Here’s a simple skincare trick that I’ve found ridiculously useful lately that I thought I’d share in case it helps anyone else out. I’m sure I’m not the first person to do it, but I also haven’t seen it discussed anywhere else (though I haven’t been looking very hard).
I’ve started doing something that can be best described as “multi-sunscreening”, a bit like the “multi-masking trend” that a lot of brands are jumping on. I was inspired to do this when I watched Fiddy Snails apply her sunscreen using a BB cushion puff on Instagram, when she patted her sunscreen in all over her face using the puff then went back to part in extra on her pigmentation problem areas.
Here’s my issue: I get pigmentation very quickly on the tops of my cheekbones. It’s an annoying genetic thing that a lot of East Asian people have, and I’ve managed to inherit it from my dad’s side (thaaaanks). Right now it’s not too bad, but mostly because I throw hydroxy acids and vitamin C at it all the time to try to lighten it, and cover it with high UVA protection sunscreen to stop it from getting worse.
The problem is that I also have oily skin, from my mum (again: thaaaanks). The sunscreens with the highest UVA protection that I know of come from French brands Bioderma and La Roche-Posay. And unfortunately, they’re greasy, at least on my oil slick face. Even their “fluids” designed for oily skin turn me into an unsightly mirror ball at the end of the day. So I find myself reaching for more “cosmetically elegant” sunscreens most of the time – usually Bioré Aqua Base Watery Essence – which keep my oily areas manageable but aren’t waterproof or sweatproof, and have lower UVA protection as well. I’ve noticed that my sunspots are steadily creeping back.
Here’s where multi-sunscreening has saved both my long-term skin health as well as my daily try-not-to-look-like-melting-wax efforts. My sunscreen routine now goes like this:
- Apply correct amount of light sunscreen all over face
- Pat on a different, stronger-but-greasier sunscreen on cheekbones and chin
- Let it settle for a few minutes
- Do rest of makeup on top
My oily T-zone doesn’t have to deal with the extra grease, and my problem areas get less photodamage. The high protection sunscreens tend to give more of a white cast, but it’s easily disguised with blush so that’s another problem solved as well.
Does it compromise the protection? I can’t say 100% that it doesn’t, but I’ve taken a few precautions to try to minimise the chances. I cover my entire face with one sunscreen first rather than applying two sunscreens on separate areas and trying not to miss spots. There’s also the possible issue of the two sunscreens having incompatible sunscreening agents and cancelling each other out. Since this usually happens when uncoated inorganic (physical) sunscreen agents zinc oxide and titanium dioxide inactivate other ingredients (e.g. avobenzone and oxybenzone), I haven’t been using any “physical-only” sunscreens with this method (they’re the products most likely to contain uncoated particles). It’s also possible that the two sunscreens have formulas that interfere and make each other clump, but it hasn’t been noticeable so far, and I’m a lot less melty-looking and my spots are fading so I chalk it up as a success!
Here are some of the sunscreens I’ve been using in my multi-sunscreening routine:
“Cosmetically elegant” all-over sunscreens: There’s my beloved Biore Aqua Base Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ of course – it’s light, sinks in quickly, smells pleasantly of citrus and has a slight priming effect (if you’re buying it, be aware that the older version is only PA+++). I’ve also been using what I think is the closest in-store equivalent to Watery Essence: Nivea Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF 30, which leaves a bit of the greasy silicone sheen that a lot of fluid sunscreens leave, but it goes away pretty quickly with some powder and blotting paper. I’ve also started using SunSense Clear Gel SPF 50 which is not only lightweight but actually transparent, so if you have lots of issues with white cast this is one I’d definitely recommend! Another new one I’ve started using is Jurlique Sun Lotion SPF 30+, which is alcohol-free and glycerin-rich for when my skin’s feeling too dehydrated to deal with the alcohol that the other ones have. The fragrance in it means it won’t work for everyone, but my skin really liked it.
High-protection sunscreens: My two favourites are Bioderma Photoderm MAX SPF 50+ Milk which has a UVAPF of 42, and La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Comfort Cream SPF 50+, which doesn’t have a labelled UVAPF but in other countries it’s usually given as somewhere between 25 to 40 depending on the formulation. Bioderma sunscreens are unfortunately not available in Australia, so I’ve been using some that I bought in Europe a while back. Both Bioderma and La Roche-Posay have sunscreens in about 6 different textures, all of which have really high protection. I haven’t seen any sunscreen brands with higher UVAPF values – if you know of any I’d love to hear about them!
Do you have any simple but game changing skincare tips? Let me know in the comments!
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