Q. My makeup contains SPF, so I don't need a separate sunscreen... right?

woman applying makeup; makeup and SPF; UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care; Madison, WisconsinWith so many foundations and other makeup products offering SPF, it is tempting to use just makeup for SPF coverage. It is especially tempting when busy mornings don't always allow us extra time for several skincare steps.


The honest answer is that even though makeup labels may contain an SPF, most contain an SPF of 8 or 10, which is not even recognized by the FDA as suitable SPF.


Unfortunately, the chemicals within the makeup product can break down sunscreens, making them less effective, as well.


An interesting thought is that it would take about 7 layers of foundation and about 14 layers of powder for our skin to even come close to being protected from the sun! 


Plus, the ingredients would fade over time and still need to be reapplied every 2 hours while outdoors, just like sunscreen.


Still, all makeup with SPF is not useless. In fact, mineral makeup, such as Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup (available at UW Health Transformations) is effective against both UVA and UVB with an SPF 20.


This may be a safe alternative for a short time, but it is still ideal to apply a moisturizer or separate sunscreen with broad spectrum, UVA/UVB protection. It is definitely worth the extra step!

Check Out Our Sunscreens and SPF Cosmetics 

Share This StoryStop by UW Health Transformations at 2349 Deming Way in Middleton, Wisconsin, to browse our line of sunscreens and other skin care products and cosmetics. We're open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm, and Wednesdays until 7pm.