4 Sunscreens You Need RN Because the SPF In Your Make-Up Does Not Really Count

Here’s why your time-saving trick isn’t quite as awesome as you think.

You'll Never Use Enough

Crazy but true: “You may need to use up to seven (you read that right, s-e-v-e-n) times the amount of foundation that you typically put on to get the full SPF value marked on the label,” says NYC derm Whitney Bowe, MD. And you’re probably using *just* enough to get the cosmetic coverage you want and then blending it in with a brush or sponge, which...soaks up more of that precious SPF. Basically, Dr Whitney says, “If you’re not being extra generous with your application, you can’t expect the sunscreen in your make-up to protect your skin effectively.” 

The Math Doesn't Add Up In Your Favour

Let’s say you use an SPF 15 moisturiser underneath an SPF 15 foundation—that equals SPF 30, right? Nope, no, def not. At best, you’re getting a slightly better coverage; at worst, the formulas can dilute each other and become less effective. As a rule, you should always first apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to your face Every. Single. Day. Think of anything you add on top of that as an extra buffer.

And Reapplying Is Pretty Much Impossible 

Unless you’re down to redo your entire beat mid-day, messing up your make-up to apply more foundation isn’t an option. So what is the answer? Do your face a favour and get a brush-on powder sunblock. Dust it on every two hours if you’re outside, suggests NYC derm Ellen Marmur, MD. Try Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 (`4,455 approx, colorescience.com). It won’t affect your other products and comes in four different tints. 



1. For Dry Skin 

This sunscreen is light, but also incredibly hydrating. All you need is a few drops and the formula gets absorbed quickly and leaves skin with a matte (but not drying) finish.


Kiehl’s Super Fluid Daily UV Defence Sunscreen SPF 50+, 3,250


2. For Oily Skin 

This baby protects and prevents cell damage, thanks to its exclusive patented Cellular BIOprotection Complex. Plus, the Fluidactiv Complex helps to keep skin clear and healthy.


Bioderma Photoderm AKN Mat SPF 30,  1,550


3. For Acne-Prone Skin

Noncomedogenic and oil-free, this lightweight sunscreen won’t cause breakouts, and its antioxidants will shield you from pollution. Bonus: you can also use it as a make-up primer.


Clinique Super City Block Oil - Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40, 2,500


4. For Sensitive Skin 

Rich in Avène Thermal Spring Water, with its soothing and anti-irritating properties, this sunscreen calms the most sensitive skins.


Avène Day Protector UV EX SPF30, 1,450