Can you put sunscreen over makeup?

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Whilst most of us understand that it is important to reapply sunscreen throughout the day our good intentions can fall short when it comes to reapplying SPF over makeup. Most of us do not want to ruin our base by disrupting it with extra layers of sunscreen which can break up foundation and shift it around. 

However, reapplication is important to the effectiveness of sunscreen. Failing to reapply it will leave your facial skin vulnerable to UVA and UVB rays as well as the skin damage and ageing effects that come with it. 

What's the best over-makeup sunscreen?

In terms of texture, the best sunscreen over makeup will be one that’s light, quick-absorbing and non-greasy. This is because it will not require you to rub in the formula as much (which could smudge your makeup).  

The Eucerin Sun Face Hydro Protect Ultra-Light Fluid SPF 50+ is fast absorbing with an invisible finish. It is suitable for all skin types and offers a broad-spectrum protection with a non-greasy finish. This sunscreen is perfect for gently pressing over makeup without leaving a white cast. 

Formulated with Hyaluronic acid and Licochalcone A, this hydrates the skin whilst also neutralising free radicals caused by sun damage. This ultra-light sunscreen protects from UVA, UVB and HEVIS light and is suitable for those with sensitive skin.  


“Cream is not greasy to the touch and absorbs well into the skin."

- Na164

Another suitable over-makeup sunscreen is the Eucerin Oil Control Gel-Cream SPF50+ as it has an ultra-light formula that won’t leave the skin feeling greasy. It absorbs quickly so won’t leave a film over your foundation, and its anti-shine effect will ensure that it doesn’t spoil any matte makeup looks. 

It contains antioxidants to help fight free radicals as well as glycrrhetinic acid, which supports DNA repair to give skin extra support when exposed to sun damage.  

Best sunscreen under makeup

The best sunscreen under makeup would be one that leaves a smooth base for your foundation. Greasy formulas could cause makeup to slide throughout the day. At the same time, you want your sunscreen to be hydrating so makeup doesn’t flake or dry out on your skin.

Both the Eucerin Sensitive Protect and Photoaging Control formulas are light and non-greasy. These sunscreens are dermatologically-tested and safe for those with sensitive skin.


“perfect base for makeup and no need for extra moisturizer.”

- Pross165

The Sensitive Protect formula leaves a matte finish which makeup can easily be applied on top of, whilst the Photoaging Control sunscreen contains hyaluronic acid to add hydration and prep skin, making it a great SPF under makeup.


“It's great for under make-up as it doesn't leave an oily shine but is still quite moisturizing."

Liz, 2019

Best tinted sunscreen

Skipping the makeup altogether is sometimes the best solution for applying SPF with makeup. By just using sunscreen you can apply the product generously without concern for protecting your makeup from smudging.  

It is not advised to use foundations which contain sunscreen instead, because this likely won’t be applied in high enough quantities to offer the right protection. However, a tinted sunscreen could be the perfect SPF makeup alternative to offer light coverage for a no makeup, sun-kissed look.

“The tint is perfect for that no makeup makeup look.” Sassa

The mineral colour pigments create a light coverage when this tinted sunscreen is applied to uneven skin. It offers broad spectrum protection including HEVIS light, and contains actives to support DNA repair and free radical neutralisation so you can feel safe when you’re in the sun.

How to reapply sunscreen over makeup

Sunscreen can be reapplied over makeup in several ways. You can buy SPF in powder and spray forms to make this reapplication easier, however these may not provide enough protection for your skin. Some argue that it is impossible to achieve an even and adequate coverage with these forms of sunscreen.

Apply a good base of SPF

  • Why? Your first sunscreen application of the day will naturally be the most thorough so make sure you use enough! Though reapplication is necessary, a good initial base layer will help to make your protection last longer.  
  • How? Generously apply it and allow any white cast to soak in on its own. Leave it to absorb for a few minutes before your makeup application, so you do not accidently remove when applying your foundation.

Use a beauty blender to apply sunscreen

  • Why? Using a beauty blender for sunscreen reapplication can help distribute it without removing your makeup. 
  • How? Simply coat your sponge in sunscreen and press it across your face whilst avoiding any swiping motions. This allows you to use pressure to apply the product without wiping your foundation off.

Press your sunscreen in

  • Why? Rubbing sunscreen on your face will likely wipe off the makeup with it. Pressing motions are better for application and will coat your skin with minimal makeup disturbance. 
  • How? Distribute the formula between your hands and apply with pressing motions to your whole face. Then instead of working the product in, simply wait a few minutes to let it absorb on its own.

Use other forms of SPF protection

If you want to stay protected without ruining your makeup, then you might want to reach for a hat or choose to sit in the shade. This is often an overlooked form of protection but could be the best form, as it reduces your contact with sunrays altogether.

How much sunscreen should I use on my face?

A third of a teaspoon or enough to make a thick line from the tip of your middle finger down to your wrist, is the recommended adequate amount of sunscreen. Reapply every two hours to ensure you stay protected throughout the day.

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