Let’s talk about REMOVING sunscreen!

Let’s talk about REMOVING sunscreen

Recently, my husband and I went out kayaking for the day, and I (of course) covered him in a layer of mineral sunscreen. At the end of the day, he was complaining that even after a shower, he could still feel the sunscreen stuck in the pores of his skin.

When it comes to sunscreen, if you’re using a body moisturizer with SPF, those formulas generally cleanse off pretty easily using just your regular body wash.

Sunscreens that are waterproof and/or mineral based (think sport sunscreens and zinc based sunscreens), tend to be thicker and need to adhere or coat the skin like a paste to do their job. Therefore they take extra TLC to remove off the skin at the end of the day.

So how do you remove these protective sunscreens?

When it comes to washing the sunscreen off of your body in the shower, I recommend first doing a regular “once over” cleanse with your body wash. You might notice your cleanser doesn’t foam up as much as it normally does – that’s ok! Next – and I ask you to travel back in time with me here – do you remember those colorful exfoliating gloves you probably had in your shower as a teenager? I know, hello early 2000s! Well, they are super effective in helping to remove mineral sunscreen off your body. After your initial cleanse, go over your skin again with your exfoliating gloves and more body wash. (Please only use the gloves on the skin from the neck down and not on your face. The textured gloves are too harsh for your delicate facial skin). Now that you have successfully double cleansed, your essential last step will be to apply a layer of body oil or cream to seal in your skin’s moisture.

Now for the face…

When it comes to effectively cleansing the sunscreen off your face, I recommend starting with an oil cleanser. My personal favorite and a favorite amongst my clients is Environ’s Dual Action Pre-Cleansing Oil. Using dry palms over dry (unwet) skin, massage the oil cleanser all over your facial skin, makeup, sunscreen, etc. You can now apply water over the tips of your fingers and massage that small amount of water over your facial oil to emulsify the pre-cleanser. Give your skin a few splashes of warm water and follow with a layer of your regular facial cleanser – massaging it over your skin for at least 30 seconds before rinsing. Be sure to cleanse for a count of 30 so that your cleanser can do its job and clean out those pores.

By using an oil pre-cleanser followed by a gentle face wash, we can safely remove sunscreen and makeup from our face without stripping and damaging the outermost layer of our skin. I often see this type of stripped skin barrier damage in my Rollingwood facial studio when clients have been using harsh cleansers to try to “scrub” off their facial sunscreen each evening. Harsh cleansers are not necessary and often do more harm than good. Follow my simple instructions and you will have soft, clean, healthy looking skin even after a day of fun in the sun covered in sunscreen. And I applaud you for wearing it!

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