To make your skin look younger with fewer visible lines and wrinkles, look no further than the best, biologically-active miracle product on the planet—sunscreen. However, the one thing you need to do really, really well is to wear sunscreen correctly.
You must wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen on your face 365 days a year, inside or out, rain or shine.
UV rays from the sun are the #1 reason for skin aging. It’s not genetics, it’s not smoking, and, believe it or not, it’s not even age. The sun’s rays that give off daylight is the skin’s worst enemy. A study out of Australia even showed that “the skin of daily sunscreen users aged a full 24% less than that of occasional wearers”. That’s pretty incredible. However, it will never work its magic abilities if you’re not wearing it daily. Make it an every morning habit, just like brushing your teeth.
When applying sunscreen, you must layer it on generously if you want it to make your skin look younger.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is they don’t apply enough sunscreen to fully protect the skin. The reason for this is because so many sunscreens are heavy in texture and they don’t always feel good on the skin when worn on an everyday basis alone or under makeup. Plus, since many sunscreen formulas can be problematic for breakout-prone skin, this can make someone apply it sparingly.
Since you’ll be wearing it every day of the year, you must search and search until you find a formula that feels nice on the skin without being too heavy. Also, get one that is compatible under makeup without pilling and balling up.
Recommended everyday sunscreen: Weightless Protection SPF 30 is excellent under makeup. Your skin will look younger when using this.
Recommended sunscreen for outdoor activities: I like to use La Roche Posay Ultra Light Fluid SPF 60 because it’s water-resistant so it will hold up with sweating and swimming. However, if you’re going to be at the ocean, find one that is ‘reef safe’ because this one is not.
Want to know how much sunscreen to apply? Read how to apply sunscreen to the face and neck. Want to learn more about sunscreen formulations? Read the differences between chemical and physical sunscreens.
Sunscreen must be reapplied, but reapplication times will vary.
For weekdays when you’re mostly inside at home or at work…an SPF-infused mineral powder can be dusted onto the skin directly over makeup or on bare skin. The idea here is that it’s not feasible to stop what you’re doing in the middle of the day to re-wash your face and start your skin routine all over. Instead, I find powders make reapplying sunscreen really easy. I believe doing this once or twice during daylight hours is sufficient.
For weekends when you’re spending time outdoors in the direct sunlight…you will want to be more frequent with reapplying sunscreen—especially if you’re swimming or sweating. I recommend every 90 minutes. You’ll also want to pay attention to the skin on your body and wear clothing that will cover up your skin. I find clothing so much easier to keep my skin out of the sun rather than having to mess around with sunscreen. Reapplication is a must not only for preventing sunburns but also to make your skin look younger.
Wear makeup every day to give additional sun protection.
I am a huge believer in wearing makeup every single day. Not necessarily for cosmetic purposes but for the benefits it gives for protecting your skin from the sun. I know everyone’s goal is to have the skin of their dreams so they don’t have to wear makeup, but makeup is an extension of your skincare products. Read why makeup is good for your skin.
Bonus: Use a serum with both vitamin C and E to improve the photoprotective properties of your sunscreen.
Duke University Medical Center researchers determined that using a lotion or serum with both vitamins C and E under sunscreen actually provides four times the protection of sunscreen alone. And of course, vitamin C has many other benefits. Recommended daily vitamin c serum: Vitamin C&E Treatment
In summary, it’s never too late to turn back the clock on your skin but please don’t delay. If you really focus on applying sunscreen correctly, you can you can definitely improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I can assure you, you’ll never say later in life, “I regret having worn TOO much sunscreen when I was younger.” Am I right??? Lastly, to make your skin look younger, don’t forget to use my second favorite product!
Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”