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SPF Makeup – Enough Protection for the Fall?

by kelly / October, 4 2017 01:30

Makeup brushes and eye shadow palette

The immediate answer to this age-old question - makeup with SPF is not enough to protect you. So why the confusion? Well, summer is over and you might be thinking that you can remove sunscreen from your skin care routine but dermatologists urge you to rethink this decision.

Here, from dermatologist Jeanine Downie, is just one great reason:

“Makeup with SPF is never a proper substitute for sunscreen…Incidental exposure adds up quickly, so even 5 minutes of running to the bank can be too much time without proper protection.”

Sun exposure adds up. Regular sunscreen use everyday can decrease your risk of skin cancer and reduce sun damage that shows up in the form of wrinkles, fine lines and brown spots.

So what should you do in regards to your skin care, suncare and beauty routine this fall? We’re here to help.

Can You Use An SPF Moisturizer Instead of Sunscreen?

It depends on the SPF. Many daily SPF moisturizers on the market are only an SPF 15. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad spectrum SPF or sunscreen product with an SPF 30 or more.

So ideally look for a daily moisturizer with an SPF 30 or more (we offer a Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30 that offers broad spectrum protection) and at the very least, use an SPF 15 everyday.

Also make sure you apply the right amount to your face or skin and reapply throughout the day. I use a dollop for the top of my face, another dollop for the bottom, and then dollops for both the front and back of my neck. To figure out exactly how much check out our blog post “How Much Sunscreen Should You Use”.

Is Foundation With SPF Enough?

The answer is no. The main reason is that we don’t apply enough to get effective coverage. Dr. Downie describes it best:

“People do not apply foundation evenly, they don’t apply it everywhere and they don’t apply enough for it to be adequate protection on its own”

The same goes with tinted moisturizers, BB, and CC creams with SPF. Also these products don’t get applied to the neck, décolletage, ears and hands – other parts of the body regularly exposed to the sun. Thus Dr. Downie recommends using a separate sunblock in addition to these products.

Can I Combine My SPF 15 Moisturizer and Foundation With SPF?

SPF is not cumulative. As dermatologist Doris Day so eloquently explains:

“Layering an SPF 15 foundation over an SPF 15 moisturizer does not add up to SPF 30 protection…To make an SPF 30 formulation, the concentration of active ingredients is different than in an SPF 15.”

Again the key takeaway is to use a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunblock or moisturizer on all exposed skin.

Is Lipstick Enough to Protect My Lips?

No it is not. Some dark lipsticks might provide minimal protection but again you will need a lip balm or lipstick with an SPF 30 or above for full protection.

Lips are at high risk of skin cancer because they are exposed to the sun year-round and often people forget to protect to them. So you’ll need to reapply and probably even more frequently than on your face because anything on your lips tend to wear off easily.

And don’t even think that lip gloss can protect you lips – according to Dr. Day that’s

“Like spreading baby oil on your skin, the gloss can intensify the sun and increase your risk of burning.”

Skin Care and Suncare Tips

For even more advice on keeping your skin healthy this fall and all year-round check out our Skin Care and Suncare blog series.

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