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5 Ultra-Simple Steps to Remove *All* Your Sunscreen  

5 Ultra-Simple Steps to Remove *All* Your Sunscreen  

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Main image – Yta/Adobe

You should *never* underestimate the importance of wearing sunscreen.

Not only does it help protect you against skin cancer, but it also helps prevent common skincare issues like pigmentation, lines and wrinkles (basically all the issues we spend so much money trying to reverse).

For complete protection against harmful UV rays, we should all be wearing SPF sunscreen year-round, “As a guide, adults should aim to apply around 6 to 8 teaspoons of sunscreen if you’re covering your entire body,” says the NHS.

But when it comes to removing SPF, it can sometimes feel like it’s not coming off completely with your cleanser or leaving an unpleasant residue on your skin.

You’ll be pleased to know that there’s plenty you can do to remove *all* your sunscreen, helping to avoid breakouts and leaving skin clean and glowing.

We spoke to celebrity aesthetician Ian Michael Crumm, skin master Trina Renea and aesthetician Amber Shal to get their tips for removing your SPF in just 5 super simple steps.


5 Ultra-Simple Steps to Remove *All* Your Sunscreen

Image – Liubovlevytska/Adobe


5 steps to remove your sunscreen

While it’s not rocket science, getting rid of all your SPF from your skin at the end of the day *does* take a bit of time and effort.

Those efforts are worth it though.  According to Trina not removing your sunscreen, “can clog your pores and create breakouts, depending on the sunscreen. It can also dry out your skin and leave it irritated.”


5 Ultra-Simple Steps to Remove *All* Your Sunscreen

Image – IKvyatkovskaya/Adobe


1. Find a cleanser or makeup remover

Get started by choosing a product to use to remove sunscreen.

Your first step is to use a gentle cleaner to wash away sunscreen and an oil cleanser that will be gentle on the skin while also being effective at removing sunscreen is ideal.

Ian explains, “start by using a gentle cleanser or a makeup remover to break down and remove the sunscreen.”

Amber recommends this should be an oil-based cleanser to help break down the oils in your SPF.  “I suggest using an oil-based cleanser for the first cleanse because oil-based cleansers attract dirt, oil, and mineral debris that lie on the skin,” she explains.

Experiment with different cleansers and makeup remover products to find one that will remove sunscreen without drying out your skin or causing any irritation.

If you don’t have an oil cleanser to hand though Trina adds that, “most cleansers will work that are designed for normal to oily skin.”


2. Massage the cleanser into your skin

Sunscreen can take some effort to remove. That’s why it’s so important to take some time to massage your cleanser or makeup remover into your skin.

Use circular motions to gently wash away sunscreen and thoroughly clean your skin.


3. Rinse your skin

The next step is to rinse the cleanser or makeup remover from your skin using lukewarm water.

Make sure that you’ve thoroughly rinsed away all residue from the cleanser to prevent your skin from getting dried out. At the same time, you also want to make sure that you’re rinsing away any remaining sunscreen so that your skin is free from residue.

Residue can clog your pores and leave skin feeling oily.


5 Ultra-Simple Steps to Remove *All* Your Sunscreen

Image – Drobotdean/Adobe


4. Double cleanse with the same product or another cleanser

Sunscreen can be difficult to completely remove. For the most effective cleaning, do a double cleanse.

After you’ve cleansed and rinsed your skin, do another cleanse to make sure that you’ve gotten rid of all the sunscreen.

Ian says, “if time allows, do a double cleanse with a second cleanser or even the same product to ensure all product is removed from the face.”

You may want to use the same oil cleanser again to do your second cleanse.

Amber explains, “your second cleanse should be with whatever cleanser is appropriate for your natural barrier.

“For oilier clients that could be something a bit more astringent. For drier clients I would suggest something that would help balance out their microbiome.”

Whichever you choose, make sure that you’re extra gentle during your second cleanse to prevent your skin from becoming irritated or dried out.

Again, you should carefully massage the cleanser into your skin with circular motions until you feel that you’ve gotten rid of all sunscreen residue. Take your time and don’t rub your skin too vigorously. Being gentle and using lukewarm water will maximise the effectiveness of the cleansing.


5 Ultra-Simple Steps to Remove *All* Your Sunscreen

Image – Julia/Adobe


5. Carry out routine skin care and apply a moisturiser

The last step in removing sunscreen is to carry out the rest of your everyday skincare regime. Rinse your skin clean and then gently pat your skin dry. Use any other products that you typically apply to your skin.

Choose a moisturiser that hydrates the skin without putting you at risk of breaking out.


The takeaway

Don’t be discouraged from wearing SPF just because you’re worried about getting sunscreen off at the end of the day. It’s essential for both health and beauty but just make sure to cleanse it off properly at the end of the day to prevent blocked pores from developing overnight.

Use the instructions above to keep your skin beautiful and healthy 24 hours a day and for many years to come!


Meet the experts

Celebrity aesthetician and beauty expert Ian Michael Crumm is co-host of the BeautyCurious podcast with Dr. Elyse Love.

Ian is known for his passion for skincare and sun safety and is actively involved in philanthropic efforts to promote skin cancer awareness, and believes that #ProtectedSkinWins.


Trina Renea is a celebrity aesthetician and skin master. Over the past 20 years, Trina has developed top-of-the-line products and adopted cutting-edge and advanced treatments in her practice. She also hosts a groundbreaking and informative podcast with Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Vicki Rapaport.


Aesthetician Amber Shal is the founder of day spa Floral Spa and Aesthetic Bar, specialising in everything from facials to massages and injectables.






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Sally Underwood is a journalist, *serious* beauty fan, and Editor-in-Chief of Live That Glow. Formerly Editorial Director of one of Europe's largest newspaper groups, Sally has been a beauty obsessive since her teen years spent dragging her long-suffering (but immaculately-groomed) friends around every beauty counter in London. She now leads Live That Glow's editorial operations.

Expertise: Skincare, Body care
Education: University College London

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