Summer is here and it’s time to protect your gorgeous skin from the harsh sun with effective UV protection. Thanks to growing public awareness, tanning is on it way out, but your skin can still get damaged by UV rays even if you’re barely in the sun. Here is everything you need to know about keeping your skin safe from UV this summer, especially if you wear makeup.

Your face is exposed to the sun more than anywhere else
Unlike your arms and legs which may be covered up with long sleeves and pants during your commute in the sun, your face is always uncovered. Even short stints in the sun add up to cause sun damage and premature ageing of your gorgeous face.

"Unlike your body, your facial skin is exposed to the elements all day, every day,” says Fiona Mawley, Manager of the Cancer Society’s commercial Branch, Daffodil Enterprises. “It is also where some of the most delicate skin is, so take extra precautions with protecting your skin especially during peak summer hours.”

So you know sun protection is an absolutely must, but it can be tricky to know exactly how to optimise your skin’s protection with so many products promoting SPF.

Does makeup really have SPF protection?
Yes. Some makeup, mostly foundations and moisturisers, have an SPF rating. Usually though, it’s very low, ranging from SPF 10-20. While your makeup offers some sun protection, the level of protection is too low to really protect your skin from sun damage.

Plus, due to the ingredients in makeup, the type of sun protection is usually narrow rather than broad spectrum, leaving you vulnerable to either UVA or UVB rays.

"Although these makeup products do have sunscreen ingredients, they do not have the proper amount of coverage or the capabilities to protect against UVA and UVB rays," appearance medicine nurse Smitee Ranchhod told New Zealand news site

Makeup isn’t applied in the same way as sunscreen
Most people don’t use enough makeup to create any substantial layer of sun protection. Consider how much foundation or moisturiser you use on your face. It’s a slim layer, spread thin over your face, particularly over areas exposed to the sun like your nose and forehead. While this may make your base layer look great, it’s not going to provide enough sun protection for your skin, even during short walks from your car to work.

SPF doesn’t combine for greater protection
Layering different makeup products offering SPF protection doesn’t add up to greater sun protection. For example, combining a moisturiser with SPF 15+ with a foundation promising SPF 10+ protection and a sunscreen with SPF10+ doesn’t give you protection of SPF 35+. Your protection is only as effective as the highest level of SPF you apply. In the example above, this means you will only get protection of SPF 15+ despite combining products, which isn’t enough.

Aesthetic and appearance medical experts recommend using a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30+ rating underneath your makeup in summer.

Quality sunscreen is a great-looking protective base underneath makeup
Gone are the days of thick, gluey facial sunscreens. Now, you can find a sunscreen to suit your skin that works perfectly with your makeup. Whether you have oily skin, dry skin or need a tinted sunscreen to add a bit of extra colour to your complexion, there’s no excuse not to add sunscreen to your beauty routine.

Don’t rely on your makeup to protect your skin from the sun this year. Invest in a great quality sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30+ and apply liberally underneath your makeup. Reapplying every four hours is a must, and don’t forget to reapply more regularly if you’re sweating or swimming. Your skin will thank you for it.

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