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The 4 Common Myths About SPF You Need to Stop Believing

We’ve been on quite the journey with our skincare. From wipes to double cleansing, harsh ingredients to barrier-boosting ones, we’ve got our routines nailed thanks to advice from derms on TikTok.

By Faye McCullaghPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 3 min read
Top Story - August 2022
The 4 Common Myths About SPF You Need to Stop Believing
Photo by Kalos Skincare on Unsplash

We’ve been on quite the journey with our skincare. From wipes to double cleansing, harsh ingredients to barrier-boosting ones, we’ve got our routines nailed thanks to advice from derms on TikTok.

One of the key things they’ve taught us is how important SPF is. Not only does it prevent skin cancer – the most common in the States – but it’s also the key to a youthful complexion.

There are a lot of myths around sun protection and skincare, though. This UV Awareness Month, we’re here to bust them – so read on to find out the truth about SPF in your skincare routine.

SPF in your makeup is enough

You might have a foundation with SPF and think you’re killing two birds with one stone. But we’re here to break it to you that it’s not enough. We know from our fave derms, including Dr. Shah, that we need to apply a quarter teaspoon of SPF to get the advertised protection on our face and neck. Do you really want to be applying that much foundation?

Scortezz Beauty did the hard work for us and applied the amount of foundation you’d need to get the in-built protection and... well, check out the results for yourself. He also highlights that most sunscreen-containing makeup is only SPF 15, which most derms recommend against.

If you’ve been using your makeup as your SPF and want to keep these two steps in one product, try a tinted sunscreen. It’s the perfect option if you like light coverage and a natural look. Just make sure that it matches the shade of your self-tan drops!

You don’t need SPF in the winter or indoors

We’ve been tricked into thinking that blinding sunlight and hot days are the only way the sun can damage our precious skin, but it’s definitely not the case. Even if you live in the coldest, cloudiest corner of North Dakota, you still need SPF in the winter. Up to 90% of the sun’s UV rays penetrate even the heaviest of clouds, so it’ll still damage your skin.

A bare minimum of SPF 30 is advised in the summer, although most derms would recommend factor 50. In the winter, go with the lower end of the summer scale and choose an SPF of 30 to protect you from those invisible rays. Continuing to apply SPF beyond the summer means you’ll be able to get into a consistent, year-round routine.

A morning application is enough

You’re in the habit of applying your SPF every morning as part of your skincare routine. Go you! But it’s not a case of one and done. You’ll need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours outdoors – especially on those brighter, sunnier days. If you spend most of your time indoors, you can reapply it every four to six hours.

If you’ve made the leap to a tinted sunscreen, you can reapply without really disturbing your look. But if you apply makeup that you set with a light layer of translucent powder, you might be worried that applying a cream SPF over the top of it will disturb it. But new powder and spray formulas make reapplication a breeze. You should be using your SPF lotion before going out, but these options are great for reapplying over the top of makeup.

SPF is bad for my skin

If you’ve ever broken out from using SPF on your face in the past, it might have scared you off using it again. But thanks to innovations in sunscreens and skincare, there are options available for all skin types.

If you’ve found SPF too heavy for your oily complexion in the past, a water-gel texture will keep your skin matte and protected. Acne-prone skin types should also choose lighter textures – you could even explore SPFs that come with added skincare benefits to fight blemishes as you protect.

How a sunscreen looks might also be an issue for you. You might have experienced a white cast with your sunscreen, no matter how long you spend working it into your skin. It’s probably a physical sunscreen – also known as mineral sunscreen. These SPFs use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to physically block out or reflect the sun’s rays. These reflective properties are what cause the white cast. Chemical SPFs, meanwhile, contain ingredients that absorb the sun’s rays, so they don’t have the same potential to cause a white cast.

You know that SPF is an essential part of your skincare and beauty routine. But there are still some persistent myths about what products it’s effective in, when you should be wearing it, and how often you should be applying it. So get a dedicated SPF product that works for your skin type, apply it in the winter, and reapply it when needed for gorgeous, glowing skin.



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Comments (5)

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  • Justine Crowley7 months ago

    Great article. Wearing sunscreen every day is essential. I use a product from La Roche Posay for the face, which has 50+ SPF in it...even if I end up staying at home working away all day. Good dermatology advice can be found on TikTok.

  • Nick Tomkoabout a year ago


  • Aaron Hubermanabout a year ago

    Should also start applying it while you are young. SPF isnt just for kids or older folk.

  • Tanoria2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing

  • Thank you for sharing! 😊

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