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Is it true that using makeup with SPF is just like wearing regular facial sunscreen?

Answer by:
Karyn Grossman, MD

Dermatologist, WebMD Medical Expert
St. John's Hospital

FALSE. Certainly, applying makeup that contains SPF is better than skipping it altogether, but it's not as effective as wearing a facial lotion with sunscreen underneath. Generally, most makeup cracks on skin, allowing UV rays through. "For makeup to provide adequate ultraviolet protection, it would need to be applied in a really thick layer, which most women do not do," Jordana Gilman, MD, a New York City dermatologist, says. So unless you plan to spackle on your foundation, apply a layer of lotion with sunscreen first, and then apply your makeup.