Save vs Splurge: Eight makeup picks with SPF

When I suffered from a really bad case of chemical burn in high school, my dermatologist didn't immediately prescribe an ointment or some kind of product to soothe the red tomato color my cheeks were sporting. The first thing she did was to (playfully) chastise me for not applying sunscreen regularly! Confused, I made my case worse by telling her I thought sunscreens were only applied during the summer and when going for a swim because they’re expensive (this was before I learned that there are budget picks available).

I was never more wrong.

Applying sun protection daily is as necessary as brushing your teeth and washing your face. The sun and its harmful rays can do a great deal of damage on unprotected skin, whether rain or shine or indoors. Your skin becomes more vulnerable to irritation, develops dark spots and wrinkles faster, and puts you at risk for a life-threatening disease like skin cancer.

We're spoiled for choice at the large number of sunscreen options in the market now, so there's really no excuse to be skipping on this skin-saving habit. And don't think for a second that the SPF in your makeup is enough. You can't "layer on" SPF to add it up so unless you apply foundation so that it's thick enough to completely mask your skin, you still need to use a separate sunscreen and reapply as needed.

That said, using makeup that contain SPF can offer you an extra bit of protection and extend its wear. Plus, they cut off a bit of your prep time in the morning since they’re not just sunscreens. Here are some of our favorites.

SAVE: I used to think all sunscreens felt like thick and sticky lotions that took forever to dry before Biore UV Perfect Bright Milk SPF50+ PA++++ (P380 at department stores) proved me wrong. It has a watery formulation that makes it easier to get absorbed by the skin. It’s non-greasy, has a soft powdery finish, and gives the skin a slight brightening effect. Putting it on is like applying primer, highlighter, and powder all in one go! It sits tight on the skin even when other products are applied over it, allowing perfect makeup application.

SPLURGE: Want to brave a glowing, barefaced look? This Bobbi Brown Illuminating Face Base SPF25 (P2,650 at Rustan's) might just be what you need. This creamy base is slightly iridescent and makes the skin look radiant and healthy. It has a low SPF but it makes your skin smooth and easier to work with, allowing you to layer on products without a hitch.

SAVE: In a time when finding a shade that matched my skin tone perfectly seemed impossible, L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Makeup SPF17 (P600 at department stores) came to light and it was the greatest thing. Ever. This medium-to-heavy-coverage foundation can be a saving grace when you need your spots covered and you only have a few minutes to spare. Because of its slightly runny consistency, it blends and sits on the skin quite well, creating a silky and smooth face base.

SPLURGE: If you’re having trouble keeping your foundation intact, try Shiseido’s Sun Protect Liquid Foundation SPF43 PA+++. This water-resistant face base boasts of a fairly high SPF and works great on oily skin. With a light to medium coverage, it would be a perfect foundation to wear when going out, commuting, or working under humid weather. It also has a thin formulation, which makes it easy to apply.

SAVE: On lazy days, BB creams are great lightweight options. When I first swatched Maybelline’s Super BB Cream SPF50 PA++++ (P399 at department stores) on my hand, I was a bit hesitant because it looked a little thick and heavy. But upon application, I discovered that it's virtually weightless! It has a slightly matte finish and medium coverage that allows me to skip concealer. 

SPLURGE: For something light yet powerfully hydrating, Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF35 PA+++ is a great option. It has buildable coverage and a creamy, easy-to-blend texture. Staying power is quite good, plus it has a dewy finish that would look flattering on normal to dry skin.

SAVE: Many lip balms work wonders on chapped lips but offer zero sun protection. Nivea’s Med Protection Lip Balm SPF15 (P90 at department stores) can do both! Apply this before swiping on your fave lippie to keep your lips moisturized and protected. Want something with a hint of color? Check out PV’s other lip balms choices with SPF here.

SPLURGE: On days when the sun feels particularly cruel and merciless, better amp up your lip protection if you don't want a chapped pair. Most lip products generally just have basic SPF (around SPF10-20), so reach for the VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Lip Balm SPF60+ (P770 at VMV stores) for days that are just sweltering. This lip balm does have a bit of shine that it can pass as a gloss. Wear it over or under your lipstick - just make sure to put it on!

As much as these products do a great job of offering additional sun protection, makeup that contains SPF usually don’t photograph well. Protective ingredients like zinc oxide can create a white cast that becomes particularly obvious with flash photography. If you expect to get your photo taken (we're thinking "special event" not "selfies at the beach"), you may want to avoid makeup with SPF.

Got any more makeup faves that help protect against sun damage? Share them in the comments!