Is SPF in foundation enough protection?

In a word, no.  I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing that we should be wearing SPF daily, and there’s something about applying it that feels like such a chore!  Over recent years, it seems like most brands have brought out a foundation or BB cream with some level of sunscreen it it.  But is SPF in foundation enough protection for your skin?

How much SPF should I apply to my face and neck?

The Irish Cancer Society recommends to use half a teaspoon to cover the face and neck, not forgetting the ears.  And while we’re not going to keep a measuring spoon on our desks or in the bathroom, the two finger rule is easier to work with.  Applying your sunscreen along two fingers gives approximately half teaspoon’s worth of product, which you can then either rub between your hands and work into the skin, or dot it over your face and massage it in.

Is there enough SPF in my foundation?

Now, think about how much foundation or bb cream you apply.  I’m pretty sure it’s not a half a teaspoon!  And even if it was, it still wouldn’t be enough.  Think about the pump or two of product that you apply in the morning.  That amount is made up of the pigment mixed in with whatever cream or liquid base that the foundation is made up of.  Then if you factor in the SPF into that amount, it’s nowhere even near the right amount you should be wearing.

The photo of the foundation below shows two pumps of a foundation, but with this particular one, I only ever need one pump to get the coverage I want.

Also think about where you apply your foundation.  For me, I don’t make sure to cover every single bit of my face.  Instead, I apply it to the parts of my skin where I feel needs the most coverage and I definitely don’t bring it all the way up to my hairline or out to my ears.  I apply my bases with a foundation brush or sponge, which undoubtedly soaks up some of the product, so I’m applying less than that pump.

When it comes to foundations or BB creams, I like to think that having SPF in them is a nice bonus.  It’s not why I’d purchase one.  Hopefully seeing the visuals above will help you see that there isn’t enough SPF in foundations to properly protect your skin.

I know you’re probably thinking that a half a teaspoon is a lot, especially if you’re using a sunscreen that feels thick or heavy on the skin.  But there’s a product for everyone out there.  I wrote a post on my favourite SPFs for the face last year if you’d like to learn more about them.

Three SPFs for the face

Skingredients Skin Shield, Nuxe Sun Light Fluid and Vichy Capital Ideal Soleil are still some of my favourite SPFs for the face.  What’s yours?


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