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Mixing Two Sunscreens To Increase SPF: Fad Or Fab? Dr. Soma Sarkar Weighs In

Mixing Two Sunscreens To Increase SPF: Fad Or Fab? Dr. Soma Sarkar Weighs In

The general rule of thumb is that it’s best to stick to one type of sunscreen formula at one time. So if you use a moisturiser with SPF 20, a sunscreen with SPF 30, and a foundation with SPF 15,  what SPF do you get? Confused much? SPF math isn’t like regular math!

In fact, the latest research has shown that layering two different types of sunscreens (including those in make-up) may cause them to be less effective against harmful UV rays. So before you mix your sunscreen with SPF-infused makeup, or grab your BFF’s sunscreen for a top-up, take a look at this advice by Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr. Soma Sarkar.

Q. Does Mixing Two Sunscreens Increase The SPF?


Mixing two sunscreens doesn’t make any sense because they both have different SPF with different ingredients and different active filters. It doesn’t increase the SPF, so for example, if we are using an SPF 15 and 20 together it is not going to make it 35.

Q. Is It Advisable To Layer Two Different Types Of Sunscreens? (Physical & Chemical)

‘I would advise against mixing two different types of sunscreens. However, you can layer two sunscreens if one of them is a chemical sunscreen and another one is a physical sunscreen – you can layer the two one-by-one,’ says Dr. Soma Sarkar. Now chemical sunscreen is one which once applied gets absorbed into the skin and then protects the skin from harmful UV rays. Physical sunscreen on the other hand forms a layer on the skin and it scatters and reflects the sun rays. Now, a person with uneven skin tone skin and someone who doesn’t want to wear makeup can use a chemical sunscreen first and then use a physical sunscreen over it to add a bit of tint. It gives some coverage without the need of putting on a heavy makeup look.

Q. Does A High SPF Protect Our Skin Better?

Products with higher SPF don’t give you more protection. However, higher SPF products are only marginally better at warding off UVB rays, according to both EWG and the Skin Cancer Foundation. SPF 30 blocks nearly 97% of UVB radiations, SPF 50 blocks about 98%, and SPF 100 blocks about 99% of UVB rays. Dermatologists recommend using an SPF of at least 30 or higher. Products with higher SPF numbers block slightly more of the sun’s rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s UVB rays.

Q. The Ideal SPF Formula To Use This Summer

Look for the term broad spectrum when you’re choosing your sunscreen. As we know there are two types of sun rays i.e., UVA and UVB. UVA rays are responsible for causing age spots and wrinkles while UVB causes burning. Broad-spectrum sunscreens provide protection against both kinds. Look for sunscreens that have built-in Vitamin C as it is an antioxidant that helps prevent signs of aging. If you’ve acne-prone skin, it’s important to check if the product is non-comedogenic. The term non-comedogenic is labeled on all skincare products that are tested and proven to cause none-to-minimal pore blockage. They are less likely to clog pores, hence resulting in lower chances of breakouts. PA+ basically refers to the amount of protection grade the sunscreen offers against the harmful UVA rays. From low to extremely high – the rating differs. If you’re buying a sunscreen, anything with PA+++ offers high protection and is good enough.

SPF is your BFF!

Featured Image: Pexels

31 May 2022

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