Aisling on beauty: Applying sunscreen is a multilayered problem

Layering skincare can be confusing, but getting your sun cream on properly is important

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

As soon as the first joyful day of sun hit this year, I received quite a few questions about facial sunscreen. In the main the questions were not about the type of sunscreen to use, but rather about the order in which products should be applied.

Ever since layering skincare became a thing, this is a question I’m asked all the time. You might only use one or two of these products – cleanser and moisturiser, for example – and that’s fine. I’ll rattle out the entire list, though, in case you use everything.

Cleanse first and – if you use it – toner comes next. Now it’s time for essence – again, if you use it – and after that comes serum. Moisturiser is the final step, as most people don’t use a facial oil during the day (but if you do, mix it with your moisturiser).

Have breakfast, locate your keys, get dressed and curse loudly at the tights that ladder the second you pull them up. By now you have let the whole skincare shebang sink in for about 10 minutes.

Now put on your facial sunscreen of choice. There’s a good reason to use creams formulated specifically for the face, as they tend to be less greasy, pore-blocking and irritating. I like Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream For Face UVB 50+ (€26), Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise Face Cream SPF50+ (€9) and Clinique Super City Block SPF40 (€24). Don’t plaster them around your eyes, however: go as far as the socket and let the product creep up itself. There’s nothing worse than irritated, itchy eyes.

Foundation comes last. Even if your foundation has a high SPF, it probably won’t be concentrated enough to cope with bright sunlight. Don’t take any chances on sunny days. It takes two minutes to put on sunscreen, and your skin will thank you for it in the years to come.

  • amcdermott@irishtimes.com
  • Twitter @aismcdermott
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