How To Reapply Sunscreen Without Effing Up Your Makeup

We'd be willing to bet that most of you beauties slather on the recommended amount of facial sunscreen — that's half a teaspoon — every morning. You make us proud. That said, how many of you remember to keep applying it several times throughout the day?

(Crickets.)

We get it. Smearing a layer of sunscreen on top of your painstakingly applied foundation can seem as appealing as plucking your nose hairs. But it's important (like, really, really important) to make sure you stay protected by reapplying regularly.

We turned to L'Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist Sir John (the man behind Beyoncé's beauty looks) and board-certified dermatologists Dr. Jessica Weiser and Dr. Sejal Shah for foolproof methods that won't massacre your maquillage.

Read on for their expert techniques so that you never have to sacrifice sun protection or flawless makeup again.
1 of 7
Ace Your Base
Always start by applying sunscreen underneath your makeup (and over your moisturizer) for adequate coverage, says Dr. Weiser. It's critical that you spread a half-teaspoon of product over your entire face, which will seem like a lot at first, but keep rubbing until it's fully absorbed.

If you're turned off by thick, tacky sunscreens (because who isn't?), try a sheer lotion like Elta MD's or a weightless serum (we like La Roche-Posay Antioxidant Serum).
Advertisement
2 of 7
Double Up
Layering a tinted SPF on top of your regular sunscreen is ideal during the summer months. It adds additional protection and evens out your complexion.

"It's always best to ensure excellent sun protection with a true sunscreen, and, of course, it never hurts to apply makeup with SPF on top for additional coverage," says Dr. Weiser. SkinMedica's works overtime to shield against IR-A and UV rays while repairing existing sun damage.
3 of 7
Your Makeup Matters
Sir John suggests switching to cream or liquid makeup formulas in the summer, which won't clash with the texture of your sunscreen and can be easily manipulated and layered throughout the day. (As opposed to powder products, which can cake and cause obvious buildup.) L'Oréal's new luminizer adds radiance without feeling heavy.
4 of 7
Spray In Place
Coola's new makeup setting spray with SPF is ideal for touching up throughout the day. Dr. Weiser notes that this shouldn't replace your original pre-makeup sunscreen application — so don't skimp on that. Be sure to spray it thoroughly — like you would a spray-on sunscreen, not a lazy 2 p.m. facial mist.
5 of 7
Get Physical
When it comes to re-applying sunscreen, always choose a physical block rather than a chemical one. "Physical sunscreen will be more consistently effective over makeup because it creates a barrier to UV radiation, as opposed to the filter created when chemical sunscreen is absorbed into the skin," Dr. Shah says. "Because makeup leaves a film or residue on the skin's surface, it will be more difficult for chemical sunscreens to be properly absorbed for adequate protection."

Dr. Shah recommends mineral sunscreen powders like ColoreScience's Sunforgettable (which comes in tinted versions) and Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45, both of which contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide to physically block the sun's harsh rays.

Pro Tip:
Dr. Shah advises sweeping on two coats of powder, since it can be difficult to gauge the coverage.
6 of 7
Apply More Often
If powder products aren't your jam, it's NBD, because face sunscreen sprays now exist (Hoorah!). Dr. Shah suggests a mist that contains both physical and chemical blockers, such as Goldfaden MD's Sun Visor or Dr. Gross's Sheer Mineral Sun Spray SPF 50. BUT — and this is a big but — when using a spray or one of the aforementioned powders, you need to reapply more often than every two hours. Since you're using them on top of makeup, you're more than likely not using the recommended amount, Dr. Shah explains. Instead, shoot for every hour and make sure to apply as thoroughly as possible.

Now let's talk technique. Sir John, who's a huge fan of the new dry-mists on the market, says the best way to use them is to spray evenly all over your face and then go in with your fingers and slightly pat. "Definitely don't rub!" he stresses. "You'll make a mess."
7 of 7
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement