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Is The SPF In My Makeup Enough?

We all love the idea of finding a product that does it all. Just imagine a one-stop-shop for flawless coverage, sun protection and all the anti-aging benefits you need. But is it realistic? The answer is a bit complicated. Some medical-grade products do serve multiple purposes. For example, IDSIN Melatonik harnesses the power of a natural retinol and serves as a nighttime antioxidant. Other products, like the Revision Intellishade, do a great job of combining a lightweight moisturizer with a medical-grade sunscreen. But this isn’t always the case and doesn’t often hold true past the products on physician’s shelves. So, is the SPF in my makeup enough?

Our Skin and The Sun

The skin is our largest organ, and daily SPF is the best way to protect it. It is estimated that up to 80% of visible aging is caused by the sun? Yikes!

It is important to know that the sun has multiple wavelengths of light that cause damage to our skin: UV radiation, visible light and infrared.  UVA rays are associated with skin aging, UVB rays are responsible for skin reddening/burning and infrared rays cause deep damage (such as wrinkling) to the skin.

Is the SPF in my makeup enough to protect against all this? First, check the ingredients. To get adequate protection from UVA, UVB and infrared, you need a sunscreen that contains Zinc Oxide and is at least a 30 SPF. Popular foundations from brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown only contain SPF 15.

But what if the SPF in your makeup reads above 30? According to Dr. Kassouf with the Cleveland Clinic, when a product’s SPF is being tested, they apply a thick layer. When we are looking for nice, flawless coverage, we don’t typically heap on pumps of foundation. In reality, you are wearing less of your foundation (and the SPF in it) than what would have been studied. You can expect to get roughly half of the advertised SPF on your makeup.

Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. And while we’re sure some celebrities may enjoy the luxury of hourly make-up touch-ups; it just isn’t feasible. So even if your make-up gives you proper protection – that protection comes with the 2-hour expiration window. Tinted brush-on mineral sunscreens can give added SPF throughout the day, are quick to apply, and won’t mess up your makeup.

So What Should You Do?

While purchasing quality makeup containing Zinc Oxide doesn’t give you all the protection you need, you shouldn’t stop. It’s better to get the added protection than none at all. We do recommend purchasing a medical-grade, mineral-based sunscreen to apply prior to makeup. This way you know you have the protection and coverage you are looking for. Some mineral sunscreens are even tinted and can eliminate the need for daily foundation altogether!

We’re sorry to inform you the SPF in your makeup is not enough. But by adding in a mineral sunscreen before makeup application, and reapplying throughout the day, your skin will stay protected and glowing!