It’s that time of year where the sun is (hopefully) shining everyday, you’re probably spending more time outside and you’re probably thinking more about SPF.

Yes, yes, yes you should be wearing a sunscreen year round (UV rays don’t vacation in winter!) but it’s on our minds more now that the weather is changing.

Living in New York, I’m always looking for extra convenience in my beauty routine, especially if I am on the go. For example: my powder has a built in mirror and brush, simplifying my mid-day touch ups, my NARS pencils fit perfectly into that mini zipper pouch I call a wallet and I’ve got a travel size Oribe that I can hide in most of my handbags. When it comes to sunscreen, it’s not always the most convenient thing to tote around (especially since you should reapply often when spending time in the sun). I’ve started to rely more and more on foundations and moisturizers with built in protection in order to save time (and space).

I asked Dr. Marko Lens for a few tips when it comes to sun protection and how to make the most of the products you’re using. Here’s what he had to say…

On multi-tasking products…

First, you need to make sure that the sunscreen is broad spectrum. When it’s included in the moisturizer, it’s very individual. It might not be the right moisturizer for you. What’s happening is that in order to develop a very effective sunscreen, you need to compromise a little bit on moisture. Making a perfect hydrator with SPF is impossible. Imagine if you have thirsty skin and you want to protect the skin but also give it hydration. You aren’t going to achieve it with even the most perfect sunscreen moisturizer. Finding a balance is important.

On the order of application…

It should always be the last thing you apply. Obviously, afterwards you can apply your makeup. You would put your serum, then your moisturizer, then your sunscreen and then your makeup.

If you are using a face oil, the oils can stick on the skin, they might not absorb completely. They can create a barrier. The penetration can be difficult because you have to go through the oil or serum and then the skin before you reach the dermis.

On playing chemist…

You shouldn’t mix your products. If you are mixing half sunscreen and half moisturizer, you are diluting the effect of the sunscreen. If you need more moisture, apply a moisturizer first. [Editor's Note: I'm the first to admit I'm guilty of this. I'm always mixing together foundations and moisturizers and primers...]

On SPF 30 vs SPF 50…

I recommend SPF 30. If you go up to SPF 50, you’re only adding 1% of absorption. SPF 30 is absorbing 97% and SPF 50 is absorbing 98%. In order to make SPF 50, you need to boost the UVB filters, so the texture will change. The thicker formulas usually aren’t as user friendly.

Any sunscreen should be applied every two hours, which is not always possible. Assuming that you’re staying in your office and you’re not exposed to the sun, I would apply once a day. It’s very difficult, if you have a sunscreen on and then you apply makeup, are you going to take it off and reapply? You have to be practical.

Some of my favorite multi-tasking sun products? Daily Defence Sunscreen SPF 30, Zelens; Ultra Sun Protection Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Primer, Chantecaille; Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30, NARS; Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30, Clinique.