Is SPF In Make Up Enough?

Ahh, summer. The three months in a year when you can replace your indoor tanning session with an afternoon at the beach. But beware! There’s a fine line between flouting a glowy tan and looking like a boiled lobster. That’s where sunscreen comes in. 

Sunscreens protect our skin from harmful UV rays, which are the main cause of premature skin aging. If you were to ask any random individual on the street if they would rather slather sunscreen on themselves or suffer from premature skin aging, most (if not all) of them would choose the former. But although applying sunscreen seems like an easy task, this process is still a subject of confusion. How do you pick one type of sunscreen out of the thousands in the market? What do SPF levels mean? And the question that we’ll be tackling today: does makeup with SPF work the same way as regular sunscreen?

Makeup with SPF sounds like the perfect “kill-two-birds-with-one-stone” product. Instead of applying sunscreen and then makeup, you can apply both at one go! But is makeup with SPF really effective? To answer this question, we to take a closer look at the product, and ask ourselves the following:

  1. Is the SPF in your makeup labeled ‘broad-spectrum’?There are 2 types of UV rays that damage your skin: UVA and UVB. SPF only protects your skin against UVB. Broad-spectrum (or PA ++++), on the other hand, guards your skin against both UVA and UVB rays. Thus, if your makeup doesn’t contain broad-spectrum sunscreen, your skin may not be sufficiently protected from UV rays.
  2. Are you using enough sunscreen-containing makeup?Even if your makeup has broad spectrum sunscreen, applying a miserly amount will not make a difference. In order to sufficiently protect your skin, you’ll need at least 2 finger lengths worth of sunscreen (you can measure this by squeezing the product in 2 separate lines along each finger), which is roughly 2 milligrams per square centimeter of your face. 

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Here’s the thing….2 finger lengths worth of makeup is significantly more than most people are comfortable using. Because of this, we strongly advise that you use a separate sunscreen in addition to your makeup. This is the easiest way to ensure that you have sufficient sunscreen coverage whether you are outdoors or indoors!

Before we close off, another reminder that reapplication is important! Reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours if you are directly under the sun. If you are indoors, a mid-day re-application is good enough. And yes, it is possible to reapply sunscreen on a full face of makeup – check our post on Instagram to find out how! If you’re not wearing makeup, you can simply reapply the sunscreen directly on your skin.

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