Giving tips for applying sunscreen when you wear a full face of makeup is a really challenging area. We actually have a hard time advising on what is best to do, and we hope these tips and suggestions will help you.
In order for sunscreen to act properly, you have to reapply regardless of what planning to do during the day. It needs to be reapplied because the oil and sweat from your skin can be the cause of the loss of sunscreen protection.
When you’re outside, you need to reapply sunscreen every two hours in order to adequately protect your skin from the sun. But you also need to reapply sunscreen during the day when you’re not outside to protect you from the sun that comes in through window glass and sun that you may be exposed to just by going in and out.
UVA that comes through the window is responsible for a lot of photoaging and skin cancer risk, especially if you wake up early and apply it early because you’re getting ready early in the morning.
Then by the time you actually are in situations where you really need sun protection, it’s already gone. But if you wear makeup, it’s understandable that it’s difficult to put sunscreen on over the makeup.
It’s obviously going to smear it around and mess things up, and so that’s really frustrating. So what should you do?
1. Start with a base layer of water-resistant SPF50 or higher, broad-spectrum sunscreen
We suggest starting your day with a high SPF greater than 50, and the reason for this is that we know actually that higher SPF is actually better than lower SPF because of the way people apply sunscreen.
However, we don’t apply enough actually to get to the SPF on the label. So if you start out with a really high SPF sunscreen, it will obviously start to wear off during the day. If you started with an SPF 70, at midday, you might actually be still sitting out an SPF of 30.
We would suggest using a water-resistant sunscreen as well that way as you sweat throughout the day. It’s a little bit more hearty in terms of setting up.
Make sure you apply it to all surfaces of a head and neck that are going to be exposed as well as to any other sun-exposed areas on the body like your arms and your hands. Don’t forget areas around your eyes or the ears.
Allow it to set up on the skin and dry fully. Once it’s done and on, choose the makeup that has sunscreen in it.
2. Use makeup that has SPF in it too
Adding sunscreen on top of sunscreen doesn’t give you higher SPF, so if you have an SPF of 30 sunscreens on and you add a makeup that has SPF 15, that’s not going to be SPF 45.
We recommend choosing makeup that has sunscreen in it. The base layer you have is going to get disturbed and disrupted by applying the makeup – padding in, blending out – you’re going to remove some of them the sunscreens with makeup. So, at least you’ll replace what you’re taking off with sunscreen.
3. Touch up with SPF powder
It’s really important to reapply sunscreen even when you’re not outside, so you can try a sunscreen powder. You can dust that on over the makeup throughout the day, and that will increase protection and make the skin look less shiny.
But unfortunately, it’s not the most reliable way because you’re just putting little sprinkles of sun protection, and you’re not getting that good even layer.
So, it’s not ideal, it’s not perfect, but it is something that you certainly can’t reach for.
4. Use SPF sprays
You also can choose a sunscreen spray. A lot of people who wear makeup find that it helps the makeup setup better.
Like the powder, sunscreen spray is not as reliable as creams or lotions as far as the layer of protection, but they can certainly be helpful.
Ideally, you would spray them into your hand and then pop them into your face, but we do know that a lot of people actually spray them on the face. If you do that, make sure that you’re doing it in a location that’s not windy. That way, the sunscreen doesn’t end up in the air and ends up on your skin.
Don’t inhale the sunscreen spray or get it in your eyes or your mouth. We don’t know about the safety of that, and it obviously could cause a lot of irritation in your eyes.
So that’s another tool that you can incorporate into your daytime routine to get that reapplication on.
5. Wear a hat and sunglasses
Sunscreen is never enough so beyond that you should think about additional protection when you expose yourself to the sun, for example, when you are walking from your car to go into a building.
In that case, sunglasses are key. They not only for protecting the skin around your eyes, which is prone to sun damage and can lead to crow’s feet and skin cancers on the eyelids but also your eyes.
Sunscreen is not going to protect your eyes, so you need to wear sunglasses that will help as well.
6. Stay indoors between 10 am and 2 pm when burning rays are at their highest
You also want to avoid being outdoors when the sun is at its peak. That’s typically around midday, but it varies depending on where you live in the world.
A good way to gauge that is to look at something called the UV index. The UV index gives you a snapshot of the intensity of UVB and your risk of sunburn.
But if the UV index is low, don’t let that mislead you into thinking that you don’t need to protect your skin from the sun because the UV index only is giving you risk of the sun’s ability of burning.
Remember a big big big part of the sun is UVA those are the rays that penetrate really deeply into the skin and cause destruction of collagen.
That was not captured in the UV index. So even when the UV index is low, that’s still something that your skin is exposed to your need to protect your skin from.
That includes when you’re indoors, it’s at UVA that will actually penetrate through window glass, and this is important for not only reducing photoaging and skin cancer risk but a lot of skin diseases are sensitive to UVA specifically the non-burning rays, melasma, hyperpigmentation, etc.