Setting your makeup with SPF is probably one of our favorite summertime beauty hacks. Not only are you locking in the full-fledged beat you worked so hard to complete, you’re also protecting your skin against the sun’s UV rays throughout the day. Ahead, we tapped NYC-based makeup artist Mary Irwin to find out exactly when and how to use sunscreen as your setting tool.


Yes, You Can Actually Set Makeup With Sunscreen

Although not the equivalent of a setting spray or powder, you can in fact set your makeup with sunscreen. “You can use a powder sunscreen almost as a finishing powder,” says Irwin, “and I prefer this, because for SPF in a liquid form to be most effective, you have to really work it into the skin.” This means that sunscreen in powder form is most likely your safest bet for completing your summer beat without ruining it.


Reapplication Is Key

As far as what kinds of powders to reach for, try something like the IT Cosmetics CC+ Your Skin But Better Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+ or the Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45. “It’s a great way to seal everything in color wise and also give yourself sun protection,” says Irwin. It’s important to note that you don’t want to necessarily apply your SPF powder directly over your foundation “Instead, use it over your finished, powdered makeup as a final step,” she notes.


Remember, SPF Over Makeup Isn’t Everything

When it comes to sun protection, it’s important to remember that SPF doesn’t add up — “while it can be layered in different forms, it’s only as effective as the highest amount of SPF,” says Irwin. Another note to keep in mind is that because SPF powders often contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, they’re likely to cause flashback in photographs. Bottom line: Setting with SPF is a must in any summer makeup routine, but it’s important to remember to use liquid sunscreen underneath your makeup and all over your skin daily, too.


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