Jul 25, 2013

SPF in your makeup: Is it enough?

Lately it's been a fuss about how convenient is to use SPF makeup products such as BB creams, CC creams, foundations etc. Our favourite products not only offer coverage, moisture and radiance but also sun protection. At least they CLAIM that they do. As it is summertime, we tend to try to simplify our makeup and skincare routine. Many people skip the sunscreen application because "My BB cream has SPF50!", " My (Shisheido) foundation has high SPF factor and says it's ideal for being in the sun!", "Sunscreen is too greasy! I use my SPF day moisturiser instead". 

As you can imagine, these statements aren't actually helpful. Especially when these are said by blogs and beauty personas whose opinion influences people (and especially young ones). So, SPF in beauty products, is it or is it not enough? Obviously it's not. If someone ever tell you you don't need sunscreen just because you use makeup with SPF, then just tell them this is bull and that they are dangerous.

So why your foundation/BB cream is not protecting you enough against sun rays ?
Let's see how experts define the SPF:

The SPF number is calculated by looking at how long it takes for skin to go red with the product on, compared to how long it takes for the skin to go red without it. This is based on the application of 2 miligrams of product per cm² of skin. When you apply a pea size amount of an SPF25 product, you get about 3 millimetres. Meaning that... in order to ensure enough protection you will have to reapply EVERY 2 HOURS. 

Do you re-apply foundation or BB cream every 2 hours ? I am sure you don't.

To work out exactly how much sun protection your make-up is giving you, you need to measure the area of your face in square centimetres, then accurately measure how much product you are applying. The average human face is about 400 cm² so it is estimated that you need to apply about 700mg of product. A "pump" of product usually weights about 130-150 mg. I doubt you use more than two pumps of foundation. 

The bottom line : Your product might say it will give you protection of SPF30+ but the protection you get is related to the amount of product you use. We don't use as much foundation/bb cream as sunblock,  hence we are less protected against sun damage. 

So if you skip sunscreen, it is possible that you think you get a SPF25 from your makeup but in fact you might actually get about a SPF4 protection. Now add that up with the sweating and the lack of re-application... Bam! No protection + Hot summer = Skin damage, wrinkles and why not...cancer. Keep in mind about 90% of skin ageing comes from the sun exposure.

So why don't we like applying sunscreen?

Most common problems:

1. Too greasy : Most of the sunscreens have oils in them and they might feel heavy, sticky and gross especially when you have an oily skin. Solution? There are so many matte finish, non heavy and sticky sunscreens in the market that "the greasy factor" should really stop being an excuse. My personal favourite and my go to product from April to September is the Anthelios SPF30 (comes also in SPF50+) Dry Touch Gel Creme Sunscreen. It is non greasy and it dries matte really fast. 

2. Ghost Face in photos : This shouldn't really be a problem, since the "ghost face" happens in flash photographs and why would you take a photograph in the sun with flash ? Even though, if you have to do that, try a chemical sunscreen and not one with titanium dioxide (that white powder that gives you the white-ghost face in photos).

Do you still rely on marketing and beauty product advertisements? Even if the product itself says it's a "BB cream for sun or especially designed for sun"... it's not and you will end up unprotected. 

Still thinking about it? Check this picture (from wiki). I was shocked when I found it. See how your skin is NAKED against the sun rays. 

Even hotter days are coming, so just apply and re apply your sunscreen. The sun is not how it used to be 20 years ago. 

For more info on products containing SPF you can check this link as well. 


  1. WOW!!!i had no idea it looked like that!!
    i love the La roche posay Anthelios AC kai the Vichy dry touch!

    1. I was shocked too! The anthelios sunblock is amazing!

  2. Lovely Blog :)
    Enjoyed reading the Posts.
    Following you. I hope you follow back and return the support too :D
    Red Alice


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