As a general rule, sunscreen in make-up isn’t not sufficient for sun protection.
Sunscreen is needed for protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

WE know the rule of thumb when it comes to sunscreen – you have to wear it all day, every day. But with the existence of SPF in make-up like foundation or primer, does that give you the free pass to skip sunscreen?

Unfortunately, no. Two-in-one products may seem like a win-win but when it comes to protecting the skin from those harmful UV rays, nothing should replace the sunscreen. Think of it this way, to achieve the SPF on the label, one would have to apply about -two milligrammes of product per square -centimetre of skin, or a dollop of the size of a nickel to the face, according to a dermatologist Sonia Batra, in an interview with Women’s Health.

This poses a problem as people rarely apply this much and often use less than half this amount when applying sunscreen. It’s even less for make-up, so how can we provide enough protection?

A dermatologist at McLean Dermatology and Skincare Centre has told that the problem with make-up with SPF is that it only protects against UVB radiation.

“Most do not have any coverage against the UVA rays that get through your car window or your home windows. In other words, you are failing yourself if you think that you’re protecting yourself against all UV rays, especially since UVA cause more ageing and skin cancer than UVB.”


A moisturiser with a SPF, for example, will help to protect against small amounts of UV exposure such as a short walk to the car or when you pop outdoors to hang clothes. Whatever it is, sunscreen is better suited for longer and deliberate UV exposure, according to The Independent.

Don’t be quick to think that cosmetics containing SPF are completely pointless as they’re not. In fact, it should be used in conjunction with sunscreen and other SPF products, as expert Clare O’Connor told the Daily Mail.

“As we tend to touch our faces a great deal and remove products slightly, layering of SPF products is always a good thing to ensure protection and maximum coverage,” said O’Connor.

Unfortunately, a lot of people (myself included) believe that the SPF in the moisturiser or foundation is sufficient enough. Most of us desire a “barely there” look when it comes to make-up but sorry, ladies, less is definitely not more when it comes to sun protection.


You might be asking, how much SPF do I actually need in a day?

Well, it is recommended to apply SPF 30.

Let the sunscreen sink into your skin for a few minutes before you apply the foundation. Choose a foundation you love regardless of SPF and think of it as added protection to your skin. Finish your make-up routine with a setting powder, it will help to absorb oil and prevent your SPF from running.

Also, apart from using a lot of sunscreen, you need to reapply it throughout the day, especially if you spend prolonged periods under the sun. But how do you do it with make-up on?

A New York City dermatologist told that there’s no getting around this as it’s ideal to wash off the foundation and reapply. This is because sunscreen should be applied directly onto the skin, underneath the make-up or other skincare products for maximum protection.

If you need a quick touch up, you can opt to put sunscreen over your foundation, but the first option is preferred.

Choosing the right sunscreen is important too. Creams are good if you prefer to slather cream onto your face if you have dry skin. Lotions are often the preferred type as it’s easy to apply in large areas. Gels work best on hairy areas, while sticks are useful when applying sunscreen around the eyes.

Sprays are easy to apply on children but make sure to not get any in the eyes.