Is SPF in Makeup Enough to Protect Your Skin?

Our makeup does a lot of heavy lifting. From boosting our confidence by covering blemishes and highlighting our best features, to turning us into someone (or something) we’ve always wanted to be, makeup is such a versatile tool. And while doing all that, you may also be wondering “does SPF in makeup work to help protect our skin too?” Makeup can help protect us from sun damage, but that’s not always the case.

Though some makeup can provide a protective layer on your skin if it contains SPF, it isn’t the only thing you should use to guard against harmful UV rays. Generally speaking, the SPF ingredients in makeup aren’t strong enough to fully protect your skin from sun damage all on their own and should be applied in conjunction with a sunscreen product.

It isn’t always easy to see which products can be used solely to protect your skin, and which should only be seen as supplemental products. But the good news is we’re helping to set a few things straight, clear up some common SPF and makeup misconceptions, and give you some ideas on which products may work best for you and your skin. Keep reading to learn all about SPF in makeup and what it means for sun protection, or use the links below to skip to a specific section.


What Does SPF Mean in Makeup?

Sure you’ve heard of sunscreen, we all have. After all, it’s an essential household item for most of us. And you’ve probably heard of SPF—it’s on every label. But do you really know what it means? You’ve likely wondered, “what exactly does SPF stand for and what does it do?”

SPF stands for sun protection factor, and it is the rough measurement of the percent of UVB rays the sunscreen you apply will protect you from. Most sunscreens are made to protect the wearer from harmful UVB rays. But there are some sunscreens out there that protect against UVA rays as well. These are known as broad-spectrum sunscreens. It’s important to note that the higher the SPF the more UV radiation your skin is able to handle before it gets burned. SPF 15 is a great start, but typically, the higher the better—SPF 30 or higher is the general recommendation for sun protection.

So, what exactly does it mean to have SPF in makeup? When there is SPF in makeup, that means that within the foundation, moisturizer, or powder, there is a certain amount of sunscreen or sunscreen-like products that have been included to protect your skin. Each product is different in what it offers your skin, how much SPF is included, and what other ingredients it uses to keep your skin protected from those pesky rays. Most makeup products include small amounts or low ratings of SPF, so it’s generally a good idea to wear additional sunscreen with your makeup on a daily basis.

Sunscreen plus SPF makeup should be used together

How Much SPF is in Makeup?

Because of the vast array of makeup brands and different SPF ratings, it can vary significantly when it comes to how much SPF is in makeup. However, they tend to be on the lower end of the SPF spectrum.

Whether you’re purchasing makeup products that contain SPF or a general sunscreen to add to your daily routine, it’s important to know what the SPF in sunscreen ratings are, what they do for your skin, and which SPF level you need. It’s also vital to know that no sunscreen can fully protect you against 100% of UVB rays. But, know that when the SPF in sunscreen ratings rise, so does the UVB ray protection. Some of the most common SPF levels you will see in sunscreens are:

  • SPF 15: blocks 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30: blocks 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50: blocks 98% of UVB rays
  • SPF 100: blocks 99% of UVB rays

Finding makeup with a higher SPF rating is a great way to ensure that you are taking that extra step to protect your skin and keep it as healthy as you can. Generally speaking, SPF 30 or higher is recommended for thorough sun protection. But equally important is ensuring that you reapply frequently—which if we’re being honest, probably doesn’t happen all that often with your makeup.

Woman looking at SPF makeup product in store

When it comes to Colorescience mineral makeup, they’re generally SPF 20 or SPF 30—whether you want an all-in-one brush-on mineral powder foundation or a corrector palette to hide your blemishes.

Does SPF in Makeup Work?

So, if it typically includes a lower level of SPF, does SPF in makeup work? Technically, yes, to some degree. But when we elaborate on this, it’s important to note that it truly will depend on the SPF level. It can also vary depending on if you reapply your sunscreen in a timely manner, as frequently as recommended, and if you aren’t exposed to elements that can lessen the effect of the SPF. SPF in makeup is a good addition to your everyday routine, but typically, it shouldn’t be the only product that you are using to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh and harmful rays.

Is SPF in Makeup Enough?

Protecting your skin isn’t really a one-product job. It’s usually a good idea to layer your skin protection. Applying sunscreen, using makeup with SPF, and wearing clothes or accessories that cover your skin are all effective steps when it comes to maintaining healthy and beautiful skin.

SPF makeup not sufficient UV protection on its own

It may seem like a hassle when you have to take all of these steps, but it’s clear that properly protecting your skin can lead to fewer wrinkles, reduced frequency of sunspots, and lower chances of developing skin cancers.

Supplementing the SPF in Your Makeup

It’s now no secret that it’s a good idea for your makeup with SPF to be the supplement to your normal skincare and SPF routine. Think of protecting your skin like an ice cream sundae, and the SPF in your makeup is the cherry on top. You can’t have a sundae without a cherry, but the sundae shouldn’t only consist of a cherry. When you use sunscreen and make-up together, you‘re giving your skin a better chance to be protected.

When the skin on your face and neck doesn’t have the proper protection, it can be more prone to fine lines, wrinkles, and pesky sun spots. Colorescience has so many different products for you to choose from, that way your skin is protected from sunup to sundown. Our whipped foundation with SPF 30, is a great choice when you want to put a light-as-air finishing touch on your SPF routine. Or if you prefer powdered foundation, you can go with one of our mineral foundations, or our color correcting palette. Oh, and don’t forget to protect those luscious lips, too. Our SPF-infused lip balms and lip shines make for the perfect finishing touch on protecting your face.

And remember, since SPF in makeup is the cherry on top, you want to be sure you are using a Colorescience mineral sunscreen as your protecting base layer every day—and don’t forget to reapply regularly too. Mineral sunscreens work to shield the skin from harmful UV rays and provide a physical layer between your skin and the sun. So, say goodbye to unprotected skin, and hello to quality sun protection and makeup that helps you look your very best.

Choose makeup with SPF

Should You Buy Makeup with SPF in It?

Now you are probably asking yourself after all of this, “is it worth it to buy makeup with SPF in it? Can it really make a difference?” Our best answer is, it’s ultimately up to you, but it definitely wouldn’t hurt. Adding makeup with SPF into your routine can complement your current regimen, and provide that extra protection that your skin craves. Plus, if you can help to fight fine lines and wrinkles, and look flawlessly made up while doing it, why wouldn’t you take the steps to do so?
But it can probably go without saying that it’s going to be easy to convince yourself to skip out on applying your normal sunscreen when you are using makeup with an SPF in it. You may get lazy and convince yourself that this step isn’t as crucial as it seems. But it is vital for your skin’s health to never miss a sunscreen application, and according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you must remember to reapply it regularly. That simple step can really work to save your skin, and keep it healthy and happy for years to come.


Woman applying makeup with SPF on while looking in the mirror

Make Sure Your Skin Is Fully Protected

We hope that this article has helped you to realize how easy it is to add additional SPF into your skincare and makeup routine. You now know what it means to have SPF in sunscreen and makeup, how much SPF is ideal for your face, neck, and body, how you can supplement the SPF in your makeup for maximum protection, and how crucial it is to fully protect your skin, whenever you can. So, what SPF in makeup products will you add to your everyday routine? Skin perfecting primers, mineral powder foundation, lip gloss? How about all of it! The possibilities for skin protection while looking flawless are endless.

Know that when you need mineral sunscreens, mineral makeup with SPF, or any other skin protecting products, Colorescience has you covered, literally. We have high-quality products that are made with protecting you and your skin in mind. So, take this extra step to protecting your skin, you’ll be glad you did.