SPF and flash photography

SPF and flash photography

You may have heard that it’s best to avoid products that contain sunscreen if you’re going to be photographed, but there’s a little more to it than that:

Certain makeup products (usually foundations and powders) contain ingredients like silica, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that can cause your face to appear white in flash photography. If you’re not going to be photographed, it doesn’t matter whether your makeup is formulated with these ingredients—there won’t be any visible white cast in person.

If you’re going to a special event or are expecting to be photographed, you might want to avoid foundations that contain physical sunscreens—Make Up For Ever HD Foundation is a great option, just stay away from their HD Microfinish Powder, which does flash back because it’s formulated with silica. CoverFX’s SettingFX and MatteFX powders are better options.

One more thing to consider: if you’re being photographed by a professional, you probably don’t need to worry about this because almost all professional photographers avoid using direct flash. If a camera’s flash is bounced off of another surface before it hits your face, you avoid the white glow physical sunscreens can produce during direct flash photography.

Bottom Line

Avoid products formulated with silica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide if you’re going to be photographed with direct flash (using a point and shoot or phone camera, for example). For everyday wear and situations where photos are being professionally taken, you can probably get away with wearing products that contain those ingredients.

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