We all know what strong UV rays can do to our skin if not well-protected. Since sun exposure "ages" the skin, more and more foundations, powders and lipsticks contain sunscreens. But even when it says SPF 15 on the label, is it adequate protection? For the most part, dermatologists say sunscreens in makeup are great for incidental exposure to the sun (if you are walking from your car to your door for example). But it's better to use a sunscreen all over your face under your makeup if you expect to be in the sun for longer than 10 or 15 minutes.
Makeup artist Laura Mercier says she included sunscreen to her tinted moisturizers (SPF 20) for added protection -- not to replace sunscreens. "Sun exposure is cumulative," she notes, "so it's important to be protected every minute, even if you're just running errands. But it's very important to use more protection for longer periods in the sun. Tinted moisturizers, lipsticks and foundations are cosmetics, not sunblocks. You need a sunblock for heavy sun exposure, not a cosmetic." During the summer, she says, it's important to wear a sunblock under makeup, even for incidental sun exposure.
Several lines contain sunscreens, including Clinique's City Block SPF 15, Bobbi Brown's Moisture Rich and Oil-Free Foundations SPF 15, Avon's Nutralush Plumping Lipstick SPF 12 and Shiseido's The Makeup.