These days there are tons of makeup products on the market that double up as an SPF and promise to provide your skin with protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. If you can simply apply foundation, powder and even lipstick with SPF, where’s the need for sunscreen?

But do you ever find yourself asking if it really is as effective as applying proper sunscreen? Will it adequately protect your skin? In all honesty, we’re a little sceptical, and considering sun protection is an essential part of your daily routine – particularly to keep wrinkles and pre-mature ageing at bay and to protect against developing any type of skin cancer – it’s important to consider the reasons why it may not be as effective as you think. Here are 4 top reasons why you should stick to regular, trusty sunscreen instead of relying on SPF in your makeup products:

  1. Makeup Products Often Contain Low Levels of SPF

    The problem is, most sun protection factor (SPF) claims are overestimated. In fact, a recent study by the EWG‘s (Environmental Working Group) found that 75% of 1800 sunscreens tested in the market don’t live up to the SPF values on their products, and independent tests found they were actually much lower than their label claims.

    This is also often true for SPF in makeup, which means they may not provide adequate protection. While a lot of makeup products often only contain low SPF values (10 -20), the ideal SPF value for proper protection should be between 30 and 50, and even then you need to be cautious and reapply often!

  2. Only broad-spectrum sunscreens can adequately protect your skin 

    Most people will lean towards choosing a sunscreen product solely based on its SPF value, including makeup. However, the SPF value only reflects how well it will protect your skin from UVB (ultraviolet B) rays – those that cause skin burning. It’s important to always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen which will provide adequate protection against both UVB and UVA (ultraviolet A) rays – those that cause skin ageing and long-term skin damage. Makeup with SPF often aren’t broad-spectrum and thus will only provide protection against UVB.

  3. You Need to reapply SPF every 2-3 hours and enough of it

    The truth is more is more when it comes to sunscreen. We recommend regularly applying it every 2-3 hours and it should be slathered on every time in order to work. If you’re relying on makeup with SPF, you’re more likely to only apply it once in the morning and not reapply it throughout the day. On top of that, you’re more likely to only apply just enough makeup to cover your skin with a thin layer to avoid cakiness. This means you might not be applying enough to protect your skin from the sun.

  4. Layering different products with SPF doesn’t increase UV protection

    Contrary to popular belief, layering two or more SPF products with different values does not equal a higher level of protection. For example, using a foundation with SPF15 and a sunscreen with SPF 25, does not mean you now have now applied SPF40 to your skin. SPF values are not additive and it’s always better to opt for a higher SPF value from one product instead of layering many different ones to try and achieve more protection. Therefore, unless your makeup contains SPF 30-50, we recommend applying a proper sunscreen with the same value under or over your makeup.

    That being said, there’s no problem with layering makeup with SPF with a normal sunscreen. While it won’t give you extra protection, it also won’t harm your skin.

The Key Takeaway

Makeup with SPF is fine, but it’s definitely not enough to protect your skin 100%, and things get complicated and messy if you need to reapply throughout the day. It’s extremely important to protect your skin properly from the sun’s harmful rays every day and it’s best to do this with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF30 that’s designed just for that. On top of that, make sure that your sunscreen is not your only source of protection – shade, hats and sunglasses are equally important!

 

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Tends to think in bullet points, tables and Venn diagrams; believes in 'me-time' and sometimes talks to plants.

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