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Does mineral makeup provide enough sun protection?

Asked by Ayesha

I’ve heard a lot about mineral makeup providing sun protection. How effective is it really in protecting from damaging UV rays? Is it enough to just wear mineral make-up (I use Bare Escentuals SPF 15 foundation) and forgo sunscreen altogether? Does how you apply the makeup have an impact on its ability to protect my skin from the sun?

Ayesha answered
    Dr. Schultz 1.86K Rep.

    Mineral makeup itself offers a very small but real amount (SPF 2-5) of sun protection but regardless of whether it’s mineral makeup (which is very good) or other types, if it is produced for sale in the U.S., you can count on the sun protection from UVB rays that the labeled SPF suggests, since the SPF regulations are strictly adhered to and tell you the real sun protection value despite what type of make up it is.

    Mineral makeup has a higher intrinsic SPF than non-mineral makeup but the only thing that counts for judging the sun protection is the SPF, not the type of makeup. If you are comfortable with an SPF of 15 (I gives 88% protection from burning UVB rays), than your bare essentials makeup is ok for sun protection for a few hours after you apply it. BUT when the makeup starts to wear off, you no longer get that sun protection and must either reapply your makeup or another sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater.

    The only thing important in how you apply the makeup (great question) in order to get the benefit of the labeled SPF is that it be in direct contact with your skin….if you put a moisturizer on first, the makeup may look ok but u won’t get the full SPF protection.

    Dr. Schultz answered

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