Relying on makeup with SPF shouldn’t be your only protection against the sun’s intense rays. Makeup that contains SPF will give you adequate protection if you are spending most of your day indoors, but you will need backup if you are planning a day at the beach or some outdoor fun. Dermatologists recommend that you first use regular sunscreen before layering on foundation or tinted moisturizer. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher and a strong physical blocker such as zinc oxide to shield you safely at the pool.
Makeup with SPF is a good idea for daily use, but it just isn’t enough to protect against harmful UV rays. Here’s why you need more protection:
The consistency of foundations and tinted moisturizers is thinner than sunscreens. You’re probably getting a thinner layer of protection when you use makeup than you would with a regular sunscreen. Also, most users go easy on applying makeup to avoid overdoing and winding up with a heavy finish. You would need to apply a nickel-sized amount to your face to get true protection with tinted moisturizer.
It’s important to apply sun protection to places like your neck, ears, lips and chest, and people don’t normally put their foundation all over like that.
Most people don’t use enough moisturizers and foundations to get the same protection they would get from regular sunscreen. They don’t apply the same amount of product that provides the SPF used in the Food and Drug Administration SPF test procedure. The test compares how much UV exposure a person using a sunscreen must receive in order to get a sunburn compared to how much they would have to receive if they were not using sunscreen.
The FDA says an SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of UBV rays, an SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UBV rays, an SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of UVB rays and an SPF 100 blocks 99 percent of UBV rays. Some experts say makeup with an SPF 20 should give you the protection you need, while others say go for an SPF 30.
Dermatologists remind us that reapplying sunscreen during the day gives you that extra added protection that’s important. Applying once in the morning just isn’t enough because sunscreen, just like any other product, wears off. Skin care experts say you should reapply sunscreen every two hours. Some recommend using powder sunscreens for touchups because they are convenient to carry with you when you are out and about.
So go ahead and use SPF makeup, but don’t skip the regular sunscreen to save time.