Life is busy, and time is short. We multi-task throughout the day to manage our heavy workloads. In turn, we expect our products to do the same. From our tech to hairstyling tools to cosmetics, multi-functionality is a must.
However, one part of our daily routine flies in the face of our zippy culture: skincare. The delicate skin on our face doesn’t care that you’re in a rush. Nor is it interested in choosing convenience over quality.
SPF-infused makeup promises UVA/UVB protection and cosmetic benefits. But according to the experts, these products often fall short.
Protecting Our Skin’s Front Lines
Our faces bear the brunt of most environmental factors. The sun’s harmful rays are certainly no exception. UVA and UVB rays can cause photodamage that prematurely ages the skin. They also cause wrinkling, loss of elasticity, and spots.
Sunscreen is an easy way to protect the skin against sun damage. But it’s also another product we need to slap on our face after moisturizing and before adding foundation.
SPF-infused makeup appeared to be the perfect solution. These products’ formulas have SPF value in addition to their cosmetic benefits. They’re the best of both worlds, perfect for multi-taskers, right? Er, wrong.
As it turns out, these products don’t protect your skin the way you might think. This false sense of security makes it easier to leave the skin exposed to the elements. We then use cosmetics to cover up damage and sunburn, and the cycle continues.
Shining A Light On The Truth
One of the biggest downsides of SPF-infused makeup is its variability. “The amount of protection an SPF-fusion product produces depends on the product and the amount of time spent in the sun,” explains cosmetologist Mary Winkenwerder.
Moreover, these varying SPF levels normally translate to the product’s weight and coverage. The greater the protection, the thicker the product. Jose Mier, the founder of the Heliotherapy Research Institute, says that this has caused many people to opt for lower protection for a lighter product.
This is especially troublesome because SPF-infused makeup was already less effective. “You would need six to seven times the amount of makeup to make it effective as standard sunscreen,” says Kim Harris of Prescott Medical Aesthetics. So, by lightening these products even further, our protection reaches dangerously low levels.
Still, that valuable sun protection loses some of its luster when considering the negative side effects of thick, comedogenic products. So, what’s the alternative?
According to the experts, it isn’t your SPF source that has to change, it’s your skincare routine in general. If there’s no alternative to plain old sunscreen, then the products you use in tandem with sunscreen need to change.
A Better Method Of Protection
After wearing sunscreen on the face, Winkenwerder suggests following up “with a solid recovery skincare routine, including serum, toner, and moisturizer when and where needed. Keep skin clean and pores flushed out, especially when the seasons change.”
“Skin condition changes occur when the seasons change and when we introduce new skincare or makeup products into our daily fold,” Winkenwerder continues. “Be sure to cleanse your face and body well at the end of the day.”
Mier adds, “if you’re worried about clogged pores due to oily SPF makeup products, then brush-on sun blockage is the best alternative.” This full-protection face shield from Colorescience is one of our favorites here at Suggest.
Don’t Toss That SPF Makeup Just Yet
If you have SPF-infused makeup at home, don’t throw it out just yet. These cosmetics are worthy additions to your collection. They just aren’t effective enough to act as the sole replacement for sunblock. For maximum protection, it’s best to use both products together.
Because you’ll be protecting your skin from wrinkles, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation, you’ll actually be using fewer products in the long run—not more.