How To Reapply Sunscreen While Wearing Makeup

reapply sunscreen while wearing makeup

It would be great if we could apply sunscreen in the morning and forget all about it for the rest of the day. But, as we know, that’s not possible. After a while, sunscreen ingredients get all used up and lose their effectiveness, while sweat and water remove them from our skin leaving us unprotected.

So, we have to reapply it. That’s easy if you’re going barefaced, but what if you’ve spent time applying a full face of makeup? How do you put sunscreen on again without messing with it and ruining it? Here’s what I do:

On indoor days

I’m an indoor kinda gal, and, on most days, I don’t really spend that much time outside. Only from a few minutes to an hour or so while I walk to my car, drive around the town or run errands. Indoors, too, I try to stay away from windows, which let UVA pass through them. This means that my sunscreen doesn’t really have the time to become ineffective, nor do I sweat enough to melt it away. So, on these days, I don’t reapply it.

On burning hot summer days

If you’re spending a few hours outdoors on burning hot summer days, reapplying sunscreen is a must. So, I just keep my makeup to a minimum. First, I apply my sunscreen. If you use a chemical one, you should apply this even before moisturizer as its ingredients need to be in contact with the skin to get activated. Physical sunscreens, on the other hand, which act like shields, work from the moment you apply them, so it doesn’t really matter when you slather them on (as long as you do so before leaving the house, of course).

Now, for the makeup. I skip the foundation, and just dab on concealer on my under-eye circles and blemishes, and a stain or cream blush on my cheeks. If my skintone is uneven, then I’ll also apply a tinted moisturizer or a very lightweight liquid foundation. That way, when I need to reapply sunscreen two hours later, I can do so easily.

You could wear more makeup, but I don’t see the point. It’ll just melt away together with your sunscreen. Whatever you do, though, don’t apply any powder products (apart from maybe a thin layer of powder to set your makeup if you need to), because reapplying sunscreen on top of it would just create an ugly, patchy mess.

On warm and sunny days

If the sun is out but doesn’t burn too hot, and you’d like to spend a few hours outside, do a simple makeup look. After slathering on sunscreen, I apply a thin layer of lightweight foundation, dab on concealer and apply a cream blush. A couple of hours later, I gently reapply sunscreen by using quick and circular motions that won’t mess with my makeup.

Although chemical sunscreens are easier to apply over makeup, these need to be applied on bare skin to be effective. So, you have two choices. You can remove your makeup, reapply sunscreen and redo your makeup. Or you can apply a physical sunscreen on top of your makeup. This is what I do.

However, physical sunscreens often have a thick texture and leave an unattractive white cast on the skin that makes makeup reapplication a bigger pain than it already is. The key is to find a lightweight one that either applies clear or is tinted, such as Sunumbra SPF40 Sunkids (which can be used by adults, too, of course).

How do you reapply your sunscreen when you’re wearing makeup?

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  1. Janessa says

    I’ve been in a cave since I’ve been here at school but I do go running (you’re probably like eww, no! Haha I remember you asked if we liked running or something else in a Sunday Ramblings post) in the morning a few times a week just so I stay somewhat active and healthy. :)

    I reapply my sunscreen using one with physical ingredients in there, even if it’s a mixture of organic sunscreen as well just so I don’t have to wait for the ingredients to react with my skin. If I have makeup on and I need to reapply sunscreen, my face is probably gross and iffy so I will use a cleansing water (I don’t have to rinse off) onto a cotton pad and wipe my whole face before reapplying sunscreen then some blush and concealer, etc. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, I do hate running! lol. But it is a great way to keep fit, if you enjoy it. :)

      And I love your way of reapplying sunscreen. Using a cleansing water that doesn’t need to be rinsed off is a great idea.

  2. says

    I’ve been thinking about sunscreen quite a lot lately.

    Is the price real or is it inflated?
    There are those tales that producing a tube of lipstick costs 0.21$ or something and that everything beyond that is branding and fancy packaging.

    If sunscreens were being sold in tubs, and not in body lotion sized bottles, I believe people would be more open to the idea of using the right amount of sunscreen.

    Sunscreens need to become cheaper.
    If their price isn’t real, the companies need to adjust it.
    If their price is real, the governments need to subsidize it – it’s of public health interest.
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    Bookbinding, embossed and enamelled…My Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Ana, I couldn’t agree more. Deciding a price is not easy because you have to take so many things into consideration. There’s the cost of the ingredients, of the packaging, of your employees, of marketing, and of all the thousands of expenses a company incurs to operate efficiently. Then you have to take into consideration your market. I heard that some brands charge less in some countries because they know the people there wouldn’t buy their products otherwise. And if you’re a luxury brand, you have to make people pay for the exclusivity. And then of course if one of your competitors raises the prices, brands in the same price range tend to do so too so that consumers won’t think their products cost less because they don’t work as well…

      It’s a complicated matter and one on which there should be more clarity. Companies should be forced to explain to their consumers exactly what it is that they are paying for and how they came up with that price, imo. And if it is too high, reduce it. Especially when it comes to sunscreen. Not everyone can afford to buy a new bottle every few days/weeks (depending on where you live and how much time you spend outdoors), which is what you need to do if you were to apply it correctly. And if you don’t, it could seriously damage your health. *sighs*

  3. Regn says

    I just can’t imagine applying sunscreen over make-up. Am I supposed to mix the foundation that already is on my face (including some oil, dirt and sweat) with fresh sunscreen? Applying it on my whole face without messing up seems to be really impossible. I always have problems with reapplying my eyecream (I get really dry around my eyes, so I need to do it). I also can’t imagine wearing makeup without any powder whatsoever, especially on hot days. My skin is normal/dry, but I tend to sweat a lot, so powder is a must for me. Why does it have to be so difficult? *sigh*

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Regn, I know. Applying sunscreen on top of makeup can be quite gross, which is why, on days when I spend a lot of time outdoors, I like to wear only minimal makeup. Applying sunscreen over a thin layer of tinted moisturizer and a hint of cream blush isn’t as bad as applying it over a full face of makeup. In that case, it’d be better to remove everything, reapply sunscreen and redo your makeup. Although, if you sweat a lot, then chances are your makeup may have melted too, so reapplying sunscreen shouldn’t be too difficult.

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