Sun Tanning Questions

Does Sunscreen Work Under Makeup? (Best Application Method)

Written by: Anastasija

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Sunscreen is most definitely an extremely relevant skincare essential for protecting your body, as well as your face, from any damage. While it is important to protect the skin on your body, we generally have a tendency to protect that on our face more, and the skin here is also more prone to damage, such as aging, which is what you’ll want to protect it from.

Most people, however, wouldn’t be willing to give up their makeup routine for the benefit of their skin if they don’t have to, so one thing is important to know: does sunscreen work under your makeup?

Why is your sunscreen important?

For most of us, it has become obvious that we need to start taking care of our skin by making the use of sunscreen a regular, daily process, but not many know exactly why it should be implemented into a solid schedule.

sunscreen and makeup

If you are wondering why it’s so important here are just some of the reasons for and benefits of using sunscreen:

  • Regular use = increased benefits: although it sounds logical, and it’s not exactly a reason why you should use sunscreen in the first place, the more often you use your sunscreen, the less likely you are to suffer from any sun-damage-related problems in the future, as you spend more time protected than unprotected.
  • Prevented premature skin aging: the UVA rays which come from sunlight penetrate deeply into the layers of the skin, and this can cause premature skin aging in the future, which can be prevented with the use of a sunscreen.
  • Prevented sunburn: everyone knows that sunscreen prevents sunburn, caused by UVB rays, and this is something which is really important to avoid in order to prevent future problems.
  • Lower risk of skin cancer: your risk of developing melanoma, the most fatal type of skin cancer, is heightened dramatically when you spend too long in the sun without protection or when you get a sunburn. Avoiding these will lower your risk significantly.

Of course, there are so many more benefits of using your sunscreen on a regular basis, but these are the most important incentives.

How effective is a sunscreen under makeup?

So, you’ve bought your brand-new sunscreen, and you’re ready to go outside to conquer the day whilst still being protected from the sun, but there’s one problem – you want to wear makeup. Is this still possible? Dilemmas like this can be difficult, especially when you’re in a rush, or don’t want to make a compromise, so here’s the answer to your question.

sunscreen under makeup

In short, yes, you can wear a sunscreen underneath your makeup while it still protects your face from any dangerous UV rays, so there’s no need to worry about your face products making any difference to the safety of your skin. The main thing is that you are remembering to wear your sunscreen in the first place, as this is the most important detail to think about. The more often you remember to apply your sunscreen, the less likely you are to suffer any sun damage or its effects in the future.

Both chemical and mineral sunscreens (the two different types) can be used underneath your makeup, despite the fact that they work in different ways. It doesn’t matter how they work on your skin, it’s just about the fact that both types of sunscreen filter out the UV rays in their own ways, and neither of these methods are affected by makeup, as the skin absorbs the protective product and any other additional product on top just acts as an additional layer.

It’s important, however, that you remember to apply your face products, such as skincare and cosmetics, in a certain order, especially if you are using lots of them, in order to ensure that your sunscreen has the opportunity to work its magic. In case you’re wondering what this order is, you should follow something along the lines of:

  1. Wash or cleanse your face
  2. Apply any moisturisers, serums, etc
  3. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen (at least SPF 30 in the summer!)
  4. Wait for a short amount of time for the sunscreen to be absorbed into your skin – if you are using a chemical sunscreen, it’s best to wait 20 minutes for the product to become fully effective if possible
  5. Continue with your makeup and other cosmetics
  6. You’re ready to carry on your day with confidence!

Some things which are very popular at the moment are face makeup, such as foundations or tinted moisturisers, which have an added benefit of sun protection. You’ll know if this applies to your cosmetics as it will most likely be written on the packaging. If this is the case for your products, remember that the protection this offer is usually very low, despite what it says the SPF is, and applying multiple products with an SPF on top of each other will not protect you any more than your sunscreen will on its own.

Also read: Does Spray Tan Protect You from The Sun? (Best Sunscreens)
Does Sunscreen Ruin Fake Tan? (4 Ideas To Prevent It)

How can you make your sunscreen more effective?

Even though it’s clear that sunscreen is both important as well as effective underneath your makeup, you may still be wondering how you can increase its performance. Here are some easy fixes and ideas:

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen: a broad-spectrum sunscreen simply means that it covers you for both UVA and UVB rays, and this ensures that your skin is covered for all circumstances.
  • Apply products in the correct order: using the order stated above when applying skincare and makeup products can ensure the best results from your sunscreen. If you already have makeup on, the best thing to do is remove it first, and then apply your sunscreen.
  • Use a mineral sunscreen: there are two types of sunscreens, mineral and chemical. If you’re looking for the best results when wearing sunscreen under your makeup, using a mineral one can be a safer option, as it doesn’t require the same amount of time to soak into the skin – it’s effective immediately!
  • Use the correct SPF: there are different levels of SPF available from different sunscreens and using the right one is really important. During the summer months, or sunnier days, you’ll need at least SPF 30, while SPF 15 or 20 should do the job if you’re staying inside all day, or it’s much darker outside.
  • Use additional SPF products: although, as explained earlier, using additional cosmetic products which contain an SPF won’t increase your protection, using them can just give you peace of mind that your skin is covered adequately.
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Final thoughts

In more simplified terms, your sunscreen is still effective underneath makeup, as long as you are thoughtful about the order in which you apply your various cosmetic products, and remember that sunscreen itself is the most important thing to focus on. There are also ways you can make your sunscreen more effective if you really feel the need to.

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

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