5 min read
Nadia Rennie

Does Makeup With SPF Provide Adequate Sun Protection?

Written by
Nadia Rennie
Published on
July 5, 2023

The short answer is no!

During skin consultations/treatments when I ask people if they use SPF they often tell me that they do as it’s in their makeup.Whilst SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in makeup can provide some level of sun protection, the truth is that it’s not sufficient enough protection on its own. The effectiveness of SPF in makeup depends on several factors, including the product’s formulation, application amount, and how well it is maintained throughout the day.

While using makeup with SPF is better than not using any sun protection at all, it is generally recommended to use a dedicated sunscreen alongside your makeup for optimal sun protection. Here are a few reasons why relying solely on SPF in makeup may not be enough:

1. Insufficient amount: Most people do not apply enough makeup to achieve the stated SPF on the product label. To get the full level of protection, you need to apply approximately 1/4 teaspoon of sunscreen to your face, which is a lot more than what most people typically use for makeup application.

2. Inadequate coverage: Makeup with SPF might not provide uniform coverage across the entire face, leaving certain areas vulnerable to sun exposure.

3. Makeup products that claim to have SPF typically provide protection against UVB rays, which are responsible for sunburns and immediate skin damage. UVB protection is indicated by the SPF number mentioned on the product label. However, the level of UVA protection in makeup can vary. UVA rays are also harmful and can cause long-term skin damage, premature aging, and contribute to the risk of skin cancer. To ensure adequate UVA protection, you need to look for “broad-spectrum” sunscreen. Broad-spectrum indicates that the product offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Obagi Sun Shield Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreens

I recommend Obagi Sun Shield Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreens as they use the best of both physical and chemical ingredients to provide broad spectrum protection against harmful UVA/UVB rays, and additionally, defends against Infrared (IR) rays. Available in a Warm or Cool tint to complement the unique undertones of your skin