Tips for Applying Sunscreen with Makeup

June 1, 2018

If you want to reduce the risk of melanoma and keep your skin looking young and healthy as the years go by, you should wear sunscreen every day. It’s easy to slather your arms, shoulders and back with ordinary sunscreen, but what about the sensitive skin on your face? Oily sunscreen could create unwanted shininess and lead to breakouts.

The trick is to select the right sunscreen products for your face and apply them properly. Follow these tips for the best results.

Should You Wear Sunscreen on Your Face?

You might assume that if your makeup has SPF in it, you’re covered. This might be true when you spend the day indoors, but most foundation offers minimal protection with SPF 15 or lower, when SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Plus, makeup wipes off easily, affecting your coverage.

When choosing facial sunscreen, look for three ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and Avobenzone. These combined ingredients provide broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Plus, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide physical (not chemical) sun protection, meaning they are unlikely to irritate sensitive skin.

Woman with a makeup brush
Tips for Applying Sunscreen Under Your Foundation

Start the day off strong by applying sunscreen to your face, neck and ears every morning. When applied first, sunscreen acts as a primer for your foundation. Follow these application tips:

  • Rub a generous, even layer of sunscreen into your skin. We recommend ELTAMD® UV daily SPF 40. Wait several minutes to allow the product to soak in. Then, apply your preferred foundation.
  • For dry skin, try a moisturizing facial sunscreen like ELTAMD® UV facial SPF 30.
  • You can also choose tinted moisturizing sunscreen and skip the foundation altogether.
  • Finish your look with a setting spray that offers built-in SPF. Spritz it on before, during or after makeup application to hydrate your skin while shielding it from the sun.

How to Reapply Sunscreen When You’re Wearing Makeup

If you’re swimming or working up a sweat, plan to reapply sunscreen to your face (and other exposed skin) every two to three hours. If you’re not getting wet, sunscreen should remain effective for up to six hours. Now comes the question: how do you reapply sunscreen when you’re already wearing foundation?

Ideally, you would wash all your makeup off and reapply SPF below your foundation. However, this isn’t really practical, so a good alternative is to apply loose or pressed powder containing at least 30 SPF. If all you have is liquid sunscreen, go ahead and pat some on over your foundation. Let it penetrate your skin, and then touch up your makeup as needed.

Remember, protecting your skin from cancer should be your top priority, but it’s still possible to achieve flawless makeup when you follow the above tips. The dermatologists at Skin Cancer Specialists, P.C. & Aesthetic Center can help you select the right sunscreen and recommend other services to keep your skin looking young and healthy. To learn more, please schedule a consultation today by calling 770-422-5557.

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