Protect Your Investment |

Test-Drive: How Wearing SPF Helped Two People See Better Results from Vitamin C and Retinol

What are the effects of wearing sunscreen? By now, you probably know that we’re all about protecting your skincare investments with sunscreen. But what does that look like? And what happens when you actually commit to wearing sunscreen every single day for two months straight? Learn about two people’s experiences below…

This fall, we’ve been talking about why it’s so important to “protect your investment” with sunscreen because it really helps you see the results of all your other skincare products so much more (and helps protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun, along the way).

So, we wanted to put our theory to the test. We asked two people who regularly use vitamin C and retinol, but don’t regularly use sunscreen, to start wearing sunscreen every single day for two months on top of their retinol and vitamin C. Keep reading to see their results and learn about their experiences.

Jen, 39, Portland, ME

Skin type: Combination that tends to be more dry in the winter
The vitamin C product she’s been using for five years: Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
Why she uses vitamin C: To keep lines and wrinkles at bay and to minimize the appearance of pores
The sunscreen she used every day for two months: Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 and Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50

What results were you hoping to see by adding sunscreen to your daily vitamin C habit?
I had larger pores around my nose and cheeks, and the vitamin C helped to make them appear smaller, but they were still noticeable to me. I also had slight redness in those areas. I was looking to achieve a more even skin tone, overall.

How did you remind yourself to apply sunscreen every morning?
It was easy for me since Superscreen is a moisturizer/sunscreen hybrid. I applied it as I would a regular moisturizer, so it was part of my normal routine.

It became something I looked forward to because I love how Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40 leaves my face feeling so plump and moisturized, without leaving it greasy. I have used several high-end moisturizers in the past and Superscreen ranks right up there with them. I just love the way it makes my skin feel!

How did you remind yourself to reapply?
I didn’t trust myself to remember on my own so I set a timer after every application. It worked great and didn’t make me feel like I had to add another thing to my already-too-long list of things to do.

Plus, Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 could not have been easier to use. It’s the way to go for reapplication. It smells lovely, it’s so easy to spray on and doesn’t mess with my makeup.

What happened immediately to your skin when you added sunscreen every day to your morning routine?
I didn’t notice any sudden changes; it was more of a slow build. But knowing I was protecting my skin was enough reason for me to keep going.

Do you think adding sunscreen to your everyday routine eventually helped with those lingering improvements you were hoping to see?
Yes, my skin became noticeably more even. I was pleasantly surprised!

Kirsten, 29, Brooklyn

Skin type: Combination
The retinol she’s been using for two years: Shani Darden Retinol Reform
Why she uses retinol: A dermatologist recommended she use it to help with her cystic acne
The sunscreen she used every day for two months: Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 and Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50

What results were you hoping to see by adding sunscreen to your daily retinol habit?
The retinol greatly helps with fine lines, baby wrinkles, texture, discoloration and acne management – the only downside is that it makes my skin much drier than it naturally is. By adding sunscreen, I was hoping to be able to use my active ingredients with more peace of mind.

Also, the “harsh” products, like retinol, that I like to use for my combination skin are great, but make me much more sensitive to the sun. I was looking for a solid SPF that wouldn’t be too thick and didn’t smell like traditional sunscreen while also locking in moisture during the daytime.

How did you remind yourself to apply sunscreen every morning?
I placed it on the center of my dresser and hoped for the best. It helped that I immediately fell in love with Unseen. I don’t know if I’ll ever switch to another SPF product. It’s truly wonderful to find an SPF that doesn’t break my skin out. It also definitely made it easier to wear sunscreen because I truly enjoyed applying it.

How did you remind yourself to reapply?
I set an alarm at first, but once I got into the swing of it, I found myself wanting to reapply. Defense Refresh is refreshing, smells good and offers an added layer of protection. I find that it feels like a much needed mental refresh during the middle of the day.

What happened immediately to your skin when you added sunscreen every day to your morning routine?
Mostly, my skin felt more smooth and fresh throughout the day than it previously had. I also think it’s partly mental — knowing that you’re making the effort to protect your skin feels good — especially when it looks good!

Do you think adding sunscreen to your everyday routine helped with those lingering improvements you were hoping to see?
Yes, yes, yes. The sunscreen helped lock hydration into my skin and it made me feel more comfortable about using my retinol more often. Unseen is also is just a wonderful base for makeup that lasts all freakin’ day. Without sunscreen, my skin was much drier and tight, making it slightly uncomfortable and not a good foundation for the minimal makeup that I wear.

+ Do you have your own story of how the effects of wearing sunscreen changed your skin? Tell us in the comments below!