Today’s question, submitted via the FutureDerm.com Facebook page:I have tried the Peter Thomas Roth instant mineral powder in SPF 45, but I wonder if it’s actually doing anything. What’s your take on this?
You are absolutely right for being a bit skeptical. Any powder product requires about 14 times the amount of normal powder application to receive the SPF listed on the package. This is because scientists test facial powders to determine SPF in a manner mandated by the FDA, assuming that 2mg of product will be used per cm2 of skin. The average face is about 600cm2 (although that varies from person to person, of course), meaning that a person needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product’s label. However, most women only apply about 0.085g of powder at a time – fourteen times less than you need to get the SPF listed on the package!
The problem is not as significant with foundations, but still alarming. Most women are getting about 60-80% the sun protection listed on the bottle. This is determined by the fact that most dermatologists recommend applying 1/4-1/3 a teaspoon of sunscreen (1.23-1.62 mL) to the face, but most foundation applications are approximately 1 mL. (for instance, in my favorite foundation, Chanel Vitalumiere, there are an estimated 30 uses in the 30 mL bottle.) Dividing 1 mL by 1.23 or 1.62 gives us a nice estimation that we are getting about 60-80% of the sun protection listed on the bottle.
Still, unless you want to pull a Miss Piggy and apply 2-3 times the foundation (and 14 times the powder!), it is vital to use a daily moisturizer with sunscreen under your makeup. I recommend LaRoche Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen SPF 60 ($21.88, Amazon.com) and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen SPF 100 ($21.12, Amazon.com). I also think it is worth mentioning with the winter months approaching that if you do not get much (if any) sunscreen-free UV exposure, it is important to take a vitamin D3 supplement like GNC Vitamin D3 ($9.99, Amazon.com) daily to maintain strong bones and a healthy immune system.
Never, ever depend on your makeup for adequate SPF protection.
Hope this helps,
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