How to Use Sunscreen With Makeup

Hi everyone and welcome to Makeup Your Mind Mondays. I’m doing a regular feature every Monday (or thereabouts) where I’ll be answering some of your questions  on How to Use Sunscreen With Makeup and perhaps sharing some makeup tips.

It’s an evolving thing and it may not be every Monday (I do have a life) but I will try to make it as regular as possible, and as comprehensive as possible although sometimes a quick question can have an equally quick answer. For me anyway, it can get a bit tiring doing reviews and face of the day posts all the time – I want to mix it up!

Today’s topic is something that has only recently become close to my heart – sunscreen and How to Use Sunscreen When Wearing Makeup :


My time as a sun worshipper began pretty early. Growing up overseas with olive skin and a gaggle of American-California-girl friends meant that I was always in the sun – sunbaking, tanning, peeling – I even tried a piece of cardboard with tinfoil wrapped around it like they do in the movies. I never ventured as far as using baby oil but thank goodness for that.

As a result, I have a bit of annoying pigmentation on my face and arms and other strange places. It irritates me and I’ll do preventative stuff but I’m not so fixated with my appearance that I would ever go down an IPL or surgical route to get rid of my little freckles. Just can’t be bothered, really!

I am however, a huge proponent of using sunscreen. I have a family history of skin cancer on my dad’s side, and I personally know people who have had family members die from skin cancer. I get really angry when I hear of people using solariums, especially celebs.

Here are the most commonly asked questions that I get asked:

Do you really need to use sunscreen in winter? Yes. Just because it’s not sunny outside doesn’t mean the UVA and UVB rays aren’t coming down to getcha. Granted you’re covered up most of the time, but unless you’re wearing a balaclava every day your face is still exposed.

Sunscreen and moisturiser – which comes first? For me, my skincare routine in the morning is cleanse, serum, moisturiser, sunscreen, and then primer and foundation. You need your sunscreen to go after your moisturiser because your moisturiser is there to infuse goodness into your skin – your sunscreen is there to protect it, so it makes sense that it should go after.

How to Use Sunscreen With Makeup ?

– Apply sunscreen before moisturizer and makeup

– Try using mineral makeup

– Instead of foundation Use a tinted sunscreen or tinted moisturizer

– Carry translucent powder for touch ups

– Use a tinted compact with SPF

Is it ok to use a bb cream, moisturiser, primer or foundation that has SPF in it? It really depends on the level of protection that you want. For me, I recommend a minimum of SPF 30+ and a lot of moisturisers and makeup products only have an SPF of 15+.

I feel like a moisturiser or bb cream with SPF will do a better job than a makeup primer or foundation SPF with it. I don’t have anything scientific to back that up though. For me though, I wouldn’t trust it to completely protect your skin from the sun, especially if you’re going to have it on all day.

Also sometimes SPF in a foundation can leave a white cast over your face when you use flash photography. My preference is to use a foundation or primer without SPF so I have the option to go sunscreen-less at night when I don’t need it, and use a separate sunscreen during the day.

What sunscreen do you use? In my quest for the perfect sunscreen I spent about four days obsessively pouring over the Environmental Group Website looking for a sunscren that I had what I wanted, and offered reasonable international shipping. After speaking to Jen from My Funny Valentine and reading hercomprehensive review, I decided on SkinQR L’air du Soleil SPF 30 which I wear daily. It takes a while to sink in and leaves a bit of a white cast, but I wear foundation over it anyway so it doesn’t bother me.

What other products with SPF in it would you recommend? I’m really eager to tryDermalogica’s Solar Defence Booster which you can add to your existing moisturiser for added sun protection. I’ve also heard amazing things about the Marie Veronique Protect range, but unfortunately the shipping to Australia is just astronomical.

Are all sunscreens made equally? No. If this is a topic that interests you, I suggest you read the Environmental Group Website which has a lot of useful articles around the efficacy of different ingredients that are in sunscreen. Alternatively, my two sunscreen gurus are Jen from My Funny Valentine and the amazing Dempeaux who are the people I ask when I want sunscreen information.

Final thoughts? You need a sunscreen to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun – too much exposure to the sun will cause pigmentation and ageing, aside from more nasty things like leather-like skin in your 40s and skin cancer. If you only wear one thing on your face every day it should be sun protection.

I also think trying to find a sunscreen that won’t give you a white cast is overrated – if you wear makeup every day then what’s the problem? (And if you don’t need to wear makeup every day and have perfect skin then BAH I hate you anyway hahahaha) For me, I’d rather wear a sunscreen with a white cast, than no sunscreen at all.

I hope you guys found that helpful. If you have a burning question you’d like answered, you can use my formspring, leave a comment on this post, or just email me. Feel free to ask on twitter or facebook as well.

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