Derms recommend absolutely everyone wear a minimum of SPF 30 daily (yes, even in cloudy, rainy British weather).
It ought to protect from both UVA and UVB rays, and you should be using two full fingers of product to cover your face and neck area – including your eyelids.
It’s suggested you re-apply your sunscreen throughout the day, too, and it should be the final step in your skincare routine (i.e., the first thing the sun’s rays come into contact with).
Which all sounds fine and dandy, but what are we meant to do when we want to head out with a full face of makeup – which, for, me, is literally every time I plan to meet other people?
Products like sunscreen foundation might seem like the obvious answer, but – and I hate hearing this as much as you do – apparently, the SPF-infused cosmetics don’t quite cut the mustard.
Wait. If my foundation has SPF 50 built-in, shouldn’t it keep me covered?
Well, in theory, it should. But the problem is that two-finger rule we talked about earlier.
You need to apply a lot more sunscreen than you’d think to truly protect your skin, and the volume of product matters much more than its SPF factor (so a dab of SPF 50 will be less effective than a full face of SPF 30).
Unless you’re applying your makeup thickly, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll be using enough product. In fact, experts reckon most people would need to use six to seven times as much foundation than we usually apply (oof).
On top of that, you likely won’t re-apply your foundation as much as you’d need to with SPF. After all, why would you disturb that perfect, radiant blush?
Right. So… what are my options then?
Of course, the most effective method is to try going makeup-free and slather on the sun cream, but that’s not always preferential (it’s already wedding/holiday/picnic season, so I – for one – have had to be pretty real with myself about how my skin’s going to approach the sun).
If you are going to pull a glam look, there are a couple of ways to approach this.
You don’t necessarily need to ditch your SPF foundation – but you might want to layer it up with extra sunscreen on top, or underneath, when you do use it.
Let’s start with this dermatologist’s hack: applying those two fingers of sunscreen with a beauty blender on top of your existing makeup. She urges people to reapply it every two hours.
I know I know, this looks like it’d ruin all your makeup magic, but I’ve tried it myself and have been amazed by how glowy it makes my foundation – it works almost like a setting spray.
You could also apply sunscreen under your makeup (and TBH, this feels like the most feasible option for most of us).
Make sure you’re using a minimum SPF 50, and not to bang on about it, but yes, you will need those two full fingers again too.
Pros recommend waiting a little while – a couple of minutes at least – after application to ensure your SPF has really been absorbed.
Lastly, you can nab yourself a handy over-makeup SPF spray (although again, with coverage, it might be hard to get enough product on there unless you full-on publicly hose your face).
Still, it might be worth keeping in your bag for top-ups once you’ve applied your under-base layer.
Basically, when it comes to sunscreen, too much is never enough.