spf makeup
Boost your sun protection with SPF make-up, especially if you have outdoor activities planned. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Take it a step further this summer, and fortify your daily make-up with a dose of sun protection factor or SPF. Harsh ultraviolet rays can spell serious trouble for the skin, exacerbating early signs of fine lines and dark spots. SPF-infused foundation, primer, lip balm and more can put your mind at ease, by adding an extra layer of protection.

How does SPF in cosmetics work?

Make-up formulations are fully capable of carrying an SPF value, and they do work, albeit to an extent. Dr Radmila Lukian, dermatologist and skin specialist at Lucia Clinic, Dubai, explained: "SPF in cosmetics is typically lower than that of dedicated sunscreens and is usually added as an additional protective measure."

A foundation promising SPF 30 with each application sounds like a great bargain. But, its sunblocking properties are not enough on their own. Our base application could leave gaps in coverage, and it's very unlikely that we're going to reapply after the advised two hours.

"Make-up products with SPF can provide some level of protection, but they are generally not as effective as dedicated sunscreens. For optimal sun protection, it is recommended to use a dedicated broad-spectrum sunscreen with a higher SPF rating (30 or above)," she added.

Once your broad-spectrum sunscreen settles on the face and neck, go over with SPF-infused make-up products, per usual.

Do I need SPF make-up?

Will you be spending long hours under direct sunlight, this summer? If so, wearing SPF make-up is a smart way to fill in the gaps you might've missed.

According to Dr Lukian, make-up with sunscreen also benefits "people with fair or sensitive skin, or those prone to sunburn". She suggests lip balm to protect the delicate skin on our lips from UV damage; and BB cream or blemish balm for evening out the skin tone along with additional sun protection.

A good moisturiser with SPF or primer can hydrate and shield the skin in one go, as well. It's imperative that we apply any SPF make-up evenly to make the most of its sun protection value.

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Dive into our list of beauty products infused with sunscreen, leading with our expert's best pick, and draw on your favourite looks that fight sun damage. Become a Prime member to bring them home as soon as today, during Beauty Week.

1. Best SPF Foundation: M.A.D. Skincare Photo Guard Self-Adjusting Foundation Serum (SPF 50)

Dr Lukian lists the M.A.D. foundation serum as a reliable SPF option for base make-up. It offers a sun protection factor of 50, applies white and then automatically adjusts to match your skin tone. The serum is mineral-based, so it's perfect for sensitive skin types, as physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide deflect rays instead of absorbing them. The sheer liquid foundation is non-greasy and lightweight for daily wear. Medium-toned complexions can shop for a deeper shade. Reviewers are surprised at the colour match and how it leaves their skin aglow while still covering blemishes. 

2. Best SPF Primer: Heimish Artless Glow Base PA Primer (SPF 50)

Primer is often generously applied before make-up, which is why SPF-infused primers are abundant in the market. Get more coverage with K-beauty brand Heimish's Artless Glow Base. Meant to serve as a moisturiser, sunscreen and primer, the broad-spectrum SPF 50+ base helps cover fine lines and pores with a shimmery glow for glass skin. Peppermint extract and rose hip seeds provide additional toning and protection against environmental stressors. Even those with a deep complexion in the reviews vouch for the absorption and no white cast. Others add that their make-up easily lasts all day. 

3. Best SPF BB Cream: Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream #27 (SPF 42 PA+++)

You could opt for a blemish balm instead of foundation, to achieve breathable coverage that's just right for the summer. Missha is another Korean beauty brand to watch out for, whose M Perfect BB cream offers broad-spectrum UV protection with SPF 42 PA+++. It combines hyaluronic acid, ceramide, rosemary leaf extract and more to heal dark spots and moisturise the skin. Reviewers say this miraculous tube gives them a 'skin but better' effect - it doesn't settle in wrinkles and pores. With a limited shade range, however, finding a match may be difficult.

4. Best SPF Multi Balm: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Colour Balm (SPF 50)

Swipe it across the cheeks and over the pout - the Colorescience Sunforgettable balm is an SPF 50 multi stick that protects with a pop of colour. Its antioxidant-rich mineral formula does more than just block UVA and UVB rays - it fights pollution, blue light and infrared radiation. Jojoba esters, on the other hand, offer your lips and cheeks nourishing hydration. The unscented colour balm is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and reef-safe, too. As with most cream formulas, the colour does come off faster, note reviews, but the balm is meant to be reapplied every two hours.

5. Best SPF Pressed Powder: PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup (SPF 15)

Liquid foundations in hot weather often turn greasy, especially if you're prone to excess sebum production. Dab away the oily sheen using a pressed powder infused with SPF 15. Pur's four-in-one powder is buildable, so with enough application, it can work as a foundation or concealer. Reviewers pick it up as a powder substitute for liquid formulas, and say it lasts them for months on end. Others find it a clever way to touch up their foundation when out and about.

6. Best SPF Tinted Lip Balm: Neutrogena Revitalising Lip Balm (SPF 20)

Coat the lips with a moisturising lip balm that has sunblocking properties. This Neutrogena tinted lip product comes with SPF 20 to prevent sunburn and damage. The brand's own Ion2 Complex keeps the lips softer, rosier and healthier looking just after one week of use. Buyers carry the stick around with them everywhere they go, reapplying as needed. The balm goes on easily and doesn't melt in the heat. Reviewers also love the sheer, natural tint every shade offers. Browse more hydrating lip balms.

7. Best SPF Lip Balm: Supergoop Broad Spectrum Lip Balm (SPF 30)

For a glossy, clear pout, get Supergoop's SPF 30 Play lip balm. Best for active days under the sun, the 15ml tube offers broad-spectrum protection for the lips, including against infrared rays. It's formulated with shea butter, sunflower seed oil, acai extract and honey, all of which retain moisture and protect against environmental damage. Like other chemical sunscreens, it's meant to go on 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Reviewers layer it on top of their regular lipstick. Do note that the flavour might be unpleasant, if accidentally ingested, say reviews.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.