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How to Wear Sunscreen Under Makeup

March 06, 2020

We’ve busted enough sunscreen myths that chances are you already know how important it is to wear broad-spectrum SPF every day as directed, in addition to taking other sun protection measures. Once you adjust your skin care routine, this probably seems like a simple enough rule to follow—until you add makeup into the mix. What happens when you want to wear foundation? Should sunscreen go over it? Or should it go under foundation? Well, let’s get this sorted out. Below, we’re filling you in on our best sunscreen to wear under makeup and sharing a step-by-step routine for layering SPF and foundation.


Broad-spectrum sunscreen should be the last step in your skin care routine before moving onto makeup. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should wear a broad-spectrum formula with an SPF value of 15 or higher daily as directed. In regards to how much sunscreen to apply, the FDA says to use at least one ounce of sunscreen (that’s about a shot glass’ worth) from head to toe and reapply it at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.

To help streamline your skin care routine, pick a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30. Formulated with Pro-Retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C, this offering covers all the bases for sun protection and hydration, which is why we’re naming it our best sunscreen for under makeup.

As for those additional sun protection measures we mentioned above, the FDA recommends limiting your amount of time in the sun (especially during the sun’s peak hours between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), seeking shade, and covering up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.


Next up: foundation time! Look for one that’s suited to your skin type. If you have oily skin, for example, you may want to consider using a matte finish foundation. Meanwhile, if you have dry skin, a radiant foundation could be a good option for you. Then comes the task of picking out the right foundation shade. To make things easy, the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super Blendable Makeup comes in more than 40 shades.

Once you’ve found your match, apply it using a makeup blender. Bounce and blend the foundation onto your face with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender for a seamless finish. Of course, you could also always go bare-faced, which will make reapplying sunscreen a whole lot easier.

Editor’s note: Are you wondering about foundation with SPF? That’s an option, too! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you can use your foundation as a second line of defense against the sun. One of our favorites is the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation, which is formulated with SPF 25.


After applying your foundation, finish up your makeup routine with the following products.

Mascara: Sweep on a single coat of waterproof mascara, such as the L’Oréal Paris Unlimited Lash Lifting and Lengthening Waterproof Mascara Blackest Black.

Eyeliner: No matter if you choose to rock a cat eye or a fine line, you surely want your eyeliner to stay in place. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner has a waterproof, long-lasting, smudge-resistant formula that comes in an array of beautiful hues.

Brow gel: When you draw or paint your brows on with makeup, the worst thing that can happen is having them shift on your face. Try the L’Oréal Paris Unbelievabrow Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel, which has a smudge, transfer, and sweat-resistant formula. Use the doe-foot applicator to fill in sparse areas, the angled brush to sharpen your shape, and the spoolie to blend everything out.


Like we told you earlier, according to the FDA, sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours. If you’re makeup-free, then reapplying sunscreen is pretty simple—just put some more on, and you’re good to go. But what if you do have foundation on? We have a feeling you’re not going to want to take your makeup off, reapply sunscreen, and then begin your makeup routine all over again. Instead, your best bet is to find a broad-spectrum sunscreen formula that can easily be applied overtop of makeup without messing it up. You may want to think about using a powder sunscreen or an SPF setting spray for reapplication purposes.

Sticking with the topic of sun protection, check out our article, Which Sunscreen is Best? Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen, next.

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