6 Surprising Mistakes People Make With Facial Sunscreens

Summer is in full swing, 

so there’s no time like the present to check in on

your sunscreen habits, and the somewhat surprising mistakes people make when it comes to facial sun protection.

“The shortest distance between your youthful face and one that looks much older is sun exposure.

Get a high SPF. 

Put It On. 

Every Day.”

~ Dr. Hirsch via Allure Magazine

1. Buy a broad spectrum SPF with a high number

You need both UVA and UVB protection (A is for aging and B is for burning) and you need to get as high of an SPF number as you can get. All too often people go for a low number thinking they still want to get some color.

2. Dominant Sides

It’s easy to unintentionally apply less sunscreen toyour non-dominant side – e.g. if you are right handed, applying less to your left side. You have to  make sure you are applying it evenly.

3. Missing Spots

You have to make sure you apply it everywhere. Dermatologists see many precancerous lesions above the lips and around the hairline, where SPF application has been missed.

4. Relying on SPF in your moisturizer or foundation

No one applies moisturizer or foundation evenly enough or thickly enough to get the actual amount of SPF that is on the label. Always use a free standing facial SPF

5. Forgetting the chest

Your decolletage and throat need a liberal application of facial SPF every single day. Both will age you super fast if you don’t take care of them.

6. Use a freestanding facial SPF every. single. day.

Dermatologists will always tell you, you need broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection every day of the year. Apply it after your moisturizer every day for 30 days and it will become a habit.

A youth enhancing habit.

How To Apply Skin Care Products

I’m an absolute skin care junkie.
And I am always being asked what order skin care products should be applied in.
It can get confusing when you have serums and retinols, moisturizers and sunscreens – multiple products to layer.
So here is a step by step guide

 How To Apply Skin Care Products

The first rule of thumb is that generally lighter weight products go underneath heavier ones,

but lets break it down.

Ren Hydra Calm Youth Defence Serum


Serums are applied immediately after cleansing, day and/or night, depending on the product.

Normally you only need a pea sized amount, and pat or smooth it all over the face.

Don’t forget your throat area too!

Retinol Creams:

Ren Bio Retinoid Anti Aging Concentrata

Retinols (such as RetinA) are light sensitive and must be used at night only.

Pat a small amount – only the size of a pea or maybe two, around the recommended area. Some are used all over the face, some are used to target specific areas only.

If you experience irritation using a retinol every night, cut it back to every 3rd or 4th night, slowly working your way to nightly as your skin can handle it.


Twice daily. Your daytime moisturizer and your night time moisturizer do different jobs, so its a good idea to invest in two separate products.

Ren Day Cream

Moisturizers are applied over serums and retinols. Allow the serum to soak in first, then apply your moisturizer, liberally. avoiding the eye area.

Dried out, dehydrated skin ages much more rapidly than healthy, nourished skin, so don’t skimp on this important step!

Ren Eye Gel

Eye Cream:

The skin around the eye area is the thinnest, finest, most delicate skin on the body, and requires its own products. Use the pad of your ring finger (it carries the least tension and is less likely to drag the skin) and pat eye cream along the orbital bone.

Facial SPF:

I can’t reiterate enough how crucially important a free standing facial SPF of 50+ is. You need to apply it daily, come rain or shine, over top of your moisturizer.

You may have to try a couple of different formulations to find the one that works best for your skin. I use Neutrogena Dry Touch with Helioplex, which is a broad spectrum sun screen. Broad sprectrums protect you from UVA rays (aging) and UVB rays (burning).

Apply liberally, all over your face and throat.

Nothing – absolutely nothing will age your skin faster than sun damage.

Products shown in this blog post are by Ren, and can be purchased at Sephora or at their website,


How To Apply Sunscreen

My dermatologist was just telling me how frustrating it is trying to get her patients to use sunscreen properly.

We decided that with Memorial Day right around the corner, and the official kick off of summer right in front of us, it would be the perfect time to post a blog all about how to apply sunscreen.

First up, understanding the code.

UVA rays are the aging rays. They very busily and at very high speed break down the elastin and collagen in the skin, fast tracking your skin to wrinkles and sagging.
UVB rays are the burning rays.
Make sure you purchase broad spectrum sunscreen – that offers you protection against the twin demons of UVA and UVB. 

Facial SPF:

Use a free standing Facial SPF. If your moisturizer or foundation have SPF in them, just view that as a bonus. No one applies a sufficiently thick coating of moisturizer or foundation to give full protection via any SPF in the ingredients.
Use the highest SPF you can find. The labeling laws are about to change, so that the highest will read SPF50+. Until that time I still buy SPF 85 or 100. If there is a sliver of a chance that my face and throat are getting just a whisper more protection, I want it!
Try to find a “dry touch” formulation. I like Neutrogena Dry Touch with Helioplex facial SPF. It doesn’t leave a film on the skin, and doesn’t break me out. Plus makeup sits on top of it beautifully.

Apply at least the size of a quarter. You should have a white film on your skin that takes some rubbing in.
Allow it to penetrate the skin for a couple of minutes before putting any makeup on top.
Apply 30 minutes before going out into the sun.

Make sure you reapply sunscreen frequently throughout your day.
If you are wearing makeup, reapply a powder sunscreen over top, such as the ColoreScience powder sunscreen products.
(I use these on outdoor shoots all the time)

Sunscreen for your body.

There are many different formulations of sunscreen.
I recommend for your body to start with a traditional lotion form.

Use a full ounce ( a shot glass full) and apply thickly and liberally all over. Again, you need it so thick that you have a white film that needs rubbing in.
I recommend at least an SPF of 30. (my dermatologist does too!)
Sports formulas and waterproofs are great, but not always consistent, so always, always reapply, especially after swimming and towel drying.

Sprays are super convenient, but best used only to reapply. 

You will never get the thick, even coat that you do with a lotion, so always start with the more controlled product.
If you are going to be in the water, re-spray every hour, regardless of how “waterproof” the product is.

Don’t forget the backs of your hands, tops of your feet and your ears.
Ideally wear a hat with a broad brim to protect your scalp, ears, face and neck. If you don’t have a hat, be very aware of your scalp. Most people don’t realize how prevalent melanoma is in the scalp, and it frequently goes undetected.