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How To Wear Sunscreen & Makeup Together

When it comes to sunscreen, the rule of thumb is simple—wear it every day, all day, even if you’re spending the majority of your time indoors. But other SPF rules aren’t always so simple, especially when it comes to pairing sunscreen and makeup.

Check out our sunscreen Q&A below for everything you need to know.

What level of protection do you actually need?

When it comes to the level of protection needed, always reach for SPF 30 (or higher) to protect your skin. Anything lower than that won’t give you the sufficient coverage you need.

At what point in your beauty routine do you apply sunscreen?

Because you want skin-nourishing ingredients closest to your face, it’s crucial that you apply sunscreen as the final step in your skin care routine. After you lather a generous layer of SPF on your entire face, ears, and neck area and allow it to sink in, you can finish your beauty routine by applying your makeup. Read more about the correct order to apply skin care products here.

Is choosing a moisturizer or foundation with SPF in it good enough?

Choosing an everyday moisturizer that already has sunscreen in it to eliminate that extra step is one of our favorite tricks and will give you adequate coverage—just make sure the product’s SPF content is high enough. You can also mix your favorite moisturizer with sunscreen before applying it for easier application. When it comes to choosing a foundation with sunscreen, it’s important not to rely on makeup for the best source of SPF because it’s notoriously unreliable in terms of the level of protection. Choose a foundation you love regardless of its SPF content, and think of makeup with added sun protection as a bonus.

How often should you reapply sunscreen?

If you’re spending time outdoors—especially if you’re sweating or in the water—you should be reapplying SPF every 2-3 hours. Otherwise just applying it in the morning should be sufficient unless you have especially sun-sensitive skin. When it comes to reapplying sunscreen over makeup, things can get a bit tricky. For best results, choose a clear or spray sunscreen (there are even powder options) so that it layers sheerly on top of your makeup. Allow it to fully dry before touching your face or getting back in the water to ensure that your look won’t be ruined and that your skin is protected.

When it comes down to it, if you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors it’s best to keep your makeup to a minimum and sunscreen to a maximum in order to best protect your skin.

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