Don’t Count On Your Makeup For UV Protection

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Make Up SPF Is Not Enough To Block UV

This post is mainly for women, men you are welcome to read too, or to browse to ,more relevant content for men. To many women we have spoken to, said they choose their summer make up with SPF protection. This post is a wake up call, for those who relay on their make up as a protection level for UV.

Fox News brought this figure, which should cause each and every one of use to be more aware and worried about our personal UV protection habits.

“Up to 90 percent of skin cancers are associated with UV exposure,” said Dr. Elizabeth Hale, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center.

 SPF Does Not Block UVA

SPF ingredients are very effective to reduce UVB which are short UV radiation rays. But SPF has no effect on blocking UVA which are the longer UV rays which can penetrate deeper into lower skin layers! So applying make up with SPF 15 or SPF 50, has ZERO ability to filter harmful UVA.

SPF In Cosmetics Is For Marketing Needs

Most cosmetics have a very low SPF rating, usually SPF 8 or SPF 15. It will be safe to say that manufacturers have noticed that customers are aware of UV dangers and have taken advantage of that in their marketing schemes. A makeup foundation with SPF 15 will sell better than the same makeup without any SPF (sun protection factor).

The FDA have issued new regulations concerning SPF labeling. One of the FDA’s claims is that in order for the SPF to be effective, an amount of teaspoon of cream is needed for facial coverage. No one who uses makeup has ever placed a teaspoon of makeup on her face.. women use their fingertip or a wet sponge to apply the makeup evenly. So the layer is so thin it is nearly non existing (from the UV protection point of view).

Because the skin is a live absorbing tissue, the FDA have noted that SPF creams should be reapplied every hour or so in order to maintain their protection level claimed. No women will reapply her make up every hour.

The FDA have ruled that SPF below 15 can not claim any effective promises regarding UV protection, merely promise to prevent sunburns.

How To Be Protected From UV

  1. Use a ‘broad spectrum’ UV sun block lotion. ‘Broad Spectrum’ means the lotion is effective for UVA & UVB protection.
  2. Always apply UV blocking lotion before you apply your makeup. It has to fully absorb in the skin to protect you.
  3. Look for UV lotion + moisturizing cream, it will save you to apply two creams under the makeup.
  4. Apply the UV protection cream on all the face skin, like ears, behind the ears, forehead, neck and upper chest. Places you may not cover with makeup, but are exposed to sun dangers.
  5. Around the eyes you may need a special moisturizing eye cream with UV protection.
  6. Don’t forget the lips! Lip balm with UV protection is extremely important as lips have little melanin production and do not “tan”.
  7. If you are the lip gloss person, note that shiny, high-gloss transparent will absorb more UV than the pigmented lipsticks.
  8. Make up still carry SPF rating, look for the highest you can find (SPF 30 is fine).
  9. Some makeup and powders show an UVA rating developed in Japan. PA+, PA++, or PA+++ (highest) indicate the level of UVA protection.

Here are two makeup and cosmetics with broad spectrum UVA/UVB.


No Make Up Or Lotion Can Protect For Long Time

For this reason you should get used to wearing UV protective hat. There are plenty on hat designs all of them have wide brim and are very classic and feminine.

Here are hats with HIGH UV Protection, you can find more designs and colors at Amazon:

Scala Women’s Cotton Big Brim Ultraviolet Protection Hat (Best Seller!)

UV hat for women

Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

UV hat for women 50 upfWear wide sunglasses to protect your eyes and cheeks. Closed neck shirts will expose you to less UV. Having your hair spread over neck and ears can reduce skin exposure to UV too!


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