Your Say: Do you use a separate sunscreen or rely on SPF in BB Cream or foundations?

by Paris B on · 78 comments

in Discussions,Makeup,Sunscreen,Tips

separate sunscreen2 Your Say: Do you use a separate sunscreen or rely on SPF in BB Cream or foundations?

I think I already know the answer to this one, but curiosity gets the better of me all the time, as you well know by now.

Many liquid foundations now sport SPF of at least 30 and up. Generally, the higher the SPF level, the thicker the formula which is why we don’t see many makeup bases that have very high SPF levels. The exception is with Japanese makeup because they’ve managed to give us light textured sunscreen with high SPF ratings. As for BB Cream, SPF50 is quite common. They are supposed to be “all in one” products after all, catering also for sun protection while giving you colour coverage. You may also realise that BB Creams come in a thicker formula, which can partly be attributed to this higher SPF.

So, I’m curious. With all the high SPF base products out there already available to us, do you wear a separate sunscreen? Or are you rejoicing in the fact that the high SPF in your foundation or BB Cream allows you to get away with wearing one less layer of product on your skin?

For me, wearing sunscreen is second nature. I know my daytime skincare routine is complete when my sunscreen goes on, because that is the final step. Whatever goes on thereafter is makeup. Sunscreen is therefore rather like my boundary between skincare and makeup icon smile Your Say: Do you use a separate sunscreen or rely on SPF in BB Cream or foundations?

However, I do know that there are many people who don’t like wearing sunscreen or who cannot find a sunscreen that works for them, for whatever reason. Whilst I would say “Keep on looking! There’s one out there for you!” which rather sounds like looking for a life partner :P, it is true. You can keep on looking for a sunscreen that suits you.

Yet, if for these people, they find that a BB or CC Cream with SPF works better for them for whatever reason, then I would say that having some protection is better than none. The only caveat would be that they may then have the false feeling of security and stay out in the sun too long. Or more importantly, do not use enough product to actually protect the skin.

separate sunscreen Your Say: Do you use a separate sunscreen or rely on SPF in BB Cream or foundations?

I do understand all too well the feeling of a layering a liquid foundation over a heavy sunscreen base. It was the reason I did not wear liquid foundation for many years, preferring to wear powder foundation. When I discovered lighter textured sunscreens that worked well for me (I use the Shiseido Perfect UV daily but you can read my thoughts on various sunscreens I’ve used over the time here) then I started opening up to the possibilities of wearing a liquid foundation, and loving the more natural look.

So, is some protection better than none? I’d say it’s a toss up. If your skin really cannot tolerate ANY sunscreen in the market, for whatever reason, then I do suppose some protection by way of SPF in your makeup is better than none at all. Yet, I’d not recommend that anyone actually rely on the SPF levels in makeup simply because we never use enough. If we do, we’d look far too fake as our base makeup will be far too thick. Also, I would be a little wary about the over-promising that goes on in the BB Cream world.

Do you wear a separate sunscreen under your makeup? Are you relying too much on the SPF in your makeup?

So, the takeaway from this is that I think SPF in makeup is a nice extra, but not a substitute for the real thing. So if you aren’t already doing so, find a sunscreen that works for you. Your skin will ultimately thank you for it. Naturally, feel free to disagree icon smile Your Say: Do you use a separate sunscreen or rely on SPF in BB Cream or foundations?

Paris B

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[ 78 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Rin September 24, 2013 at 9:08 am

Hi Paris~ Yes, I do wear a separate sunscreen under my makeup :) I think it is a must for me. To me, sunscreen is my final step of my skincare routine. Once upon a time, I totally relied on SPF in my makeup because I hated the greasy feeling of sunscreen. Back then, I couldn’t find any sunscreen that suited my skin. Within these few years, I discovered a few options that suit my skin well. Sunscreen is a MUST every single day :) Besides knowing that our skin has to be protected, I really hate getting a tan, haha. It takes so long for my skin to get back to its ‘original’ skin tone once it is tanned. I cannot live without sunscreen LOL

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Hiya Rin! I’m the same as you. I am on auto-pilot all the time that there’s no way I’d skip the sunscreen step ever! :D Never thought to rely on SPF in makeup but then I started out wearing makeup very late so maybe that’s why LOL!

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Sam Bear September 24, 2013 at 9:18 am

I would use a separate sunscreen under my make up if I could find one that would work for me! I’m super keen to try the biore ones but they aren’t readily available here in Australia so I’ll probably buy several different bottles of sunscreen when I visit my family in Singapore!
I’ve only tried the neutrogena sunscreen fluid, which just felt greasy and heavy and a spray on suncreen which just smelt awful (although it didn’t have that greasy, heavy feeling).

