We’ve spent plenty of time roaming through Ulta and Sephora (in addition to hours spent scrolling through their digital counterparts), and we can confirm there are zillions of products on the market that contain SPF. The trend goes past foundation and tinted moisturizer, veering into a whole new realm of lip balm and lipstick, finishing powder and even face mists. Don’t get us wrong, this excites us just as much as you telling your dermatologist you wear sunscreen daily, but it leave us a little skeptical, too. If you’ve found yourself wondering if the SPF in your makeup is enough to protect your skin from the sun, look no further. We reached out to NYC dermatologist Hadley King, MD for her expert opinion on the subject.
You Need a Shot Glass of Product to be Protected
“An important issue to consider when using moisturizers, primers and makeup with SPF is how much you need to apply to achieve the advertised SPF,” King explains. “You should use approximately 2 mg of product per square centimeter of skin. In practice, this means applying the equivalent of a shot glass of sunblock to the exposed area of the face and body — a nickel-sized dollop to the face alone.”
If You Can’t Use a Shot Glass of Foundation, Re-Consider Your Options
“If you don't feel that you can use this much of a product like tinted moisturizer, then you may prefer to use this much primer with SPF and then use a smaller amount of makeup,” Dr. King explains. Two of our favorite SPF makeup primers are Urban Decay Urban Defense Complexion Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and La Roche-Posay Anthelios Daily Mineral SPF 50 Primer.
Be Sure to Reapply Every Two Hours
We get it — it’s not easy to reapply sunscreen when you’re wearing makeup. But an easy way to do so is with a mineral powder sunscreen that doubles as a setting powder, like Brush On Block. Since it’s transparent, your makeup will stay perfectly intact.
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