Is the SPF in your foundation or moisturiser enough?

Here’s the real reason why you should invest in a separate SPF or sunscreen to wear under your make-up.

Along with vitamin C and retinol, SPF is up there as one of three scientifically proven ingredients you need in order to make a veritable difference to the way your skin ages.

SPF has long had a bad reputation as far as formulations go, though. It can be too thick, chalky, greasy and leave skin looking ashy or with a white cast. So it’s no wonder the majority of people that we speak to tell us that, instead of having a separate SPF, they just rely on what’s already in their daily moisturiser, foundation or BB cream to protect their skin.

But, sadly – and we hate to be the ones to break it to you – that isn’t going to give you adequate protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays because it’s rare that enough product will be applied.

“I would strongly advise against using make-up as a sole form of SPF because we just don’t apply these products in thick or even enough layers to get anywhere close to the level of protection provided by a typical sunscreen or sun protection moisturiser,” says consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk.

Most experts agree that in order to get the required amount of protection from a sunscreen, around 1-1.5tsps needs to be applied, which is much more than the amount of foundation anybody really uses on a daily basis.

“Instead, make-up with SPF should be thought of as your second line of defence against UV rays once you’ve already applied sunscreen,” adds Dr Kluk. “Because two forms of sun protection are much better than one.”

It’s also worth noting that – as consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto explains – “SPF is only a marker of UVB protection from the sun, which means it tells you very little about the UVA, high energy visible light or infrared protection in a product, and these additional light wavelengths may drive skin ageing and pigmentation.”

SPF formulations have come along way in the last few years though, and actually, they’re much more cosmetically pleasing and tend to sit well under make-up, too, so really there is no excuse not to have a separate product.

Keep scrolling to find out which ones the Stylist beauty team rave about.

The best SPF creams and lotions for under make-up

  • Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect SPF30

    Lightweight and sits well under make-up, this SPF is one of Medik8’s bestsellers for a reason. 

    Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect SPF30, £55


  • CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF25

    Affordable and effective, CeraVe’s moisturising lotion isn’t heavy, chalky or greasy.

    CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion SPF25, £12


  • Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50

    Non-comedogenic – meaning it won’t clog pores – this SPF has a gel texture and added protection against pollution.

    Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50, £38

    Buy now

  • Skinceuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50

    Consistently recommended by dermatologists, SkinCeuticals’ Ultra Facial Defense protects against pigmentation, too.

    Skinceuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50, £41

    Buy now

  • Dr Sam’s Flawless Daily Sunscreen SPF50

    Part of Dr Sam’s coveted ‘Perfected Basics’ range, this SPF leaves skin glowing and hydrated.

    Dr Sam’s Flawless Daily Sunscreen SPF50, £29

    Buy now

  • The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF50 Moisturiser

    One of the most effective formulas available on the highstreet, this SPF50 is worth every single penny.

    The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Lotion SPF50, £22

    Buy now

  • Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunsheild Superfluid SPF50, £15

    Another well respected, much-loved and affordable product, Soap & Glory’s SPF is unrivaled. 

    Soap & Glory Make Yourself Youthful Sunshield Superfluid SPF50, £15


Main image: Getty

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