An assortment of makeup floats in dark shadow, while a special makeup product with SPF protection in the center outshines them all.

The Unicorn Known As SPF

Over the last twelve years, I have definitely done my share of advocating for sun-safe practices. I have shared one article after another and posted photos of myself in the middle of Efudex treatments. The one thing I feel I get almost preachy about is sunscreen use. Year after year, I urge friends and family to opt for products with sunscreen instead of picking up tanning accelerators or suntan lotions. Year after year, I become increasingly frustrated that they don’t seem to listen.

Is finding SPF makeup that difficult?

You know what? I think I understand. Really, I get it. I see why people give up so easily when it comes to buying daily products with SPF. There just aren’t that many makeup products with sunscreen readily available in the average retail store.

I realized this weekend that I was almost out of my finishing powder. The one I prefer doesn’t have SPF, so I started my search for a comparable one I used last year that contains an SPF of 30. No dice. I hunted high and low in Walmart. They didn’t have it and to top it off, there wasn’t even a space for it on the pegs anymore. It’s just not there.

The long journey to SPF

As I searched one brand after another, it became glaringly obvious why friends and family give up so readily. They hear my suggestions, read the articles I share, and understand the need. They just get sick of the search itself. It’s rough. In a long, brightly-lit, and well-stocked aisle in Walmart, I didn’t find any other clearly-marked powders with SPF, and I felt their frustration. It’s a shame, really.

In one last attempt to find a powder with SPF, I hit the clearance aisle. There, among the leftover Christmas candles, ink cartridges for slowly disappearing printers, and less popular toys, I spied a familiar sight: the shiny silver label from the very brand I was so feverishly hunting! This is sadly, not a good sign. In fact, it’s a really bad one. My brand has hit the clearance aisle. The one brand I trust and to which I have grown accustomed to, makes a powder with SPF and is by all indications, being phased out. Good grief!

Finding SPF makeup shouldn't be this hard

I live in a small town in rural West Tennessee. My next best chance to walk into a store and find makeup with SPF is to travel 30 plus miles one way to Ulta or Macy’s and pay a much higher price for a small compact of finishing powder. Being sun-smart and safe should not be this difficult, and it shouldn’t break the bank.

Online is always an option

A quick online search yields several brands featuring makeup with SPF. For those who don’t mind waiting a few days to receive their products, this is definitely an option. You might be fortunate enough to find a site with free shipping. The fact remains that, in 2020, we haven’t made the advances in skincare we should have when it comes to variety and availability of makeup products with a sun protection factor.

Raising our voices to request SPF makeup

There is a lot to be said for public opinion and demand. Every time a friend suggests a product - lipstick, moisturizer, foundation - my first question is, "Does it have SPF?" It’s important, folks. It’s important for all of us. If it’s important enough to ask about it when shopping, then it’s important enough for us to approach cosmetic companies and health and beauty suppliers. It’s time we do our homework, find some email addresses, and voice our opinions. SPF matters, and it shouldn’t take a treasure map, a backpack of snacks, and half a day to find it. Now, should it?

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