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Can sunscreens cancel each other out?

I was reading Sharon Znaty's book, Club 0~50 on my kindle (so I'm not sure if it's in print version.)

At one point she says, "..., if you apply a moisturizer with SPF 15 and then apply an SPF 60 product over it, you're walking out with and (sic) SPF 15!"

Is that possible? She recommends using a daily moisturizer with out an SPF so you can add your high sun protection later.

I've never heard that.


  • No, that's not true. A lower sunscreen does not cancel out a higher sunscreen. 

    However, in theory, two sunscreen values could average together. For example, if you applied 1/2 ounce of a lotion with SPF 60 and 1/2 ounce of a lotion with SPF 15 you could end up with an SPF of  about 37. 
  • Thank you!
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