sunscreen SPF

Summer is upon us … finally! I have conversations surrounding sunscreen and SPF ALL. THE. TIME.  Some days I feel like and broken record and some days I feel like no one is listening. 

The conversation goes 

Me: “So, what sunscreen do you use?”

Patient: “Oh, my makeup has SPF!” 

Me: “What SPF is it?”

Patient : “I dont know..” 

Me: “Do you know if it is mineral or chemical based?” 

Patient: “I don’t know…” 

And then usually at this point, they have gotten tired of my SPF questions or they have already tuned me out when they let me know that their make up has SPF in it. I get it. We are all busy and we like to check things off the proverbial list so we don’t have to worry about it.  

SPF in your make up does not check the box! 

Most of us don’t wear enough SPF to matter when we actually put sunscreen on. It is rare that most ladies put on enough make up to really protect from sun radiation. With all the blending and buffing that happens with makeup, there just isn’t good sun protection there. One dermatologist said you have to put on fifteen times more makeup than you normally would in order to get adequate sun protection.  FIFTEEN! 

Also, you need AT LEAST an SPF 30 every day. EVERY DAY. 

Just to be clear … EVERY DAY. 

UVA rays come through the clouds, rain, and snow.  You age in UVA rays, but you don’t burn. Just because you are not aware of it or aren’t feeling it – it is happening, sister.  If you sit by a window or drive in your car you need SPF.  You don’t have to be outside to be impacted by the sun.  It comes to you!!  

While SPF in your makeup is better than nothing at all that’s still not saying a lot!  Most makeups use chemical sunscreens which don’t protect as well as a mineral based SPF and most only protect against UVB rays NOT UVA.  Those sneaky pesky UVA rays that are happening and you don’t even know it. Those are the rays that cook your skin cells’ DNA and make your skin get all loosey-goosey.  Yup, the sun kills your skin’s ability to snap back.  That crepey and saggy skin that is HARD to fix the older you get.  That’s from the sun – especially UVA rays.   

Mineral-based sunscreens have zinc in them which is easy and gentle on the skin. Mineral based sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays. A general rule of thumb is a gram of sunscreen for face and neck. Here is a handy frame of reference for how much sunscreen to use for which body region.  

Prevention is worth a pound of cure and if you rely on your makeup for SPF remember you need a POUND of it… fifteen pounds to be exact!