+ (£34.00) which provides powerful protection for your skin, whilst feeling light and comfortable to use. Ideal for outdoor activities or those days when you are hitting the gym or swimming pool, as the formula becomes more effective when exposed to water. Boasting a Super Veil-UV 360™ technology it provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection to help combat premature signs of ageing from sun damage for all skin types. Now, with an invisible formula!
SHISEIDO Clear Stick UV Protector SPF 50+ (£27.00), a clear stick sunscreen that applies easily to the skin without getting your hands messy. Perfect for hard to reach areas, scars and on-the-go coverage (a perfect size for your handbag!). It features our infamous WetForce Technology, reacting positively to sweat or water on contact. Convenient for powerful UV protection any time. Use it under or over make-up.
SHISEIDO UV Lip Color Splash SPF 30 (£23.00), a moisturising lip protector that gives just a wash of fresh, transparent colour, even though it provides defence against UV rays with Clear Defence Technology featuring sunscreen agents.
“Who said sun care had to be complicated?!”
Dr. Jessie Cheung of DuPage Dermatology agrees that layering products the right way is critical to making sure your skin is getting the protection it needs. Don’t just rely on the SPF in your foundation.
“Makeup should always go last, so that you don’t rub the pigments away,” advises Cheung. “Most people don’t apply makeup thick enough to get the printed SPF rating and the SPF ingredients in makeup may not be the best at protecting you from the sun — they are often made of chemical blockers that degrade with sun exposure.”
So now you’ve applied your sunscreen, it’s time to prime, then apply your foundation as usual. As long as you wait 5-10 minutes after applying sunscreen, (take the time to have your morning coffee, or dry your hair) your primer should work as usual.
“You’ll hear dermatologists telling you to reapply your sunscreen if you’re sweating or at the beach,” says Dr. Cheung. “But the trick is to pack the spray SPF formulations, or the powder sunscreens, so you don’t mess up your makeup!” This is a particularly smart tip if you have an important lunch date or work meeting in the afternoon where you may want to reapply your makeup — and your sunscreen. It may be worth investing in a translucent powder with an SPF too, just to top up your sun-protection and leave you looking fresh-faced rather than shiny.
…THE LOW-MAINTENANCE LOOK:
So, what about a low maintenance routine? For those weekend days when you’re heading to the gym, out for lunch with friends or on the beach, where you would rather go low-key on the makeup. For this, simply skip foundation stage and layer on a BB cream/sunscreen combo. SHISEIDO Sports BB SPF 50+ (£32.00) is an innovative BB-style sunscreen with a lightweight texture and sheer wash of colour. Just follow our serum + moisturiser steps, then layer it on top.