SPF in your moisturizer – is it enough?


Here is a conversation I have on most days in my consulting suites with my patients:

Me: “Do you wear a sunscreen during the day?”
Patient: “yes, its in my moisturiser”
Me: “what SPF is it?”
Patient: “um, I think 15+?”
Me: (thinking) oh dear…

Of course most Dermatologists tag line as patients walk out the door is “wear your sunscreen.” But truly, what’s the merit in this? And how much sunscreen is enough?

My experience has been that very few products do moisturising AND sunscreen-ing well.  And most people do not apply enough of their moisturizer to result in the advertised SPF. Even if you are sitting in an office most of the day, the minimum SPF require is 30+. HALF a TEASPOON needs to be applied (which almost NEVER happens) to achieve the full SPF on the label. 

The other excuse I hear is:

 “ There’s SPF 15+ in my make up, andSPF 20+ in my moisturizer, surely that’s 30+?”

No!!! Layering SPF does not increase the protection. Protection will only be as good as the highest SPF number. 

 “Do I need to reapply throughout the day?”

YES! Especially if you are trying to combat skin problems like pigmentation and melasma. Regardless of the type of and number of the SPF, it wears off after 2 hours. So spritzing a reapplication throughout the day is VITAL.

So unfortunately no sunscreen and moisturizer were matches made in heaven. Using separate products that co-inhabit, rather than marry, is the way to go. And don’t commit to the same product all year round. There’s no point being loyal to a heavy blocking SPF during the winter months when the suns ferocity is less, switch to a lighter alternative.

Skindepth+ SPF+ xx

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