SKIN TALK: Makeup with SPF

By | 16:29 7 comments

When you walk into Sephora or any other beauty store,  you've probably sees tons of foundations, BB creams, and other makeup products that come with an SPF number. Perhaps these types of products have made you wonder, do they actually protect your skin from the sun? Should we bother wearing makeup with SPF?

I've been really curious about makeup products that promise to offer some sun protection. So I ventured out and read a few articles here and there to answer my own questions.

Is Foundation with SPF Enough to Protect Your Skin from the Sun?
Many people who are knowledgeable about skincare and sun protection know that the answer to this question is a resounding, "NO." Dermatologist Dr. Baumann (interviewed by Susan Clark from WebMD) stated that the amount of foundation that we typically apply to our face is not nearly as much as we need to get adequate sun protection; in fact, you would need to apply "7 times as much foundation" to get the SPF that your makeup promises to deliver. And hell no, I am not caking my face in that much base makeup! No thanks. This is exactly why I always apply a separate sunscreen underneath my foundation.

So then what's the point of having makeup with SPF?
You need at least a quarter-size amount of sunscreen on your face (yep, that's a lot). Even though I try my best to apply as much sunscreen as possible, there may be some areas on my face that I don't apply enough sunscreen to. This is where makeup comes in; by applying base makeup with SPF, I can try to cover up the areas I inadvertently missed. As stated, "The truth is that most people do not get the most out of their sunscreen because either they do not apply enough of it, or they apply it unevenly.  Two applications of cosmetics that contain a sunscreen will increase your chances of getting good protection." The way I see it, it's kind of like how I try to get my daily dose of vitamins through my diet by eating healthy, but I still take vitamin supplements, just in case.

Of course, one of the most annoying things with some makeup products that have SPF is that they can "flash back" in photos, creating the embarrassing ghost face. Luckily, I've found some base makeup products that don't create a white cast, even with flash photography:
1. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation (SPF 15)
2. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (SPF 15)
3. Skin79 VIP Gold BB Cream (SPF 30) - as long as you don't apply too much
4. Laneige BB Cushion Compact

If my sun lotion has an SPF of 30 and my foundation has an SPF of 15, that means I get a sun protection factor of 45, right?
No. It just doesn't work like that. Also, we shouldn't focus so much on number; an SPF of 100 doesn't give you twice the protection of an SPF 50. After 30, there really isn't much of a difference in terms of protection power. In fact, according to this WebMD article, no sunscreen can give 100% protection. Picking a sunscreen lotion with an SPF 30-45 is good enough for me for everyday wear, and the most important thing to do is to reapply. Which brings me to my next point... 

Do I need to reapply?
If you are going to be outside for a long period of time, then YES, no matter how high your SPF number is. I get it: this is such an inconvenience for anyone who wears makeup. After all, who wants to put on some goopy sunscreen on top of your perfectly made up face? My solution to this is to use a BB cushion compact or a mineral powder foundation with SPF when you need to reapply.

How Do I Protect My Lips?
You can use lip products with SPF, but one of the most interesting things I've learned from these readings is that you can use opaque lipstick as a way to give your lips some protection (both WebMD and have said this). I guess I'll be rocking the bold lip when I go to work from now on!

Bottom line is, makeup alone can't protect you, but it can help if you've already applied your sunscreen.  Now, I'd like to open this up for discussion: What are your thoughts about makeup with SPF? Please feel free to share and add anything anything to this topic!

Till later,

FTC statement: This is not a sponsored post. The links provided above are not affiliate links.  I purchased all the products mentioned above with my own money.

7 comments: Leave Your Comments

  1. I also use makeup with SPF to retouch both makeup and SPF! I have heard that bit about SPF in makeup not being enough to protect your face (sad news for lazy girls like me!)

    1. Awesome! If only makeup was good enough to provide sun protection. It would make life so much easier!

  2. Very helpful post! My lips are sensitive to lipbalms/lipstick with SPF, so bold lips it is! ;)

    1. My lips are sensitive to SPF, too. In fact, it makes my lips peel (not a good look, I know). Glad you found this helpful!

  3. I agree with all of these points! There was a talk about this topic on Get It Beauty before, and the amount of sunscreen neccessary to apply is crazy... especially with some thicker formulas that leave a white mask. So I also like using both sunscreen and BB cream with SPF to get closer to the ideal amount. For reapplying, spray-types are really convenient, but they get used up quickly, which makes them expensive - so when I reapply, I use spray one for face and cream-type for arms and legs.

    1. I've seen that Get It Beauty episode. I totally agree with you about using SPF sprays! They're super convenient. Thanks for sharing this tip.

  4. I've seen that Get It Beauty episode. I totally agree with you about using SPF sprays! They're super convenient. Thanks for sharing this tip.