As we all know, makeup often contains SPF (Sun Protection Factor) which is a measure of how well that makeup will protect your skin from the harmful UV rays from the sun. This is much in the same way as you would look at the SPF rating of sun tan lotions and the same principles apply here. The higher the SPF rating of the product, the more protection you should get from the sun, theoretically.
So, this is great news right? Well kind of. The main problem here is that unlike sun tan lotion that usually works for many hours, makeup will not really protect you that much. This is because makeup does not really form that thick a layer of protection on your skin, whereas sun tan lotion does. Therefore it is dangerous to mistakenly use makeup with SPF thinking it will be good enough protection. Following this dangerous way of thinking is only likely to result in a greater risk of sunburn and even worse – skin cancer.
The other factor that you need to take into consideration with SPF in cosmetics, is that there are two main types of harmful UV radiation: UVA and UVB. It is also a mistake to think that just buying cosmetics with a high SPF will protect you fully. You need to ideally choose a product that has a high SPF and will filter out both UVA and UVB rays, leaving you to soak up the suns gentle UV rays and get that tan.
So there we go, I hope this article has shed some light on the subject and clarified things once and for all. I have lost count of the number of times that people have asked me for advice on this and informed me that they have been following misleading advice for years and risking their health because of it. Hopefully you now will not make the same mistakes!