Is the SPF in Your Makeup Enough Protection?


Sunscreen. It’s a love-hate relationship for many. While no one can deny the powerful protection sunscreen offers, many hate the feeling of it and never remember to apply it regularly and throughout the day. It’s for these reasons and more that we love wearing apparel and accessories with UPF in the fabric, which offers constant protection.

However, one place you can’t cover with anything but sunscreen is your face. This is also one of the most important body parts to protect, as sun damage can age your skin, encourage wrinkles and sunspots, and, of course, cause skin cancer. Because women want to protect their face without the heaviness and greasiness of sunscreen, many rely on makeup that contains SPF, such as foundation, tinted moisturizers, and powders. While this is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, many women don’t realize that they may not be getting enough protection from their makeup.

First of all, many dermatologists recommend wearing at least SPF 30. As many makeup products have SPF 15, you may still need to wear sunscreen with your makeup, especially if you plan on spending more than thirty minutes in the sun.

Second of all, you likely only apply your foundation or base once: in the morning. Sunscreen must be applied regularly throughout the day, so by applying it once, you are only protecting your skin during those early hours of the day.

The third reason is also the biggest. Even if you use a foundation with SPF 30+, there’s a good chance you aren’t wearing enough. When we think of makeup, we often think less is more. But this is certainly not the case with sunscreen. You should be applying a thick layer to your entire face and neck. How much is a good amount? While there is no strict rule (as it depends on your face size and skin), it should take you more than a few seconds to rub it into your skin. When we wear foundation, we typically only apply a thin layer. This isn’t enough for sun protection.

If you are determined to avoid sunscreen, consider a moisturizer with SPF. Just remember to bring a travel-sized tube with you in your bag to reapply throughout the day. And don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses when spending significant time out in the sun for added protection.

Author: Melissa Darcey

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