Why SPF in Your Makeup Isn’t Enough

By October 11, 2016

This morning, as you dutifully apply your SPF-infused cosmetics, you may have assumed you were doing your part to protect your skin from the sun. The truth is that while sunscreen in your primer, bb cream, blush, powder and lip products is a very good thing, it’s technically not enough coverage for everyday wear. Today, with the help of a couple dermatologists, we’re breaking down that common misconception and providing you with an SPF plan of action to make sure your skin stays healthy and beautiful.

Your Daily Sunscreen Requirements
Just like you aim to get your eight glasses of water a day, you should make sure you’re wearing an SPF 30 on any exposed skin every day before you leave home. Even if you’re not spending a ton of time outdoors, or if you live somewhere cloudy, this is a very important part of your skincare regimen that shouldn’t be skipped.

As we noted before, makeup with SPF will give you some protection, but it should be considered a complement to a regular application of sunscreen, not a replacement. “Usually, most makeup SPF is not at least 30, or is not photo-stable, meaning in about one hour it will stop working,” explains Tanya Kormeili, dermatologist and clinical professor of Dermatology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of MedicineAdditionally, she explains that you’re not re-applying makeup frequently enough to fully protect your skin throughout the day.

Finding The Right Sunscreen For Your Face
You’re probably all set with your favorite all-over sunscreen, but finding the perfect product for your sensitive facial skin is a more nuanced endeavor. “Sunscreen for your face should be tested to be non-comedogenic,” notes dermatologist Lorrie Klein, from Orange County. “This means that they tested it to have a low risk of clogging pores and causing acne.” Dr. Kormeili adds that your facial sunscreen should be hypoallergenic and should be aesthetically pleasing. That means it shouldn’t leave a white cast or make your skin look greasy or oily.

For those who have sensitive or inflamed skin, we recommend COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream, which boasts a 50 SPF plus a PA+++ and will help soothe while moisturizing. It’s approved for your face and the rest of your body, and absorbs quickly so that you can apply the rest of your makeup on top.

Another good option that’s ideal for all skin types is Missha Waterproof Sun Milk, which also has  SPF 50, PA+++. It’s intended specifically for your face, doesn’t leave a white cast, creates a matte finish, and is sweat and waterproof.

One last note: make sure you apply your sunscreen to a cleansed face, then put your makeup on top of the sunscreen once it’s absorbed.

+ Learn what all these letters on your sunscreen packaging actually mean and how to choose the best one for you.

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