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Do you need sunscreen if your cosmetics has built in SPF?

Do you need sunscreen if your cosmetics has built in SPF?

Sun protection is the number one preventive ageing tip recommended by medical and beauty communities alike. Although skin naturally ages over time, the effects of sun damage can drastically speed up this process. Cumulative sun protection allows for minimised damage to the skin and the production of collagen. Without it, the prevalence of accentuated wrinkling, skin sagging, and brown spots can develop.  

The twins study 

In the case of sun protection, it’s hard to picture just how much damage you’re preventing. That is why this 2015 study is so compelling. A 2013 study on facial ageing compared these images of a pair of 61-year-old twins. Twin B had approximately 10 hours per week greater sun exposure than twin A. According to the study, the perceived age difference between the two was 11.25 years. 

Image courtesy of: Farkas, Jordan & Pessa, Joel & Hubbard, Bradley & Rohrich, Rod. (2013). The Science and Theory behind Facial Aging. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open. 1. 10.1097/GOX.0b013e31828ed1da. 

Not all SPF cosmetics work the same 

It can feel logical to try and kill two birds with one stone. In the case of cosmetics and sun protection however, covering all your bases can go a long way. You’ve probably seen a great deal of beauty bloggers and dermatologists championing the necessity of daily sunscreen use, and there are wide variety of SPF cosmetic products available, from moisturisers and primers to powders and foundations. Amid all the noise, it’s easy to get confused and forget that not all SPF products protect us in the same way from the sun.  

The thing about SPF is that there are levels to it. Just because a product has SPF in it doesn’t mean it’s properly protecting you from sun damage.  

Don’t believe us? Just watch 

This single video will be enough to convince you to always use reliable sunscreen. Using an ultraviolet sensitive camera, this reporter applies a range of different SPF products to her face. The results illustrate just how important high sun protection factor ratings are, and which products are the most effective at blocking out UV radiation.  

What is SPF? 

SPF stands for sun protection factor, and indicates how much protection a product offers from sunburn. Your cosmetics might have some SPF in it, but how much? And how much is considered enough? 

Ratings vary, but the highest achievable SPF rating is 50+. It means that only up to 1/50th or 2% of ultraviolet radiation able to penetrate the surface of your skin. Anything rated SPF 15+ or lower is not considered protective. 

At the end of the day, it’s less about what SPF you use and more about how you’re using it. If you opt for a moisturising sunscreen, make sure you’re applying a solid layer all over your face to ensure for optimum coverage. Solbari has developed a range of SPF 50+ sunscreen, available in Dry Touch, or Moisturising form. If you’re using a SPF makeup in powder form, it’s best to pair that with a layer of actual sunscreen beforehand.  

You can find out more about Solbari's sun protective range by clicking the blue links below: 

Women UPF 50+ 

Men UPF 50+ 

Sun hats UPF 50+ 

Accessories UPF 50+  

SPF 50+ Sunscreen 

The Solbari Team 

This blog is for information purposes only, always consult your medical professional for expert advice. 



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