How to wear Sunscreen Under Makeup?

As you know I rant and rave about the benefits of sunblock. Especially zinc base sunscreen. It is a must for all ages and all skin types. It is an essential layer of your skincare routine and there is a right way to wear it without your makeup being affected and still lasting all day long. Wearing sunscreen is one of the best and proven anti aging action that you can and should do every day whether the sun is shining or not as the damaging UV rays do not stop just because there are clouds in the sky. Some of your makeup and moisturizers may have some SPF rating and mineral makeup will normally have a SPF 6 or higher but most don’t. My favorite liquid makeup has no SPF rating.

Secret tips with sunscreen and makeup.

Chemical Based Sunscreen – as this type of sunscreen needs to be absorbed by the skin for a minimum of 30min prior to being exposed to sun it is important to apply this type of sunscreen after your serums and before your moisturizer and makeup. Many people prefer the feel of chemical based sunscreen but it has some major drawbacks when wearing makeup. Chemical base sunscreen effectiveness reduces every minute it is exposed to the sun and this is why you need to reapply it every 3 hours to maintain its full effectiveness. If you are going out when there is only 3 hours left of sunlight then this is okay but if not it will mean that you would have to fully remove your makeup and reapply your sunscreen moisturizer and makeup every 3 hours.

Physical Based Sunscreen. This type of sunscreen sits thinly on top of your skin reflecting the sun damaging UV rays away from you plus it only becomes less effective if you start sweating heaps or drenched by rain. In either of these cases you would need to reapply your makeup. But there is a trick so that you makeup applies evenly over your skin and not slides off your face.

Firstly I use zinc bases sunscreen that has micronized zinc – commonly called invisible zinc. This fine zinc but not the contraversial nano size and it applies more evenly over the skin plus feels light on your skin without making your skin look white.

The second secret trick –  is to place the sunscreen into the palm of your hand and then mix a little of your primer into the sunscreen. This ensures that the sunscreen sits evenly over your skin and helps makeup to adhere better to your skin, so that it won’t melt or smear off during the course of the day especially in the heat of the summer. The primer is the key to making your makeup play nice with your sunscreen.

The next makeup trick is to wait until the sunscreen primer mixture to dry on your skin. This only takes a minute (I usually clean my teeth during this time) Once dry then apply your makeup as normal and you will find that you will have great sun protection and long lasting and perfect makeup.

As for makeup touch-ups throughout the day, a mineral based cushion compact will be your best friend and will top up your SPF.

No matter which sunscreen you choose to use make sure you cleanse your face thoroughly at the beginning and end of the day so as to remove any sunscreen, makeup, primer that can stick in your pores and cause breakouts if you’re not careful. Plus a well cleansed skin will always give you a better makeup finish.


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debra spence
Debra Spence is a Qualified Medical Aesthetician, Cosmetic Scientist, Lecture and Author. Owned of an Australian National Award Winning Medi Spa. Now is concerntrating on Education of Skin and Skincare plus provideing advance treatments to her private patients. Plus developing Zen Dejour a Result Based Cosmeceutical Skincare Range and Dermal Solution Private Lable Professional Skincare.

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