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Yeah, somehow all the Western sunscreens I’ve tried are very heavy. The Japanese have it down to an art though so yes, definitely give the Biore or Hada Labo ones a try!

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Cynthia September 24, 2013 at 9:25 am

I used to not wear any sunscreen until like..2 years ago? Every since I start wearing sunscreen everyday. Not sure why but it’s like a habit? Then I realized that most of my bb cream come with at least SPF26 or SPF 50. So, I skipped my normal sunscreen and head straight to my bb cream. Until, I saw your post on the other day about bb cream. I had to forced myself to wear one even though I put on bb cream after that. I still skipped my sunscreen sometimes if I am really on a hurry/late. :p

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm

LOL So, some good came out of that BB Cream rant eh? ;) I think it’s good practice to wear sunscreen under any makeup base but it will have to depend on a person’s comfort level. For me, a habit is hard to shake, because I started using makeup quite late in life, after I’d already established my skincare routine :)

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LeGeeque September 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

Separate all the way. I don’t think I use enough of the beauty product to give me the proper protection. (paranoid mode!)

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm

You and I both! I don’t mind being a little paranoid about sun protection!

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Victoria September 24, 2013 at 10:27 am

I have to use separate sunscreen under makeup and no question about that :-) But I do wonder though why Caroline Hirons only relies on the SPF in her makeup. She only uses sunscreen when she goes to the beach. I guess the UK sun would not make you tan as what we get here in Malaysia.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I did wonder about that too but maybe it’s where she lives? They don’t quite see enough of the sun there methinks LOL!

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Applegal September 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

I’ve been wearing sunscreen since high school! If I forget to wear sunscreen I will avoid going out in the sun or will cover my face with my hands/umbrella :P

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Ting September 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Applegal, I salute you! :)

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 5:48 pm

LOL your hands! :D

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Alexis September 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

I sometimes wear, I sometimes don’t specially when I feel that I will be oily the rest of the day (usually if I haven’t had enough sleep) and if I will not play under the sun. My CC cream has SPF 30 and I think it’s enough because I usually stay in our office from morning to evening. Haha. If I will use my sunscreen (which my derma prescribed to me), I think it’s SPF 80.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Well technically I’d have a lot to say about this, but then, I suppose some sun protection is better than none, especially if you’ll be indoors a lot of the time :)

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Parita September 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

I don’t wear makeup on everyday basis but definitely if I am stepping out of the house sunscreen is a must irrespective of makeup :)

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I wear it indoors even! :D Can’t be too careful I guess :D

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Natasha September 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I always wear sunscreen. Under my makeup, under my BB cream… it’s just habit and since I am high risk for skin cancer, not a habit I’m going to change. I have been tempted to be lazy every now and then on days when I’m just going from indoors to the day job to mall and home… but I always end up in auto-mode, putting on some sunscreen. I agree that adding SPF to makeup might add a false sense of security… but I actually like to look at it as an extra layer of protection — just not my ONLY layer.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Sounds pretty much like what I do, Natasha – wear sunscreen irrespective of whether I go out or wear makeup. It’s a habit for me too and that’s a good point you made. Extra protection vs only protection. It’s one worth bearing in mind

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Lily September 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I always apply sunscreen after moisturizer. Even when I’m not going anywhere, just staying in the house, I’d still apply sunscreen!

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Me too! :D Too much of a habit to shake

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gio September 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I always apply a separate sunscreen every day, even if I stay at home. Makeup and skincare products with SPF just aren’t as effective. You’d have to apply too much to get the SPF stated on the label and that’ll just feel uncomfortable and may even make you look cakey. I agree that some protection is better than none, but there are just so many sunscreens on the market today that if you’re willing to keep looking you’ll surely find something that works for your skin type.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Sounds like me Gio :D I wear sunscreen even when I’m at home too simply because it’s a habit. Also, I agree that it is worth hunting down the right sunscreen for your skin because from the numerous products out there, I’m sure, one will suit it! :)

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Lilian TSJ September 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I’m paranoid in the way i need my sunscreens to be of at least spf 50 PA+++. i’m using a sunscreen that doubles up as a moisturizer for my dry dry skin. if i have to choose ONE make up / skin care item to put on my face every morning, its sunscreen all the way.

