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Is SPF lotion safe to mix?

Kim Ray’s question… I was wondering if mixing equal parts of sunscreen with lotion would yield the same benefit as applying both separately. I want the higher SPF of actual sunscreen and the stronger moisturizer of the lotion. It is really hard to find a product that delivers on both.

The Right Brain responds:

We appreciate how tough it is to find SPF lotions that strike the right balance of moisturization and protection but we don’t recommend that you mix sunscreens with lotion. Here’s why…

Two reasons not to mix SPF lotion

First, as we pointed out in our post on The Wrong Way to Apply Sunscreen, certain ingredients that are commonly used in skin care products can interfere with the way UV absorbers deposit/spread on the skin. The last thing you want to do is compromise the performance of the active ingredient in a sunscreen. Not only are you wasting money but more importantly you’re increasing your risk of sunburn or worse!

Second, as Vananners pointed out in our Forum, if you mix an SPF lotion with a non-sunscreen product you’re essentially diluting the sunscreen. So if you mix your products 50/50 you’d have to use twice as much of the mixture to get the same protective effect. And that’s going to make your skin greasy feeling.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

We’d recommend you keep looking for a sunscreen that provides the right level of moisture for you. Does anyone out there in the Beauty Brains community have any suggestions for Kim Ray?

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