Not every day can be a perfect skin day. Some mornings you might just want that little extra boost that a hint of make-up can provide. But does using foundation or tinted moisturiser mean sacrificing your sun protection? Here, we take a look at tinted sunscreen products to help you understand how to protect your skin when you opt for that bit of colour.
When it comes to your face, one of the most important things you can do to look and feel your best is to take care of your skin. Protecting your skin from sun damage is one of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your skin healthy.
How does the sun damage your skin? Through exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation can cause visible damage to your skin in the form of sunburn, but it can also penetrate the deeper layers of your skin. This type of sun-induced damage may go unnoticed at the time it happens, but it can lead to wrinkles and other signs of skin aging. What’s worse – it can increase your risk for developing skin cancer.
While this sun damage can occur on any area of exposed skin, your face is particularly vulnerable because it is usually left uncovered when you are out and about in the sun. In addition, the skin on your face is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on other parts of your body, leaving it more susceptible to sun damage.
So what can you do to protect your face? The simple answer is to wear sunscreen everyday to prevent or reduce the amount of UV radiation that reaches the surface of your skin. But what about those days when you feel like adding a bit of colour to your complexion – do tinted moisturisers or foundations give your skin the protection it needs?
First, it helps to understand a little about what goes into these products to create skin tones. Tinted moisturisers and foundations get their coverage and colour from pigmented minerals such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and iron oxides in various combinations. When applied to your skin, these minerals can act as a UV filter to help protect against exposure to UV radiation. However, the amount of pigment in these products may not be sufficient to provide the high-level sun protection factor (SPF) recommended for effective sun protection. In addition, these pigments may not offer the broad spectrum coverage required to protect against both UVB and UVA radiation.
To achieve higher levels of sun protection, tinted moisturisers and foundations often include additional UV filters to both boost the SPF rating and offer broad spectrum UVB plus UVA protection. These UV filters can be chemical (organic) or mineral (inorganic or physical), which differ in the way they protect against UV radiation: chemical UV filters absorb UV radiation, while mineral UV filters form a physical barrier on the surface of the skin to reflect and scatter UV radiation.
Wearing a foundation or tinted moisturiser with SPF can help to reduce the amount of UV radiation that your face receives. But is it enough to make sure your skin stays protected all day?
First, it’s important to know that the amount of sunscreen you apply to your face is one of the key factors in how effectively it protects your skin from the sun. For a sunscreen to achieve the level of protection specified by its SPF, you need to apply a full teaspoon of sunscreen to your face. For many tinted moisturisers or foundations, you may reach your desired level of coverage using less than a teaspoon of product, leaving your sun protection less than ideal. If this is the case, you may want to apply a regular face sunscreen underneath your tinted moisturiser or foundation to ensure you are properly protected.
The other key consideration for optimal sun protection is that no matter how good your sunscreen is or how well you have applied it, no product lasts forever, and you will need to reapply it regularly, especially when you are out in the sun. So if you’ve applied your tinted moisturiser or foundation with SPF first thing in the morning, you’ll need to reapply some form of sunscreen product if you head out into the sun later in the day. Remember to incorporate other sun protection measures such as wearing a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses, as well as staying in the shade as much as possible, to help protect your face from UV exposure.
A tinted moisturiser with SPF is a moisturiser that contains pigments to add colour and even out your skin tone, as well as UV filters to offer protection from the sun’s harmful UV radiation.
Foundation with SPF can offer some amount of sun protection, but consider layering your foundation over a high SPF broad spectrum sunscreen to achieve optimal protection for your face when you head out into the sun.
Tinted moisturiser with SPF can provide protection from sun damage, but for optimal protection from the sun, regularly applying a high SPF broad spectrum sunscreen to your face is recommended.