Hi friends, it’s Jessica here again, your newest LC.com contributor. I know we don’t know each other very well yet, but you should be aware I have a bit of an issue: I seriously love all things beauty. Even more than I love carbohydrates and dog-dedicated Instagram accounts. So when the time comes to tackle the hard-hitting beauty topics here on LC.com, I raise my hand faster than a teacher’s pet on pixy stix.

Today, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about the number one, most important thing you can do to prevent premature aging: wear sunscreen. I bet this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this advice, but do you actually do it? Every single day? And if you do, do you know how to apply your SPF properly with your makeup?

Just in case you’re a bit unsure, here’s the total rundown on how to master your daily sunscreen-and-makeup application…

1. Why?

First, you might like me to explain why we’re writing about sunscreen in November. I know, you’re thinking about sweaters and scarves more than sun protection right now, but according to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds. That basically means regardless of the weather, the sun can damage your skin.

Here’s another frightening fact: Sunlight and harmful UV rays can come in through windows. That means if you’re driving to work, riding a train with windows, or sitting at a desk by a window, you’re vulnerable.

I tell you all of this to drive home one point: You need to wear sunscreen every single day. Whether you have fair skin, olive skin, or dark skin, we’re all susceptible to sun damage, which can lead to dark spots, wrinkles, and worst of all, skin cancer.

2. How?

Stepping off the soapbox now, here’s how to best apply your sunscreen…

  1. Cleanse your face. As with any skincare product, you need to start with a blank slate for the best results.
  1. Liberally apply your sunscreen—SPF 30 or higher—then wait a few minutes before applying your makeup. This will allow your skin some time to soak up your SPF properly—and also make your makeup application easier.

Note: If you want to streamline your process, try a BB cream or CC cream with SPF in it. I like Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 and Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+. But keep in mind that your coverage needs to be thorough in order to protect your skin. In other words, you can’t just cover your problem areas. You need to lather up your whole face.

  1. Protect your pout! Your lips can get sunburned (and subsequently chapped), so apply a lip balm with moisturizer, like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 or Shiseido Sun Protecting Lip Treatment SPF 36.
  1. Finish off your makeup with a dusting of translucent powder. This will keep your makeup in place and also cut any underlying shine you may have from your sunscreen.
  1. And lastly, but very importantly, reapply your SPF as needed. If you’re going to be in the sun for extended periods of time—say a hike, trip to the beach, or day at the park—you need to reapply every couple of hours to keep your skin safe. This can get a little tricky if you’re makeup’s already done. Try dusting on a powder with SPF—like bareMinerals Mineral Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 25—over your makeup. Or, if you’re wearing BB or CC cream, reapply liberally as the day wears on.

And there we go…lathered up and ready to roll!

I’d love to know…what’s your daily SPF regimen?

Any favorite products or techniques you’d like to share?

xo Jessica
Team LC

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