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Can Makeup with SPF Really Protect Your Skin from the Sun?

The skin needs to be protected all year round, so what better way to do it than using makeup? Of course, this doesn’t include a majority of the male population; they will just have to settle with getting protection from a daily dose of sunscreen. Protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is important, especially considering that the sun’s rays can reach you on cloudy and hazy days. Those who choose to indulge in indoor tanning also risk an unnecessary level of UV radiation exposure. The hours between 10am and 4pm are the most dangerous for those unprotected in the sun, no matter how much natural pigment they already have in their skin.

Leading dermatologists will recommend applying at least 30 SPF broad spectrum sunscreen every two hours and right after sweating or swimming. Broad spectrum blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Besides skin cancers such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, wrinkles and early on-set aging are inevitable from the skin’s overexposure to the sun. Protecting the skin is so important to prevent any unwanted sun side effects, and foundations and other makeup products can do the trick. Built-in sun protection factor (SPF) is a helpful way to get the additional protection you need during the day.

However, makeup along cannot provide enough protection against all of the elements. The Skin Cancer Foundation advises people to use a moisturizer containing broad spectrum sunscreen with ingredients such as zinc oxide, avobenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene; as they mix well with makeup products.

Dr. Rokhsar advises that patients use extra protection in addition to makeup with SPF. Sunscreen needs to be broad spectrum and effective enough to hold off the elements all throughout the day.

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

Learn more about Dr. Rokhsar | Dr. Rokhsar's Google Scholar