Is makeup with SPF enough to protect you from the sun?

model holding spf bottle applying on the chest in a fashion stylish swimsuit

When you purchase makeup, you are often more concerned about whether or not it matches the color of your skin or the price comparisons. But did you know that many of today’s foundations and cosmetics also have SPF included? Though this can be beneficial in protecting your skin, you must understand that the SPF found in your cosmetics is not enough to give your skin the complete protection it needs.

How do SPF numbers work in cosmetics?

While cosmetics may have a specific SPF number, it does not mean you can obtain that from barely applying the product. Therefore, in order to benefit from that level of protection, you need to apply enough of the product to the skin. If you do not use enough of the product, you cannot rely on the SPF numbers on the packaging.

How much do I need to apply?

When products are tested for SPF numbers, it is done with the use of approximately 2mg/cm2 of the product applied to the skin. This is about one ounce of sunscreen or a shot glass size amount of the product. This means that without applying enough sunscreen to the skin, your skin will not benefit from the protection. Therefore, the SPF in the makeup will not give you the advantages that a traditional sunscreen product provides. We encourage patients who are applying foundation with SPF to apply a layer of high SPF sunscreen onto the facial skin first before using their makeup. In doing this, you can rest easy knowing you are properly protected against harmful ultraviolet rays.

Learn more about skincare tips and recommendations from our experienced providers

If you reside in the areas of Naples and Fort Myers, FL, and are ready to talk to dermatological professionals about ways to enhance the skin’s health and protect it from sun damage, connect with our team at Harris Dermatology today. Drs. Brian A. Harris, H. Ross Harris, and Keith A. Harris all provide quality care for new and established patients at their dermatological facility. Call one of our two office locations to request a consultation.


Scroll to Top