May 27, 2015

"Can I Use the Same SPF for Face and Body?"

As an online skincare coach, a great many of the Eval by Email® forms I receive on a day to day basis reveal a pretty substantial number of Adult Acne sufferers who use the same moisturizer for day and night, or the same SPF lotion for face and body.  It may seem like this wouldn’t have any part in acne formation, and indeed, the part that moisturizers play in worsening acne is the same for all types of lotions; the presence of pore-clogging ingredients.  But there are other things to consider as well.

So, this week I'd like to tackle the question of Face vs Body SPF, and next week SPF vs Night lotions.

Is there really that much difference between 
Face and Body SPF lotions?
Let’s consider a few things.

SPF lotions for body are more likely to be pore clogging
This is true even of “sensitive skin” brands, and brands whose advertising implies that their products are healthy for the skin.  Since most people forget how much the hands and arms can touch the face every day, it’s easy to see why so many skincare formulators would use moderately to highly comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients in body moisturizers, figuring it doesn’t really matter. 

Consider that in order for a pore-clogging ingredient to really be detrimental, the consumer has to be clog-prone and predisposed to having acne.  With this in mind, we can easily see why manufacturers might think it doesn't matter how they formulate their SPF body lotions.  In addition, most pore-clogging ingredients happen to be very moisturizing and penetrative in ways that feel really good to the skin, which is why they’re so pervasive.  Truth is, the chances that an SPF lotion for body is going to cause a breakout when it accidentally gets smeared onto your face is quite high.

SPF lotions for body are likely to be more emollient
One of the things that bothers me most about the way so many SPF lotions are formulated, is there seems to be a universal assumption that everyone who purchases an SPF lotion must have skin that’s horribly dried out by the sun.  This can happen even when a lotion is not a hot mess of pore-cloggers.  The fact is, any dryness caused by sun exposure is from dehydration due to the way the sun damages the skin.  The breakdown of collagen protein, which is located in the skin’s lower layer and what holds the water you drink to your skin, is the cause of this dehydration, not a depletion of oils.  Besides, as we all know, the last thing oily skin needs is more grease.  More on how this actually happens here

So why not just use a face SPF on your entire body?  Cost.  Here's the kicker - the most pore clogging emollients happen to be really cheap, whereas the ones that are better for face are very much not.  Also, the ingredients that are most effective at hydrating the skin make large sizes cost prohibitive as well.  Kinda like a government subsidizing grain instead of fruits and veggies...   

There are a few brands of SPF that I do believe are acne-safe.  CeraVe now makes a nice SPF30 body lotion, which I like better than their SPF50.  VaniCream does as well, but I find the texture a bit greasy.  I use my face SPF on my chest and all sides of my neck.

Many of us do experience more dryness on the body than on the face, which is why we use body lotions that we would never in a million years put on our faces.  Formulators know this, which is why they’ll sometimes create face versions of their SPF lotions.  Sometimes.  Most actually don’t, though.  The only reason I can think of for this is that most formulators of SPF lotions for body still think Sun Tanning rather than Sun Protection, which means their lotions are presumably being used on the face.  Ew.

SPF lotions for face are often more comfortable
Very, very few SPF face lotions are actively hydrating to the skin, and a few of those still feel gross to those of us with extremely oily skin.   Not all that comfortable.  This is why I see so many Eval by Email® forms with the field for SPF left blank!  But most of the time an SPF lotion for the face is indeed being used.  

Here’s something to really think about;  It is indeed possible to have an SPF lotion that is not only as comfortable as any nighttime lotion, but hydrating as well!  I meet many people who feel the need to apply nighttime lotion in the morning along with their SPF.  Wouldn’t one lotion be great?  Check out the ones I have at my web store!  I carry only these and no others because they’re literally the only ones I trust enough to sell to my Adult Acne and Sensitive clients.  It's not easy to find SPF face lotions that are comfortable, hydrating and guaranteed non-clogging all at the same time.

Next week: Do I really need a separate nighttime lotion ?

Would you like help in choosing the best daytime lotions for your particular Adult Acne or Sensitivity condition?  Suggestions for body SPFs and how to get rid of body breakouts and discoloration are at the ready any time as well.
Fill out my Eval by Email® Online Skincare Consultation form designed for ages Gen-X to Baby Boom, living anywhere in the USA !

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