Sun exposure is the leading cause of premature ageing, yet one that is preventable with adequate protection. There are many makeup products on the market that include some level of SPF protection, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that the use of these negates the need for a separate sunscreen. The truth is that makeup with SPF alone does not stand up against the sun’s harmful rays and that a well-formulated sunscreen is always, always necessary.
There are a few key reasons for this. Firstly, many makeup products formulated with sunscreen have a very low SPF, oftentimes between SPF10 and SPF15. The Cancer Council Australia recommends using any sunscreen that is labelled broad-spectrum, water-resistant and SPF30 or above for daily use. Even if the SPF in your makeup was of a high enough strength to protect against UVA and UVB rays, you’d have to apply a significant amount of thick layers in order to adequately protect your skin. Secondly, makeup isn’t always applied evenly or on areas that require sun protection alongside the face, such as the ears, neck, decolletage and hands, meaning these areas are left vulnerable and exposed. Finally, makeup is prone to wearing off throughout the day, reducing coverage.
Makeup with SPF is an added bonus, but not enough to rely on by itself. Instead, think of sunscreen as the final step in your skincare routine, applying directly onto the skin always beneath makeup for the best level of protection. Apply a generous and even layer all over the face, ears, neck, decolletage and hands. Ideally, wait five minutes before layering foundation on top. Ensure you’re reapplying sunscreen throughout the day: every two hours when outdoors, or immediately after exercising or swimming.