Btw i’ve always been a silent reader, stalking your blog for reviews from afar. This is my first comment, and i would just like to take the opportunity to thank you for all your reviews and time spent on your blog! i get excited every time i see a new review by you because i know how much time and research you put into each review. without a doubt you have influenced a great number of purchases on my part! hehe.

much thanks and love from Johor Bahru, Paris!

xoxo
Lilian

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Hi Lilian! You sound like me LOL! I never look at any sunscreen below SPF50 PA+++ simply because I’d just rather be careful. Already having a pigmentation problem doesn’t help :P I’m glad you took the plunge and commented – it makes my day getting your comments because it tells me someone out there is reading and agrees (or disagrees) with me :D Don’t be a stranger!

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Bryan September 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Being a guy I don’t use any sunscreen and sometimes I even skip moisturiser, that was few years back. Now as age is catching up haha I make it a habit to apply a day cream with SPF .

I had been using sunscreen since two years back, and been searching for the perfect one which is lightest in texture, don’t wanna feel like wearing a heavy mask. So fast two products I am using, they are Juice Beauty CC cream with SPF and Eminence Organics Persimmon and Cantaloupe Day Cream with SPF.

For Juice Beauty, it’s quite hydrating for my combination skin. No greasy feeling upon applying it. Only the scent is a bit strong, like very green kind of scent,in which it’s still ok for me.

For Eminence Organics, I would say it’s the perfect moisturiser plus SPF for my skin type. It’s very light and airy, and keeps my skin we’ll hydrated through out the day. Sometimes if I feel a bit dryer, will just app ya thin layer of moisturiser before putting on this Eminence Organics day cream.

I can see visible difference in complexion after using sun screen where overall complexion gets more even coloured.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Thanks for sharing, Bryan! So many guys think skincare is a domain of the women it’s refreshing to see a guy take care of his skin as well as you do :) I have tried some samples from Eminence which do feel quite nice but I’m a little wary of moisturisers with SPF the same way I’m a little wary of makeup bases with SPF. But I think creams with SPF are a little better because you can actually put on more without looking awful the way makeup can be! :) Thanks for sharing!

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Anne September 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I’m guilty of not wearing enough sunscreen. I used bb cream as base, and liquid foundation daily. Has not occurred to me that I actually need to use a separate sunscreen (omg! Im died) till I read this post! I’m a big fun of the shiseido sunblock ( all these to your recommendation!) but I only use it when I’m not using the liquid foundation. I always felt that using sunscreen+ bb cream+ liquid foundation is way too thick in our humid climate! sighs

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Glad to have jolted you into action Anne :) The secret is in finding a combination of skincare and makeup that isn’t too heavy for you. I also wouldn’t use BB Cream + liquid foundation because that’s far too much makeup! Just pick either one with a sunscreen underneath (the Shiseido one makes a great primer too!) and you’ll be set :)

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xin September 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm

i am also a paranoia, regardless of what’s in that BB cream/foundation, i still use sunscreen. and I am actually like liking the badger, although it takes extra second to apply it evenly to avoid the white cast.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm

You’re absolutely right about that white cast! I find the Badger one ok, a little drying initially then it gets oily on me. Horrible under makeup though, so I now only use it for weekends.

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Beauty Box September 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I def wear a separate sunscreen under makeup, even if there is SPF in my foundation or BB cream. I think base makeup cannot protect your skin enough, especially during the hot summer months. But if I am only going out for a couple of hours and won’t be in the sun much, I would just use my Diorsnow BB cream which has SPF50.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

That’s one of the great things about that Diorsnow BB – excellent coverage and good SPF! But then I do still have the sunscreen underneath LOL Too paranoid I think ;)

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Christine September 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I never go out without wearing my sunscreen.I wear my sunscreen even though I’m just throwing out the trash.I don’t rely on BB cream’s SPF because you need a very thick layer of BB cream to get that maximum SPF50 of protection.I’ve very dry skin so I don’t find wearing sunscreen as a burden at all.The oily texture of sunscreen makes me feel hydrated(I know it sound weird but that’s how i feel haha).But I really dislike wearing make up when I’m wearing my sunscreen.Burdens my skin and at the end of the day I can’t wait to go home and take off the make up(my face usually feels like mua chi after a long day). I never invest in expensive sunscreens(sheiseido chanel lancome) because I usually apply a thick layer of sunscreen for maximum protection.In the long go expensive sunscreen will hurt my wallet.I’m using the cheap one Sunsense $15 for 100ml from the chemist.It lasts and lasts and doesn’t hurt the wallet at all.Cheap sunscreens and expensive one doesn’t really make any difference just depends on wht kind of texture you prefer and your budget.I’ve been using Loreal Sunsense since I was 18 and 4 years later I’m still blemish free,my skin tone remains the same.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Haha I apply sunscreen when I do my day skincare routine so it goes without saying that I have it on regardless of whether I’m indoors or outdoors that day :D LOL “mua chi face” first time I’m hearing it :D I would have loved to like Sunsense but it broke me out so badly I’m deathly afraid to go near it again. L’Oreal UV Perfect was good for me when I was on a budget too. It does get a bit oily but nothing that some blotting during the day won’t fix :D It’s good to know you have a good sunscreen habit – good job! You’ll look 18 for years :D

