Are you slathering on your sunscreen with SPF 30, moisturizer with SPF 20 and foundation with SPF 15 and thinking, “I’m getting SPF 65, awesome!”. Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it doesn’t really work like that.
Unfortunately, layering sunscreens will not give you added SPF protection. That’s just a myth. You see, sunscreen ingredients don’t mix together to increase the SPF level, so each product you apply retains its own SPF. That means that, when you use several products with SPF, you end up only with the SPF of the highest sunscreen you applied.
Thus, in our example above, the level of SPF you end up with is 30. If instead, you apply sunscreen with SPF 15 and foundation with SPF 15, you end up with only SPF 15, not 30. I know, that’s a bummer! However, layering sunscreens is not completely useless.
While layering such products will not add up SPF, it may increase your overall coverage. Sunscreen needs to be applied to all skin areas exposed to the sun, but there’s always the chance you may inadvertently miss a spot. If you apply more products with SPF, that risk is lessened.
Do you stick to sunscreen only or do you apply several products with SPF every day?