Makeup with SPF is never a substitute for sunscreen

Thinking about swapping your sunscreen for a foundation or tinted moisturizer that contains SPF? You might not get enough sun protection. Consumer Reports says that sunscreen should always be a part of your makeup routine.

You should be using a teaspoon of sunscreen for your face and neck. That’s a lot, and it would be difficult to use the same amount of foundation with SPF to get effective coverage without looking like you applied a mask. Plus, you're not likely to reapply every two hours, as you should with sunscreen.

According to a new study in the journal PLOS One, participants who put on moisturizers with SPF are likely to miss the areas around the eyes, a common place for skin cancer, compared with putting on sunscreen alone.

It’s also likely that the SPF in your makeup is only 15 and most dermatologists recommend you use at least SPF 30.

Consumer Reports recommends that you first apply sunscreen, then your makeup. Two of the best products, according to Consumer Reports testing, are Equate Walmart Ultra Protection Lotion SPF 50 and Coppertone Ultra Guard Lotion SPF 70.

You should work the sunscreen in carefully around your face. For sunscreen to be effective, it needs to be reapplied at least every two hours.

Another area you shouldn’t overlook is your lips. Use lip balm with an SPF 30 or above.

Just in case you’re wondering, you won’t benefit from layering SPF products. That is, using a moisturizer with SPF 15 and a foundation with SPF 15 won’t increase your protection to SPF 30. And, be sure to wear sunglasses that offer 99 to 100-percent UVA and UVB protection.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2019 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org.

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