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6 Ways to Increase Sun Protection While Wearing Sunscreen to Ward off Sunburn, Wrinkles and More

Hint: It may be as simple as eating a bowl of berries

Sunscreen is the number one summer beauty essential we should be keeping in our beach bag and be applying every single day. Especially for those of us with mature skin, sunscreen is key to warding off sun damage to our skin, which can show up as dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity and more. However, sunscreen isn’t the only superhero we can take advantage of this summer! When it comes to how to increase sun protection, when used in conjunction with your regular sunscreen, the remedies below give skin an extra layer of protection to ward off sunburn, as well as fight wrinkles, oily skin and more.

How to increase sun protection: 6 different ways

Keep reading to see our favorite ways to up the ante on your UV protection.

1. A mineral sunscreen powder

The minerals in a sunscreen like Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Translucent Sunscreen Powder Brush SPF 30 provide a filter over skin (and over your regular SPF) to better block the sun’s UV rays, adding an extra layer of protection. Bonus: Like a setting powder, it absorbs sweat and oil on the face for a mattifying finish and makes it easy to reapply sunscreen on the go without the goopy mess of a traditional lotion.

2. Adding a supplement

Taking a supplement that contains polypodium leucotomos extract (an antioxidant-rich fern extract), like Heliocare Antioxidant Supplements, into your daily routine gradually builds up skin’s tolerance to UV rays to prevent sun damage.

3. A vitamin C serum

vitamin C serum
Iryna Veklich/Getty

Not only will it help smooth wrinkles, but slathering on a vitamin C serum, like Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum, before applying sunscreen helps thwart sun damage better than using sunscreen alone. That’s because research shows this added antioxidant layer neutralizes the free radicals that break down skin-firming collagen, maximizing your SPF’s skin-protecting abilities.

4. A UV-tracking sticker

Applying a UV-tracking sticker, like NATPAT Sunny Patch UV Detection Stickers, not only adds beachy flair (they come in cute fish, turtle or starfish shapes) but also helps prevent a sunburn. How it works: Place a sticker on skin, apply SPF, making sure to cover the sticker too. Around 1 to 2 hours after your first application of SPF, the sticker will turn blue, alerting you to reapply sunscreen and reducing your chances of getting burned.

5. Noshing on berries

Simply eating berries on the daily can help ward off UV damage. Dendy Engelman, MD, board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon, who practices at the Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue in New York City, says, “they’re my favorite summer snack for this reason! Berries are loaded with antioxidants that fight the free-radical damage and oxidative stress that occur with sun exposure.”

She continues, “their vitamin C content also helps thwart sun-induced wrinkles by enhancing collagen production and the barrier function of skin cells. And they contain anthocyanins, flavonoids that scientists believe help suppress the growth of skin cancer cells and protect skin’s levels of collagen and elastin. Of course, daily application of SPF 30 is still necessary, but eating the fruit can boost sun protection.”

6. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside

mature woman smiling applying sunscreen to face
Westend61/Getty

Doctors also say that to be effective, most sunscreens need to penetrate the skin barrier. “Sunscreen needs to be absorbed into the superficial layer of skin called stratum corneum and not just sit on top of it,” says Beverly Hills–based dermatologist Mariano Busso, MD. “Applying it 30 minutes before sun exposure is recommended to allow it to sink in. Otherwise, there is a risk that the protective effect can be lost by being rubbed off or through sweating.”

Bonus: Nix sun-caused hair bothers

Painful sunburns aren’t the only summer beauty woes. Below, tips to manage summer hair as well!

mature woman with blonde hair outside smiling
Westend61/Getty

Frizzy locks?

A lamellar water–infused conditioner, like L’Oréal Paris Elvive 8 Second Wonder Water Lamellar Rinse-Out, deposits cuticle-smoothing amino acids deep into the hair to prevent and tame heat-induced frizz.

Dry strands?

A sunscreen made for hair, like Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe SPF 30 Sunscreen Scalp and Hair Mist, lightly coats strands to protect them from the UV rays that can strip hair of its natural oils, leading to lackluster locks.

Brassy color?

Spritzing a blond toning mist, like Sun Bum Blonde Tone Enhancer, onto hair brightens and highlights lighter-hued strands by using cool-toned violet extract and blue spirulina to cancel out yellow tones that result from UV and chlorine damage.


For more summer beauty tips, click through these stories:

5 Best Sunscreens Like Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen That Protect Skin for Much Less

13 Best Body Sunscreens Beloved by Dermatologists and Skin Pros

20 Best Summer Makeup Formulas and Products That Can Stand Up To the Heat

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