SPF - how much is enough?

SPF - how much is enough?


So this morning was the first super sunny day in Melbourne in a long time and as I was putting on my makeup I was wondering about the layers of primers, sunscreen and makeup that I was putting on and wondering if was really enough for what was going to be a day of running around with some sun exposure.

I used Demalogica’s Age Smart Primer with SPF30 (thanks Adore for the sample!) and then Jane Iredale mineral power on top with SPF 20. Does this give me SPF 50 or does it not work that way? If I’ve got products with the sunscreen in them do I also need to add in a layer of sunscreen?


@tresnalee Love this post because I totally wonder the same things! I don’t think the SPF 30 + 20 equates to SPF 50 unfortunately but I could be wrong. At the moment I just rely on my SPF 20 mineral powder as well. Apparently it’s the natural zinc in them that protects your skin. I just worry that the dusting of powder doesn’t give me enough coverage to really protect my face properly though. When it’s really sunny I usually go for a natural zinc based SPF 30 sunscreen under my mineral powder to be safe. In colder weather I feel like the mineral powder is sufficient for me.


I can help with this query (am very sun aware after having 3 skin cancers taken off my face) @tresnalee and @christined. Sadly you do not get SPF 50 when combining SPF products. The SPF relates to the amount of time you can be exposed to the sun before you start to burn. For example I have typical irish fair skin and will start burning in 5 mins. Spf 20 gives me protection (if properly applied) for 100 mins. This is assuming I haven’t sweated it off or been swimming or wiped myself in some way. Which is one of the reasons a hat and cover up clothing is a good idea still even when sunblocked up. Ideally if you are exposed to the sun throughout the day - I’d be looking at re-applying. Gothamista did a great clip on this very subject very recently. Her suggestion is to get yourself a clean cushion compact and use the sunblock of your choice those milky types are lovely for this and essentially make up your own. Anything that is cosmetically sophisticated will work. Hope that helps.


i have done alot of research on this… its one quarter of a teaspoon (1.25 mls) just for the face. trust me, its alot more then you think if you measure it out!! This is the amount required to get the protection that the product actually states, so if you use an 8th of a tsp instead, your spf 30 sunscreen will only give you an spf of 15. So yea, when they say apply generously, they really do mean that! So given you have to literally soak your face in the stuff to get the protection you need, it is so important to choose the right facial sunscreen. The only ones I have found that are actually usable and dont leave you with a horrible sticky mess, are the asian sunscreens. The formulas are far superior then western ones and they protect against UVA rays better too (they even have a system to measure UVA protection, SPF only measures UVB protection. UVA rays tan you and age your skin. UVB rays only burn your skin. It seems this info isnt known about by many people). The best asian susncreen i have found is Kao biore aqua rich. if you google it you will find thousands and thousands of 4 and 5 star reviews and people raving about it. it really is that good a sunscreen. You can put so much of the stuff on with out it leaving any greasiness at all, and it leaves a perfect finish, make up or BB cream goes on top no problem. Also dont forget that the instruction to reapply your sunscreen regularly is also important. Non mineral/zinc based sunscreen actually break down as they are exposed to sunlight. It takes at most, two hours of direct UV exposure to completely break down the sunscreen. So if you apply it in the morning and are out and about for a few hours mainly outdoors, you will be wearing no sun protection at all by lunch time- when the UV rays happen to be the strongest. This is an important fact to remember. If you apply the sunscreen in the morning and head straight to a windowless office space however until lunch, the sunscreen will remain in tact (yes UV rays do penetrate glass so thats important to remember too, your still getting exposure when indoors if you are close to a window) Hope this info helps.