When Should We Apply Sunscreen Before Or After Makeup?

Last Updated on June 15th, 2023

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Sunscreen is important for all parts of the body when it’s exposed to the sun. That includes putting it on our faces. We may not think about putting it on our face because of the ashy or dewy look sunscreens can make us appear.

But do you know that your face can age faster if you don’t apply sunscreen? How about when you wear makeup?

There’s been a debate for so long on whether to put sunscreen before or after makeup. The reason for it is that we fear that it may ruin our makeup, so we don’t know exactly when to put it on.

If you’re ready to find out the answers to this dilemma, read on to see when you’re supposed to put it on. This way, your skin will be protected, and you will look great as well.

Woman with a smile on her face applying sunscreen - When Should We Apply Sunscreen Before Or After Makeup?

How Can You Apply Sunscreen without Ruining Your Makeup?

There is a way to apply sunscreen without ruining your favorite makeup. Here are some tips:


Use an SPF-friendly base for the foundation

You’ll want to use a sunscreen that can work well under the sunscreen. Unfortunately, a lot of sunscreens are not compatible with makeup because they make it run.

However, there are a few that work well under makeup, such as Daily Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen from Skinceuticals.


Use Powdered Sunscreen

Powdered sunscreen is designed to go over your makeup and is lighter than well. They’re also less messy, and it’s ideal as you go through the day in the sun. You can treat it like a regular powder and put it on in a circular motion until enough is applied.


SPF Setting Spray

This is another thing that you can use to help reapply sunscreen on your face.

You can also use the setting spray over makeup so you can reapply all day long as needed.


Blot Sunscreen on Face Gently

If you only have regular sunscreen, such as liquid, you’ll want to put it on gently so that your makeup does not get ruined. You can use a sponge to help with the gentle blotching.


How Long Before Applying Makeup Do You Need to Apply Sunscreen?

You should wait a few minutes before applying makeup to your face. This way, the sunscreen has a chance to penetrate into your skin, giving you protection. Make sure it’s a generous layer, as your skin will need every ounce of protection from the sun.


How Often Do You Need to Reapply Sunscreen if you’re Wearing Makeup?

Unless you are one of those who is in the sun all day, every 2 hours or so, you’d have to be outside the entire time for that amount.

For everyone else, sunscreen should be applied on your face when they expect to be outside at high UV times. So, for example, if you are going to be outside for a couple of hours in the early afternoon, you’ll want to apply sunscreen then.

Otherwise, just one to two applications are enough for most people to get the most protection.


How to Reapply Sunscreen over Makeup?

The most obvious way is to use your hands or a beauty tool, but this only works if you are using a true and tried sunscreen.

You’d also have to be wearing light makeup only for this method. But if you are looking for other methods or wearing heavier makeup, here’s how to reapply:


Use a tinted powder that contains titanium dioxide

These powders are perfect for oily skin, and the dioxide acts as a physical blocker, which means you’ll get maximum protection from the sun. It’s also compact and mess-free, so you don’t have to worry about getting powder everywhere.


Reapply using a spray-on sunscreen


This is one of the easiest ways to put on sunscreen. However, you should be aware that you may not get full protection, as you don’t know how much SPF is in the sprays. But it is easy and easily found in any store that sells sunscreen.


What Sunscreen is the Best for Applying on Makeup?

Besides spray-on and lotions, do you know what works best for applying makeup? If you don’t, here’s a short list of what works:




This sunscreen is a tinted powder that has an SPF of 50. It has a brush so that it’s easy to apply to your face. You’ll be protected all the time, and it is also water resistant for at least 80 minutes.


Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40

This sunscreen is true to its “name” that it is unseen because of the clear gel that disappears on your skin within seconds. It has an SPF of 40 and is water resistant for at least 60 minutes.


Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

This oil-free sunscreen is highly recommended because it layers perfectly underneath makeup.

Plus, it won’t give off that ashy feel, even if you have a darker skin tone. In addition, the ingredients are coral reef friendly, so if you care about the environment, you can feel good about that.


Final Thoughts on Applying Sunscreen

It’s important to put sunscreen on your face to deter aging if you are younger. The good news is that a variety of sunscreen works well with makeup.

Remember to reapply often so that you’ll get the ultimate protection. When it is, you can now enjoy your day without worries that the sunscreen will ruin your makeup.

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