Makeup with Sunscreen: Is it Enough?

Many skincare and makeup products include ingredients that block harmful UV rays. You may have seen (or own) a lot of makeup products that contain SPF. But are skincare and makeup products containing SPF enough to protect you against the sun? Read on to find out. Spoiler alert: Makeup with SPF alone is not enough to protect against the sun.

Experts say that you need seven times the recommended amount of foundation, and 14 times the recommended amount of powder to get the proposed SPF on the makeup label. Unless you are shooting for Tim Curry as the clown in “It” look, no one is putting on that much makeup! With some application and product selection tips from dermatologists, there is a way to make it all work. Keep reading.

Types of UV Filters in Products

The UV filters in your products can come in either chemical or mineral. The chemical kind bind themselves to your skin and blocks the UV rays by absorbing them. The chemical filters include everything but zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. As it absorbs the UV rays, the filters degrade, so this type of protection is best when sun exposure is at a minimum.

The mineral UV filters are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They help the rays bounce off your skin. Mineral UV filters degrade as well, but it is much slower. When topped with a mineral powder, you get even more extended protection.

Following Directions

Applying sunscreen involves more than just lathering yourself up and going about your merry way. There are directions on each bottle and container of sunblock, but how many of us read those? To receive the full benefit of sunscreen, it must be applied in the correct amounts and reapplied depending on which type of protection you are using. For the face and neck, it is recommended you use about 1/3 to a 1/2 tsp of protection. Remember, makeup with SPF alone is not enough, so you need to use a sunscreen product under makeup, or a tinted moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher.

Our very own Dr. Forman did an interview recently on the importance of sunscreens. Although he mentioned any approved sunscreen will work (with SPF 15 or higher) for your body, Dr. Forman’s personal favorites for facial sunscreens are Elta MD brand. Below are a few of his selections:

  • Elta MD- UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41- Lightly Tinted Facial Sunscreen
  • Elta MD- UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40- Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
  • Elta MD -UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen
  • Elta MD- UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 Non-Tinted Facial Sunscreen

Steps for Optimal Protection When Using Sunscreen Under Makeup

  1. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher
  2. Apply the correct amount of sun protection, and let air dry, dabbing off excess.
  3. Apply foundation or tinted moisturizer with SPF 15 and up.
  4. Apply powder.
  5. Don’t forget the lips! Use a lipstick or balm with SPF 15 or higher.
  6. Reapply at least once during the day with a re-application of powder. If you are going to be outside most of the day, keep makeup simple with a tinted SPF moisturizer, mascara, and lip coverage, to easily maintain.

ForCare Medical Center also offers a wide variety of treatments for an extensive range of medical and dermatological conditions in our primary clinic. To set a skin evaluation appointment or for our other primary care exams, you can request an appointment online, or call us at (813) 960-2400.