Thursday, July 28, 2011

SPF in Makeup - do we really get the protection we need?

All the products in the above photo have some form of an SPF, they mainly contain chemical filters. When I got the Dior Bronze Matte bronzer last month I started thinking about SPF in makeup and realised that I am in most cases very much annoyed by it. Let's take this Dior bronzer for example: it has an SPF of 20, a combination of mineral and chemical filters (titanium dioxide 11,7%, octinoxate 6%, oxybenzone 2%). What bothers me is that I use bronzer only on my cheeks and the sides of my face and I seriously doubt that the amount that I use is giving me enough sun protection.

I think that two most basic rules about sunscreen and sun protection that are usually repeated in many articles  on this topic are: use a sufficient amount of sunscreen and reapply it regularly. I don't know about you but I don't reapply my foundation, bronzer, blush etc. throughout the day and when I do apply it in the morning I probably don't use enough to give me the protection as stated on the label. Also, piling on the foundation or blush would probably result in a not very flattering look at all. Therefore, even though I use a makeup product with an SPF I don't really get the protection.

Also, in the winter I don't use an SPF moisturizer or foundation on an everyday basis - when I go to work it's still dark outside and when I get back home there is no sign of daylight anymore. So I just don't see the point in using an SPF all the time.

The thing is, a lot of foundations nowadays contain SPF - and if your skin is very sensitive then most of the chemical filters are not a good choice and  on the other hand mineral filters can often cause breakouts. It might sound vain to be talking about irritation or blemishes vs. sun protection but I just don't see a point in using a product that would potentially irritate my skin or make me breakout (which in my opinion is just another form of irritation) if I don't really need that ingredient that is causing the reaction in the first place.

In the end I should add that I am of course no expert on skincare or suncare and that there are so many different and often contradicting information on the use of SPF and their side effects out there that it's really hard to form a strong and valid opinion about the topic. 

How do you feel about SPF in makeup and skincare in general? As I'm going on holiday very soon I've been buying some SPF products - for my face I'll use the Becca Mineral Primer SPF 30 and for my body I chose a combination of La Roche Posay and UltraSun  and hopefully, I'll get all the sun protection I need.


  1. I agree! It's completely pointless putting SPF in makeup because you'd never wear enough for it to have an effect, and the SPF is chemical rather than physical, so it will only last an hour or two, max. Plus they're full of chemicals, as the name suggests! I refer to the EWG website to source the best sunscreens. I'm currently useing Marie Veronique Organics, but there are others that look good. A good, physical suncreen is essential. It's the most effective thing in my skincare regime :)

  2. It is ridiculous having SPF in cosmetics. Even in foundation most people wouldn't apply enough for appropriate protection. A proper sunscreen should be used as a first step in the routine and having it different products all over your face is redundant and silly! In a bronzer? Silly! Great post!

  3. Hey there!! New follower here, and glad to have found your blog :)
    This is a very good subject you are raising! I also don't see the point in a bronzer that contains SPF, not only it's silly, but it also raises the price of the product.
    I usually don't mind some sort of protection in skincare, but I do prefer to use sunscreen on its own before makeup, just to be sure! The reapplying thing... that is just baffling when you have a full face of make up on :/

  4. Hi dempss01! I have often checked the EWG website as well, it's a great source. I have used the Becca Mineral Primer on my vacation but unfortunately, it made me breakout really badly but I don't know whether it was the zinc oxide or any other ingredient. Will try to "investigate" the Marie Veronique, thanks! x

    Thanks Christa, it really is so pointless, isn't it? I really hope the makeup companies would stop with this non-sense. x

    Hi Y and thanks for following :) You make a great point, the price is probably higher due to the SPF as well and I guess sun protection has become very popular lately so makeup companies just try and use SPF wherever possible to make the product look more appealing. x



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