Surrounded by makeup and skincare products, a woman holds some sunscreen in her hand.

Why the SPF in Your Foundation Is Not Protecting You

Let's talk about your makeup and skincare products that contain SPF...are they protecting you?

The short answer is no. The simple act of using SPF does not mean you are protected. Read that again!

The proper application of SPF

SPF is only effective when it's used correctly and thoroughly. According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia's regulatory body for sunscreens), you need to apply at least 1 teaspoon/5 ml to each area of your body.1 So that means a whole teaspoon for each arm, each leg, etc. AND 1 WHOLE teaspoon for your face/neck.

Think about that. Go grab a teaspoon and you will soon realize that is a LOT of sunscreen to apply to your face.

The SPF in your makeup is not enough

Now consider this, that also applies when you are using foundation and moisturizer or any other product that contains SPF. That's right, you have to apply a teaspoon of your daily foundation or moisturizer that contains SPF in order for it to be effective.

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Now, I don't know about you, but I know, I personally would never apply that amount of foundation or moisturizer to my face. It gets so thick it never really sinks into your skin. Oh and your poor pores, those little guys will never breathe again!

SPF deserves it's own place in your skincare routine

So what is the solution? You need to think of them as separate products. You would never use an all-in-one conditioner, shampoo, and body wash product would you? So why would you do that when it comes to protecting your skin?

SPF is the best defense against the sun and it could save your life. Therefore the way you use it needs to be high on your priority list. So you need a stand-alone sunscreen - don't try to cut corners when it comes to sun safety.

The correct order when applying SPF and other products

Confused as to when to apply your sunscreen? The order for your daily routine should be; skincare first - that includes serums, toners, moisturizer everything. Then apply your sunscreen, and finally do your makeup.

You also need to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day which can be easier said than done when you are wearing a full face of makeup. So I like to bring a beauty sponge in my bag so I can dab the sunscreen over my makeup or I also use a spray SPF which helps avoid your makeup moving when you reapply it.

SPF for your lips as well

While I have you, don't forget about your lips! Skin cancer can also occur on your lips so it's important to wear an SPF lip balm to protect a part of your face that is often neglected.

If you are looking for good sunscreens to wear under your makeup, I suggest you try makeup brands that sell SPF. Beauty brands usually specifically design their products to play well with skincare and makeup.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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