Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Relying on SPF in makeup - my experience

Let me set the scene.  It was a lovely sunny day and the Battle of Clontarf was on in the park beside where I live.  Usually on the weekends I don't wear much makeup, but I was going to vlog a bit so decided to whip on a bit of slap.  I applied a layer of my much loved Bourjois 123 Perfect CC cream, plonked on a bit of mascara, filled in my brows a bit and headed out to see all the lovely menly men pretending to fight each other in the battle.  I'd say we were there for about an hour and a half because it was so crowded, but made sure to devour a 99 ice cream because the rules of life are if you're in a park and it's sunny, you have to have a 99.

I came home and noticed the top of my forehead was red.  Burnt.  I cursed at myself in the mirror, then got scared at what Una from work would think as she's my SPF info nurse and I knew she'd kill me.  I wondered how that happened because the CC cream had SPF 15 in it.  But then I copped on and realised what had happened.

When I apply any base, be it a BB cream, CC cream or foundation, I always start at the centre of my face and work outwards and upwards.  I focus on my cheeks, nose, chin and forehead as those are the areas I need coverage and if there are areas that don't need coverage, then I don't apply it there.  Simple as.  So evidently that day, the top of my forehead was looking grand.

I think I took it for granted that because I was applying something with SPF in it, that I'd be protected, but never put any thought into how I apply it.  I don't apply it to my ears, or to the very outer parts of my forehead and cheeks, so they were unprotected too.   Also, think about how much foundation you use every day.  Maybe a pea sized amount?  And that's your base mixed with SPF, so not very much at all.  And when you work it into the skin, you're sheering it out to a thin layer.  Imagine applying pure SPF to your face, you'd use the same amount if not more and would work it all over your face, making sure everywhere was covered and protected.

Then I started thinking about bases and how they fade as the day goes on.  Who applies their base in the morning, only for their nose and forehead to become shiny by lunchtime and then when it's time to head home from work, it looks like you've nowt on your face?

I've been doing some research and have a monster post coming soon on SPFs with lots of tips from nurses and doctors I've spoken to about it.  There's not an awful lot of research out there on SPFs in moisturisers or makeup, but I've learned the hard way, the burny way, not to rely on SPF in foundation if it's sunny and I'm outside a lot.  You probably know the score anyway when it comes to sun protection.  They always say to apply it every couple of hours, but sure there's no way we'd be doing that with our makeup!  We'd need to apply about 4 layers of foundation through the course of the day if that was the case!

The British Association of Dermatologists has a bit of information on SPF in moisturisers, but essentially they say that if you're going to be mostly indoors or just outside in short bursts, then it's ok to rely on SPF in moisturisers or makeup, but if you're out in the sun like I was, use a proper SPF.

This isn't a do this or I'll bate you type of post, it's a hmm, have a think about this type of post.  A bit of sun awareness if you will.  For me, I'll keep wearing my foundations with SPF in them on days when I'm at work, but for sunny days, days where I'm in the park, out and about, my face will be protected with one of the SPFs above and then I can apply my foundation, happy in the knowledge that I won't burn the mush off myself!



  1. Using an Spf foundation protects you in the winter but as you say, depending on how you apply it on a sunny it might not be enough. I tend to use a suncream as a base under my foundation if I'm out for a day in the sun. If I'm just going to and from work I use a base with a decent spf and a foundation with an spf. hasn't failed me thus far.

  2. I'll have to keep this in mind!! I love the way that you type using Irish "words" - if you'd call it that - like grand and copped on, my family are Irish and it's so great to read haha! Rebeka x

    Rebeka Taylor

  3. I never thought about that before! I live in Ireland as well and have fair skin and I burn easily I always relied on my BB creams and thought It would protect my skin and me with oily skin BBcreams tend not to last on my skin all day! Thank you for this I will have to keep that in mind :)
    have a lovely night

  4. You need more SPF than pretty much anything your make-up can give, usually. You need 1/4 of a teaspoon (I've also heard of amounts up to 1/2 tsp), which is more than most people would use of foundation/BB cream etc, and the SPF isn't usually high enough. I always use a separate SPF now, every day (even in the crappy Irish weather) and it's a great habit to get into!

  5. I have become so aware of the importance of wearing SPF, my usual foundation is SPF 15, which is fine everyday but as you say when there are days you know you will be out and about it's definitely worthwhile applying something extra! I got the La Roche Posay tube of SPF50 for your face, it's really nice to wear under your makeup.


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