The SPF In Your Makeup Is NOT Enough To Protect You From The Sun

Posted: April 16, 2020 / By: Elyse Simons Feinstein

Sorry to disappoint you all, but SPF makeup is just no substitute for the real deal sunscreen.

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SPF In Your Makeup Isn’t Enough

Raise your hand if you use makeup with an SPF in it. Now, raise your hand if you don’t apply sunscreen under your foundation.

You’re not alone – 70% of women don’t wear sunscreen every day, because many of them assume that the SPF in their makeup protects them from sun damage.

When it’s hot and humid outside, layering an arsenal of skincare and makeup on your face might be the last thing you want to do. However, when it comes to sunscreen, there’s no skipping it. Yes, even if your foundation contains SPF.

Why Cosmetics With SPF Aren’t A Good Alternative To Sunscreen

Sunscreen is different from all other cosmetic products.  A pea-size amount of moisturizer makes your skin soft and smooth. A few drops of foundation even out your skin tone. A thin layer of powder keeps oil and shine at bay.

Sunscreen is more demanding. You need to apply 2.0mg/cm (or 1/4 teaspoon) to get the SPF stated on the label.

This roughly equals:

  • ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen
  • 7 layers of foundation
  • 14 layers of powder

That’s a whole lot of foundation and powder right there! Can you imagine wearing that much makeup? Your face would start looking really heavy and cakey after all that makeup.

Sunscreen first looks like the easy option right now, doesn’t it?

Know Why Makeup Alone Is NOT Enough

“Makeup with SPF provides some protection, says Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist based in Los Angeles, but she recommends not depending on your foundation as your primary source of UV protection.”

When To Apply Your SPF

Sunscreen should be the final step in your daily care regimen after cleansing, toning and using any corrective serums or creams.

Make sure you apply ¼ teaspoon of SPF onto your face, blend it in well and don’t forget to apply some to your neck and décolletage.

You can follow up with your makeup, including the products that contain the additional SPF.

Simply put, while the SPF in your makeup will provide some coverage, you just don’t apply enough to get the full benefits. Now, I’m not saying makeup with SPF is bad – just the opposite, it’s great so long as you use it with a broad spectrum SPF. It provides additional protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

What SPF Should You Be Wearing? Physical Is My Choice

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are physical sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens. If you have sensitive skin, you should look for a sunscreen that uses these ingredients, as they are unlikely to irritate your skin. They provide a physical barrier to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays; it’s like wearing a mask.

Plus, you can apply this sunscreen under your foundation — it even acts as a primer. Don’t forget to apply some to your neck and ears!

My Favorite Sunscreens

LimeLife by Alcone Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30 

Soak up the sun worry-free with the simple ingredients in our Perfect Sunscreen. Our SPF 30 contains organic and plant-based ingredients to moisturize and protect your skin from hazardous damage from the sun while fighting signs of aging. Our three-in-one formula moisturizes, protects and primes skin before makeup application, or can be worn alone.



Badger’s Unscented Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30

  • 84% organic base ingredients and Clear Zinc Oxide which rubs in clear!
  • Moisturizing base is 56% Organic Fair Trade Aloe
  • Daily face and body lotion, no added fragrance
  • Excellent UVA and UVB protection
  • Easy to apply and non-greasy
  • Non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic – safe for sensitive skin
  • Reef friendly (no oxybenzone & no octinoxate)
  • Certified cruelty-free, gluten-free, and Non-GMO

Lightweight and easy to apply, this unscented daily SPF 30 Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion for face and body blocks the sun’s harmful rays with clear zinc oxide, a specialized zinc oxide powder with high transparency and low whitening. A gentle base of aloe and sunflower oil makes it ideal for sensitive skin. Lab approved hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).

Don’t Forget About Your Lips

Our lips can also get sunburned, let’s not forget about them!

My favorite lip protector is Badger Clear Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 15.


Stay Tuned

My next blog post will be all about the differences between physical and chemical sunscreens.