When it comes to protecting your skin in the sun, you might think you've got it covered by wearing makeup that includes SPF. But, does makeup with SPF work as well as sunscreen? It's definitely an important topic considering the fact that if you don't actively protect your skin, you are leaving yourself exposed to sun damage or worse.
If you live in a hot climate, you're a serial vacationer, or you're planning on spending a lot of time outdoors in the summer, you must protect your skin — there are no two ways about it. Granted, you're probably well versed in the art of skin protection if you're someone who spends more time outside than inside, but if you're relying on your makeup that includes SPF as your primary barrier against sun damage, you will certainly want to know if it's up to the job.
Sure, you might be a gal that doesn't wear makeup or someone that dabbles in it occasionally, but if you're someone who wears makeup everyday, it's super important to discover if your SPF makeup is performing on a par with sunscreen. Of course, it would be awesome if you could cut out the middleman — sorry sunscreen — and slash the length of your beauty routine by removing sunscreen from your makeup regime.
However, before you sling your sun lotion bottles to the back of your bathroom cupboard, here's what the experts have to say on makeup with SPF versus sunscreen.
"Makeup with SPF is good but the SPF level is usually not high enough to protect the skin when you are in the sun for a long period of time," says Eileen Bischoff, esthetician at Eve Salon, in an email to Bustle.
"SPF in makeup is fine for daily use when you might be exposed to sunlight while waiting for a train, driving, or sitting by a window," explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky, over email.
"It's best to use an SPF if you are going to be in the sun for a long period of time and 30 being the lowest one to use," Bischoff elaborates. So it seems makeup with SPF might not be the best choice for folks who are outdoors for long stretches at a time.
In addition to this, there are other factors to consider. "SPF usage also depends on the seasons and on your skin type," adds Bischoff. Therefore it might be wise to see your dermatologist for advice on what types of sunscreen you should be using at different times of year.
Another element to take into consideration is whether your makeup with SPF is waterproof or not, as you don't want it to become less effective as you begin to perspire or get splashed in the pool. Furthermore, Dr. Prystowsky explains, "Makeup is typically not water resistant for 40-80 minutes so the SPF in it won’t hold up if you are swimming or sweating." It'll depend entirely on your personal circumstances as to whether you will need water resistant skin protection for longer than 40-80 minutes.
While makeup with SPF can be effective in certain scenarios, if you're outdoors for prolonged periods in the sweltering heat and you're likely to take a dip in the pool, chances are, you're going to need sunscreen.