Sunscreen has been around for over 80 years, but more recently there has been a social push to help people understand the importance of wearing sunscreen. However, with so many different makeup products on the market, it can be hard to know what the best choice is for you. Some makeup companies state that their products offer sun protection, but does that mean that they’re strong enough to actually protect your skin from damage?
Why is SPF important?
The sun is the cause of 90% of premature signs of skin aging and skin cancers. Signs of aging include wrinkles, rough patches, sagging skin, skin discoloration, and dark spots. Sun damage can also amplify the visible signs of acne. This can look like dark spots remaining for longer periods of time after the skin has had a pimple or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Skin cancer is caused by the sun’s UV rays effecting the skin’s DNA and resulting in mutations. The two types of UV rays are UVA and UVB. UVA rays can cause signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, as well as increasing the risk of skin cancer. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn, skin damage, and are associated with deadly skin cancers. This is why choosing a sunscreen that is “broad spectrum” is important, it can protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
How does SPF work?
Sunscreen works by filtering the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from reaching your skin. A sunscreen’s sun protection factor (SPF) tells you how much of those UV rays will pass through the layer of protection. For example, a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will allow 7% of UV rays through, an SPF of 30 will allow only 3% of UV rays through, and a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 will allow 2% of UV rays through. It is also important to keep in mind that SPF only blocks against UVB rays unless the product specifies that it is broad spectrum.
Despite marketing alluding to a significant difference between SPFs of 30 and 50, the protection only increases by about 1%. This misleading advertising can give consumers a false sense of higher protection that could lead to them applying less sunscreen or reapplying sunscreen less frequently. A good rule of thumb is to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, but to remember sunscreens with a higher SPF do not offer the skin significantly more protection.
When in direct sunlight, SPF is effective for about 2 hours after it is applied and will need to be reapplied throughout the day to maintain optimal levels of protection. Some chemical sunscreens can also take up to 30 minutes after initial application to become fully effective. It is important to remember that in that time the skin is unprotected.
Is the SPF in my makeup enough to protect my skin?
The SPF in most makeup does not meet the minimum requirements to effectively protect your skin from sun damage. To make the best educated decision in what makeup you use, you should ask yourself:
- Is this makeup using a chemical or mineral SPF?
- Can I reapply this makeup SPF throughout the day?
What is the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreen?
Mineral sunscreen uses two main natural ingredients for optimal sun protection: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These two sun protectants are effective when first applied, so you won’t need to worry about waiting for them to take full effect. These two ingredients are also known as the most effective forms of sun protection available. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are effective at blocking out both UVA and UVB rays. These two ingredients are so effective at blocking the sun’s UV rays it is like pulling a shade down in front of the sun. The sun’s harmful rays bounce off the surface of the skin, allowing for no penetration through to your skin.
Chemical sunscreen works through absorbing sunlight into the skin, then a chemical reaction turns UV rays into non-damaging wavelengths of light and heat. Many people have allergies to chemical sunscreen, without even realizing it. Most reactions to foundation containing chemical sunscreen are actually reactions to the chemicals in the sunscreen, not the foundation itself. Allergies to chemical sunscreen can look like an immediate skin reaction after application like redness and blotching. You can also develop photosensitivity due to chemical sunscreen use over time. Photosensitivity causes your skin to react when you’re in the sun. You could develop red rashes, blistering, or small bumps over your skin.
Recent research has reported that chemical sunscreens can cause hormonal disruptions when it is absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream*. Some studies have even linked the possibility of skin cancer to chemical sunscreen use. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration has called for more in-depth research into the safety and effectiveness of the chemicals used in chemical sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreen is often not effective until 30 minutes after initial application, meaning that your skin is unprotected if you’re exposed to sunlight before it has time to take full effect. Chemical sunscreen also sweats off easily, leaving your skin unprotected, as well as irritating your eyes when the sunscreen sweats off your forehead.
Chemical sunscreen can also be harmful to the environment. The chemicals used in chemical sunscreens can get washed into waterways and marine habitats through swimmers or down the drain after it is washed off in the sink or shower. The most concerning chemical in chemical sunscreen, Oxybenzone, has been found to have major toxic effects on early and developing coral, including increased susceptibility to bleaching. Many chemical sunscreens have been banned in beach areas because of this toxic effect.
If you apply your sun protection in the morning before your makeup, how can you reapply it throughout the day without compromising your foundation? As we discussed before, SPF is only effective for about 2 hours after initial application. So, if you apply it under your foundation you would have to reapply it over your foundation later. This can make your makeup look oily, peeling, or uneven. That’s why Susan Posnick’s COLORFLO foundation is a perfect option.
COLORFLO foundation is an easy, self-dispensing all-natural brush-on foundation that uses mineral SPF protection. It blurs imperfections, showing skin that looks air-brushed and fresh. You won’t have to worry about reapplying your sun protection as it is built into your foundation. It can be easily touched up throughout the day for optimal sun protection. With each application, your skin continues to look better without the look of foundation build up or caking. COLORFLO foundation contains 12% zinc oxide and 12% titanium dioxide, making it broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. COLORFLO foundation comes in 12 different shades for everyone – men and women, of every color. COLORFLO foundation lets your skin breathe easily underneath it, so it helps to avoid clogged pores and breakouts while still protecting against environmental pollutants.
COLORFLO is cost effective in that it fills the role of your foundation, sunscreen, concealer, and powder –without containing any powder itself. It will easily last you three months, versus most liquid foundations that last only two months. It is also environmentally considerate as you only need to purchase refills to continue achieving great looking skin.
Picking the right makeup and sun protection can be challenging if you don’t want to skimp on beauty or benefits. With the risk of premature aging, sun damage, and skin cancer, protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays should be a priority. But you shouldn’t have to give up flawless looking skin to achieve that protection. When choosing a product, remember to look at the type of SPF it contains, the level of SPF protection, and if you love how it makes your skin look and feel.
Susan’s Journey to Create COLORFLO
Susan Posnick had an established career as a celebrity makeup artist for twenty years. She intended this to be her lifelong career path, until she was diagnosed with skin cancer. As she was allergic to chemical sunscreens, she couldn’t wear any products that were on the market. Susan beat her skin cancer, and it set her on a path to create a natural and clean makeup product that would protect against the sun and make skin look fresh and beautiful. Thus, COLORFLO was born!
Susan became passionate about the potential of saving others from skin cancer and has continued to support related causes. Most recently, she received an international humanitarian award in Vienna for the development of COLORFLO and Brush-on-Block and her dedication to speaking about skin cancer and its prevention. Additional accolades include the Rising Star Award for Beauty from FGI, and numerous additional recognitions for the work she continues to do in both her community of Dallas and around the world.
Both Susan and her products have been featured in major publications and magazines. These amazing products are sold worldwide in spas, apothecaries, salons, and specialty retail stores and on our website. Feel free to contact us with any questions and purchase your all-natural beauty products from Susan Posnick Cosmetics. We are always happy to assist.