SPF In Make-up, Is It Enough?

Style Syahirah Mokhtazar 22-Jul-2019

We know the rule of thumb when it comes to sunscreen – you have to wear it all day, every day. But with the existence of SPF in make-up like foundation or primers, does that give you the free pass to skip the sunscreen?

Unfortunately, no. Two-in-one products may seem like a win-win but when it comes to protecting the skin from those harmful UV rays, nothing should replace the sunscreen.

Think of it this way, to achieve the SPF on the label, one would have to apply about 2mg of product per square centimeter of skin, or a dollop of the size of a nickel to the face, according to a dermatologist named Sonia Batra, via Women’s Health.

This is a problem because people rarely apply this much and often use much less than half this amount when applying sunscreen. It’s even less for make-up so how can we provide enough protection, she said.

A dermatologist at McLean Dermatology and Skincare Centre told www.self.com that the problem with make-up with SPF is that it only protects against UVB radiation only.

​“Most do not have any coverage against the UVA rays that will go through your car window, your home windows. In other words, you are failing yourself if you think you’re protecting yourself against all UV rays, especially since UVA cause more aging and skin cancer than UVB.”

A moisturizer with an SPF for example will help to protect against small amounts of UV exposure like when your short walk to the car or when you pop out for awhile to hang clothes. Whatever it is, sunscreen is better suited for longer and deliberate UV exposure, according to Independent.

Don’t be quick to think that cosmetics containing SPF are completely pointless, they’re not.  In fact, it should be used in conjunction with sunscreen and other SPF products, as told by an expert, Clare O’Connor to the Daily Mail.

​“As we tend to touch our faces a great deal and remove products slightly, layering of SPF products is always a good thing to ensure protection and maximum coverage,” said Clare.

You might be wondering, how much SPF do I actually need in a day? Well, it is recommended to apply SPF 30.

Let the sunscreen sink into your skin for a few minutes before you apply the foundation. Choose a foundation you love regardless of SPF and think of it as added protection to your skin.  Finish your make-up routine with a setting powder, it will help to absorb oil and prevent your SPF from running.

Also, in addition to actually using a lot of sunscreens, you need to reapply it throughout the day especially if you spend a prolonged period of time in the sun! But how do you do it with make-up on?

A New York City dermatologist told www.makeup.com there’s really no way to go around it as it’s ideal to wash off the foundation and reapply. This is because sunscreen should be applied directly onto the skin, underneath the make-up or other skincare products for maximum protection.

If you need a quick touch up, you can opt to put sunscreen over your foundation, but the first option is preferred.

Choosing the right sunscreen is important too. Creams are good if you prefer to slather on cream onto your face for if you have dry skin.

Lotions are often the preferred type as it’s easy to apply in large areas. Gel works best in hairy areas, while sticks are useful when applying sunscreen around the eyes. Sprays are easy to apply on children but make sure to not get any in the eyes.

​(All photos taken from Unsplash)