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How to Re-Apply Sunscreen Over Makeup

How to Re-Apply Sunscreen Over Makeup

Sunscreen can be the difference between youthful, glowing skin and dull, sagging skin.

Trouble is, many people are skipping a step that could be the cause of those random fine lines and wrinkles forming on your face: failing to apply sunscreen over makeup.

You should apply sunscreen before makeup, but it's imperative to re-apply SPF (sun protection factor) if you are in the sun for an extended time. Doing this will protect your skin from harmful UV and UVB rays that can lead to premature aging and even skin cancer.

Sunscreen over makeup??? Isn't that messy?

Not to worry, there are plenty of easy ways to re-apply your SPF to ensure high-level protection from the sun all year long! In fact, there's a perfect method for every skin type. 

Discover some of our favorite skincare products to make sunscreen reapplication easier, and how to reapply sunscreen over makeup -- minus the mess.


#1: Start with a Sunscreen Base

Always wear sunscreen under your makeup to ensure skin is protected from the start. And make sunscreen application part of your daily skincare routine to ensure it gets the protection it needs to stay healthy and youthful.

"The best way to approach sunscreen and makeup is to lay a strong foundation of sunscreen before applying any makeup," says Marina Peredo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist who practices aesthetic, laser, and surgical dermatology. 

Opt for SPF 15 if you'll only be able out 20 to 30 minutes, and SPF 30 if you'll be out any longer than that. Those with fair skin should reach for an SPF 50 formula for maximum UV protection. 

While she strongly recommends reapplying SPF throughout the day, she says your best bet is taking the multitasker approach, aka, tinted SPF. Using sunscreen tints can take the place of a heavier foundation, and are ideal for daily use.


#2: Brush on Powdered Sunscreen

To avoid mess, smudges, and smears during an SPF touchup, the derms recommend sweeping on a powder sunscreen for broad-spectrum protection. Besides offering a clean finish, these powders are easy to use and provide a matte finish -- perfect for oily skin types. 

Truth is, you can't just massage your regular mineral sunscreen into your skin when you've got a full face of makeup. Unless you want a makeup disaster on your hands, and nobody wants that!

Powder SPFS are an innovative way to get the UV ray protection you need without messing up your makeup. Make sure you choose a water resistant formula! And look for one that contains either titanium or zinc oxide, as these are mineral-based sunscreens that are great for giving you a physical barrier of protection from the sun. 


#3: Spritz Over Setting Spray Sunscreen

Celebrity makeup artist Mai Quynh swears by setting sprays with built-in sun protection. "They're clear, so there's no white film, and they go on lightly as a fine mist," she says. You can simply spritz them on before, during, and after makeup application to protect your skin from sun exposure. These sprays are ideal if you have sensitive skin or dry skin since they offer hydrating effects.

Lucky for you, there are plenty of SPF products to choose from, so you won't be stuck for choice when it comes to shielding your skin from sun damage.


#4: Blot Your SPF with a Makeup Sponge

To preserve your makeup look while boosting your UVA protection, try reapplying your fave physical or chemical sunscreen using a clean makeup sponge. Dab your face and press the sunscreen in rather than blending, which will only result in a whole lot of smudging.

Ideally, you always want to use a generous amount of sunscreen in order to get the most protection. However, it's best to use thin layers when re-applying sunscreen over makeup otherwise things could quickly become very messy.


#5: Sunscreen Sticks

Sunscreen sticks are a fantastic option if you want something completely mess-free for your on-the-go bag. They're easy to use, and a clean way to apply sunscreen. Plus, they ensure full coverage.

You can either pick a foundation or concealer-like stick that has pigment and SPF -- the preferred option for touch-ups throughout the day. Alternatively, try sunscreen sticks that go on clear, which are easier to apply over a face full of makeup. Simply rub the stick onto your fingers, and then tap all over your face. Easy!


#6: Layer Sunscreen Over Vitamin C

"Vitamin C protects the skin from oxidative free radical damage and works best in the morning," says dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein. It also brightens the skin tone and can even fade discoloration. 

According to Marchbein, when vitamin C is used with sunscreen, it can boost overall results and efficiency.

"Vitamin C serums should always be layered under sunscreen because they compliment one another and will protect skin against UV damage," she explains. 

Try Rainbow's Smooth Bundle. It includes a face mask and serum made with vegan collagen and vitamin C to smooth, brighten, and protect your skin. Remember to wear it under your sunscreen for an extra protective boost!


#7: Remove Makeup and Re-Apply SPF

While it's perfectly possible to layer sunscreen over makeup, if you're out for long periods of time, sometimes it's just easier to start fresh. Remove your foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer, and apply sunscreen to a clean, dry base. Wait 20-30 minutes before sun exposure. 

It's important to be more vigilant with prolonged sun exposure. While it might be a little inconvenient to remove it all and start again, you'll thank us in a few years when you see how radiant and youthful your complexion looks. 


As you can see, you have plenty of options when it comes to re-applying sunscreen when you're wearing makeup. In addition to spraying, dusting, or blotting on SPF, remember to cover up with sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing for extra protection. The less skin you expose, the less likely you'll have to deal with the repercussions of sun exposure.




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