How to Wear Sunscreen Under Foundation, According to an ExpertMay 08, 2020
What SPF Should You Be Wearing?
Simple: “SPF 30,” says Dr. Katz. “I tell my patients to apply it evenly all over until it vanishes. And for both UVA and UVB protection, it’s important to look for these three ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and avobenzone,” he says.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are physical sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens. If you have sensitive skin, you should look for sunscreen that uses those ingredients as they are unlikely to irritate your skin. They provide a physical barrier to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays; it’s like wearing a mask. Plus, you can apply this sunscreen under your foundation — it even acts as a primer. Don’t forget to apply some to your neck and ears!
But What If My Foundation Already Has SPF In It?
Your makeup already has SPF in it, you’re covered, right? “Don’t rely on makeup for the best source of SPF as it’s notoriously unreliable in terms of the level of protection,” says Dr. Katz. “Plus, makeup isn’t always applied evenly and comes off easily,decreasing optimal coverage. You want to wear sunscreen underneath your foundation — it actually provides a better base for your makeup application.”
He also recommends waiting a few minutes before applying your foundation to allow your sun protection to set. So, yes, your morning routine should include applying sunscreen before your makeup. Don’t skimp on application either. Make sure you get a generous even layer of sunscreen on your face before applying any other cosmetic products. Choose a foundation you love regardless of SPF, and think of makeup with added sun protection as a bonus.
How Do I Reapply Throughout the Day?
That depends. “If you’re sweating or swimming, I recommend that you reapply sunscreen every two to three hours, but if you’re not getting wet, it can last four to six hours,” says Dr. Katz.
Now an answer to the question we have been waiting for — how do you reapply SPF when you’re already wearing makeup? “For maximum protection, sunscreen should be applied directly onto skin, underneath any makeup, other moisturizers or skin-care products. You can put sunscreen on over your foundation, but ideally, you would wash it all off and reapply — although we know most won’t really do that,” says Dr. Katz. An alternative? Loose powder or a mineral veil with added sun protection. Just don’t forget to wear physical sunscreen underneath your makeup and avoid staying near windows for long periods of time when inside.
Even if you prefer using a liquid sunscreen, don’t let that deter you from reapplying it over your makeup — pat some on, and use it as an opportunity to retouch. Protecting your skin from cancer is more important than flawless foundation.