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Biianca September 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm

It depends. On days where I feel like my skin needs to breathe, I’ll use bb creams. I’m using Shiseido’s very high protection sunscreen. It’s really thick that’s why there are days where I don’t feel like using sunscreen. And I’m not comfortable with throwing away stuffs so I’ll stick to this till it finishes.. Hehe.

But I do agree having sunscreen separately is better than relying on bb creams with SPF. It’s like multi tasking and doing a single task at one time. Bb cream is a multitasking product and when individuals multitask they will sometimes feel like they’re spread too thin.. The same can be said for bb creams. The full benefit of the sunscreen in bb creams are just not reaped there. For sunscreens because its their primary function to protect the skin and there is no other task being assigned to them. Therefore, sunscreens will be better in terms of protecting the skin against the sun’s harmful rays :)

My favorite sunscreen till today will be Hada Labo’s sunscreen and Sunplay’s SPF 23 sunscreen because of my skin type. I’m oily-combi and this too, so far has made my skin feel comfortable. Others I just want to wash it off ASAP!

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I like your analogy Biianca – multitasking vs single tasking. It sums it all really. When we multitask, we are only dedicating a portion of our attention to doing what we’re doing, while when we are just doing 1 task, we give it our full concentration, which pretty much sums up sunscreen vs spf in makeup :D I think Hada Labo sunscreens are good stuff. Light under makeup and make a great base, especially the blue whitening one.

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Adeline September 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Definitely use a separate sunscreen. In fact I prefer foundations without SPF so I never have to worry about flash photography

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Good point about flash photography Adeline! Yet have you realised how hard it is to find a SPF free foundation these days?!

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synical September 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I try to, but finding a sunblock that I can use on my face without getting shiny in a few hours is a gargantuan task :P

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Does the Hada Labo whitening one do it to you too? I find the Hada Labo and Biore ones a little more forgiving than the creamy textures found in many other brands :)

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Ting September 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm

there isn’t enough SPF in BB cream or foundations, is there? I separate them. :)

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Nope! Even if there was, we’d have to pile on the base and look like an opera singer LOL!

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Michelle Beh September 24, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I do sometimes wear the separate sunscreen under my makeup but it really depends what is the foundation that I used. I don’t like heavy feeling on my face though. Hence, I will prefer the powder foundation as well if I put up a separate sunscreen. However, I will occasionally just put up the CC cream with SPF in it after moisturiser. Whatever it is, as long as it did not make my face feeling heavy, I’m actually not too picky.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Might want to try finding a lighter sunscreen then Michelle – not every base product has good (or sufficient) SPF in it :)

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Jue September 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I used to hate wearing sunblock but after reading some reviews from your blog and trying the biore, it was really good and now I wear sunblock and foundation/ bb cream.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I’m glad you found one that works for you Jue :) I must say that sunblock is one of the hardest things to find a perfect match in because the texture just isn’t friendly and you do need a lot for it to actually serve any positive function. Happy for you it’s a wallet friendly choice! ;)

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MARLA ROBINSON September 24, 2013 at 9:58 pm

If I’m working outside in the sun, I apply a separate sunscreen. I’ve I’m just running errands I rely on my foundation sunscreen.

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Perhaps where we live does influence this as well, Marla :) Here where’s the sun is out a lot of the time, it’s probably not a good idea to just rely on foundation :)

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Natalie September 24, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Definitely separate for me, because I prefer to wear physical sunscreen, rather than chemical :)

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Paris B September 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm

I’ve been trying a physical one recently Natalie that doesn’t break me out! But it turns me so oily! Gah! Can only use it on weekends when I don’t wear makeup.

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Natalie September 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Really? Zinc does that to you?

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Paris B September 27, 2013 at 10:05 am

It doesn’t turn me oily but it does break me out if the zinc content is too high. I’m that rare 1% of the population that breaks out from it! LOL

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