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SPF Makeup: Does It Protect Your Skin?

Woman with freckles and sunhat wearing SPF beauty product at the beach

Wearing an SPF protection daily is essential to keep your skin glowy and healthy. And nowadays, it is easier than ever to incorporate sunscreen into your skincare routine. After all, you probably use a moisturiser, BB cream, foundation, or loose powder that is labelled SPF30.

But do these SPF beauty products provide enough protection against the sun on a daily basis? Even when you layer them up? No matter if you’re a full-face day-in-day-out kind of person or a beauty minimalist at heart, the answer might surprise you!

What is SPF?

The term SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is a measure that relates to the length of time you can spend in the sun, rather than the strength of the protection.

The Coppertone Solar Research Centre came up with a simple calculation to understand the impact of SPF on our skin. Let's say you get a sunburn after 20 minutes without sunscreen. If you apply an SPF 30, you will be able to stay 30 times longer under the sun. Alternatively, if you use an SPF 50, it will be effective 50 times longer. However, this calculation can significantly vary depending on various factors such as age, skin type, environmental factors, and how much sunscreen you actually put on your skin.  

Along with the SPF rating, you also need to be aware of UVA and UVB. Those are the two primary types of ultraviolet that impact your skin. UVA stands for UV-ageing. UVB stands for UV-burning. To defend yourself from both UV types, your skin requires “broad-spectrum” protection.

What’s the deal with SPF makeup?

While a regular sunscreen is specifically formulated to protect your skin against UV, your SPF makeup merely contains added UV-defending agents. In short, protecting your skin from the sun isn’t the primary goal of your foundation or BB cream, and its SPF dosage can be slim. 

It is rare to find a beauty product that clearly states the type of UV coverage - aka broad-spectrum - or the amount of product you need to use to get decent sun coverage. Dermatologists note that we generally don’t apply enough makeup to have a strong and lasting protection against UV’s. 

To get an appropriate sun coverage, you would need to apply 6 to 7 layers of makeup that equal the required amount of one thick layer of sunscreen. And that’s a lot of makeup. 

The right way to use SPF makeup

SPF makeup on its own is not enough to protect your skin from the sun. However, even a small amount is better than nothing! So don’t ditch your SPF makeup just yet, especially if you’re not an adept of wearing daily sunscreen. 

That being said, starting to incorporate a strong SPF into your skincare routine would be even better. And if you’re ensure about when to use sunscreen and what type won’t ruin your makeup, then give this blog a read: How to create a simple skincare routine with your tinted zinc cream.

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