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Why You Should Always Wear Sunscreen if You Invest in a Skincare Routine

Do you love applying a serum with vitamin C? How about retinol? Or even a face mask on Sunday nights? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, then you should be equally obsessed with wearing SPF. Keep reading to find out why sunscreen and anti-aging skincare go together…

Sunscreen is the ultimate anti-aging superpower that perfectly complements – and even enhances – all the other things that you may be investing in for your skin. To help us explain, we’ve talked with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Fenton, so read on to learn more.

SPF alone is the ultimate anti-aging product.

“I tell my patients that if you’re going to use one anti-aging product, then sunscreen is by far the most important one,” says Dr. Jeremy Fenton of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York. “It’s in a whole different tier from every other product on the market.” Why, you ask? Because it’s the ONLY product that directly protects your skin from UV damage, which is the #1 cause of almost all skin concerns.

“The vast majority of skin damage is caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun,” says Dr. Fenton. “In fact, unprotected sun exposure can cause the breakdown of collagen and the formation of pigmentation on the skin.”

Here’s what that means… UV exposure can actually break down the supporting structures of the skin, like collagen and elastin, that give your skin a younger, healthier appearance. With less support and ability to hold its shape, the skin will appear thinner and thus wrinkle more easily. Too much UV exposure also leads to changes in your skin’s pigment, creating dark spots, redness and just an overall uneven skin tone.

“I tell my patients that if you’re going to use one anti-aging product, then sunscreen is by far the most important one.”

Dr. Jeremy Fenton

Bottom line: Sunscreen tops all other products when it comes to keeping your skin looking younger and healthier. “I always tell my patients — especially those with lighter skin and eyes — that if they start wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, then their skin will look different in 10 to 20 years,” says Dr. Fenton.

SPF is a must if you invest in any other skincare products or treatments.

Do you get a facial every other month? And do you splurge on expensive serums that claim to transform your skin? Then you absolutely should include sunscreen in your daily morning routine.

Here’s the main reason why sunscreen is necessary to pair with your skincare regimen: It is the one product that actually helps proactively stop the damage that all your other products are trying to correct.

Dr. Fenton explains that most skincare products are designed to either rebuild or maintain the supporting facets of your skin (like your collagen), but that “these other skincare products can only do so much – in fact, you’re making their jobs easier if you’re wearing sunscreen to proactively protect your skin from its #1 aggressor, the sun.” In other words, when you apply sunscreen at the start of your day, then your skin is shielded from further damage that investments like vitamin C and retinol are trying to reverse…so you’re actually putting a stop to this vicious cycle.

“Investing in your skin and excluding sunscreen would be like renovating your house and getting rid of its roof.”

Dr. Jeremy Fenton

“Sunscreen will give you the biggest return on your investment in anti-aging,” says Dr. Fenton. “Investing in your skin and excluding sunscreen would be like renovating your house and getting rid of its roof.”  The primary cause of the damage that these products are battling comes from the sun – and wearing sunscreen gets to the root of the problem.

Let’s break this down a bit further… If you don’t usually wear sunscreen and you just started using a vitamin C serum, you’re most likely trying to repair pigmentation that has actually been caused by the sun. If you continue to use your vitamin C serum and not pair it with sunscreen, then you’ll constantly be fighting a losing battle, tackling existing pigmentation with your serum, all while developing new pigmentation from the sun. Scientists have also told us that Vitamin C can actually be photo-incinerated (or totally burned away) by the sun if it’s not layered underneath an SPF. Long story short: Protect your Vitamin C investment with SPF!

Wearing SPF daily — even when you aren’t in direct sunlight — also works in your favor.

Sunscreen is not a product that you should just wear when you’re out in the sun. You should wear it every single day, even if you’re in a room with lots of windows, when it’s rainy out and even when you’re in the car or running errands.

“People underestimate the amount of sun exposure they can accumulate over the years with just a commute to and from the office,” says Dr. Fenton.  “When you wear sunscreen regularly, it can make a tremendous difference in how your skin looks.”

Here are a few sunscreens to add to your everyday skincare routine.

The best way to ensure that you use SPF every day is to replace an existing product in your routine with sunscreen. Luckily, we have lots of hybrid products that work as either a primer or moisturizer, with the added benefit of SPF.

If you’re into the idea of using a moisturizer with sunscreen, check out Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 or Zincscreen 100% Mineral Lotion. Superscreen is an ultra-hydrating cream that works as a wonderful base for primers or foundation (it also works beautifully on its own to plump and hydrate skin). It contains broad spectrum SPF 40 protection, as well as ingredients to help fight blue light and infrared damage.

Zincscreen is the choice for those who have more sensitive skin. It contains non-nano 100% zinc oxide as its sunscreen active to provide broad spectrum SPF 40 protection, as well as winter cherry to protect from blue light.

If you’d like a sunscreen that will pair well with your makeup, then our amazing sunscreen primers are your answer. Our most popular SPF, Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, is a top choice among many different skin types and tones. It goes on completely clear and the velvety texture leaves behind a perfect makeup-gripping canvas for CC Creams or foundations. (Tip: Men also love Unseen because it’s beard-friendly!)

If you’re into the idea of 100% mineral, 100% mattifying formulas, then our 100% Mineral Matte Screen SPF 40 is for you. It uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide broad spectrum sun protection, and it helps protect from blue light thanks to butterfly bush extract. It also boasts a translucent tint that blends into a wide range of skin tones and leaves skin smooth and mattified.

+ Have more questions about sunscreen, your favorite skincare investments and anti-aging? Just leave them in the comments below…