How to Reapply Sunscreen Over Makeup

We all know reapplying sunscreen is important, but can it be done without ruining your makeup?

It’s important to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you’re spending time outdoors. But if you’re wearing makeup, it can be tricky to know how to properly reapply sunscreen without ruining your look.

We’ll share with you the five main methods for reapplying sunscreen over makeup – along with plenty of bonus tips to ensure a smooth, flawless look.

Option 1: Use a Makeup Sponge To Re-Apply Liquid Sunscreen

makeup sponge

Using a makeup sponge is many folks’ preferred method when it comes to reapplying sunscreen over makeup.

Apply sunscreen to the flat section of your makeup sponge, then dab and pat your sunscreen lightly over your face. Start off concentrating on a small section, such as your forehead, and ensure its fully covered before moving into the next section. This will help to evenly distribute the sunscreen without disturbing your makeup.

Press gently and avoid dragging the sponge, which could dislodge your foundation.

Option 2: Reapply With a Powder Sunscreen

makeup brush

Powder sunscreens are ideal for reapplying over makeup because they go on light, won’t disturb your makeup, don’t require any additional blending, and can even offer a subtle matting effect.

Most powder sunscreens for face use rely on zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients.

To apply, simply dip a large powder brush into the product, tap off any excess, and dust it over your face. Lightly dust the powder sunscreen over your face in a circular motion, concentrating a bit more on areas that may have been missed earlier, such as around the hairline.

Keep in mind that it’s common for people to under-apply powder sunscreen, so be generous with your reapplication. It’s better to have too much sunscreen than not enough. Powder sunscreen also has a drying effect, be careful if you have dry skin.

Option 3: Reapply With a Sunscreen Mist Spray

sunscreen face spray
Beautiful woman face spray on face lotion cosmetology on white background isolation

A sunscreen mist face spray can provide a great reapplication dose with minimal effort. Just make sure you are generous with the spray, as this is another situation where people frequently don’t apply enough.

You’ll also need to re-spray more frequently to protect against those dastardly UV rays – every 30 minutes if you’re sitting out at the pool, or ever 2-3 hours if you’re just popping outside here and there.

Unfortunately, it can be pretty tough to get a truly solid film of the mist over your face, which is required for reliable UV protection. The upside of mists is that they offer a nice dewy appearance, for those who like that look.

Option 4: Use a Compact


This is a great option if you want to kill two birds with one stone. A foundation compact with SPF can help to even out your skin tone and freshen up your makeup while also providing an extra layer of protection against the sun.

Just apply as you would any other foundation, using a brush or makeup sponge.

Make sure to not reinsert a sweaty sponge or brush into the compact after applying to your face, as this can contaminate the product and spread bacteria, leading to breakouts.

Option 5: Remove Your Makeup Completely, Then Redo

face wash

This is the most time-consuming option, and likely the process most of us are looking to avoid. But, the only way to really guarantee full, ongoing coverage is to take off your entire face and start with a fresh, full application of sunscreen, followed by makeup.

To remove makeup and take old sunscreen off your skin, you’ll want to use an oil-based cleanser alongside a water-based cleanser. Once all the grime is gone, you can start fresh!

The good news is this isn’t really necessary for most people. But, if you’re spending all day in direct sun exposure, this is really your only fool-proof sunscreen reapplication method.

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this video below showing various methods for reapplying sunscreen over makeup.

Tips for Reapplying Sunscreen Over Makeup

Here are a few tips for reapplying sunscreen over makeup:

  • Start with a solid layer of sunscreen on before your makeup. Applying sunscreen should be last in your skin regiment before adding makeup. The best way to protect your skin is to start with a good, full coverage base of sunscreen. Reapplying won’t do much if you’re starting off with a lackluster initial base coverage of sunscreen.
  • Let the sunscreen dry before applying makeup. This is key! If you apply makeup too soon before the sunscreen is dry, the sunscreen will start to pill and won’t adhere to your skin as well.
  • Use a light-weight sunscreen. A heavier sunscreen may be more difficult to apply over makeup without disturbing it. So, choose a light-weight sunscreen formula that will spread across your face easily and won’t leave your face feeling greasy.
  • Match liquid with liquid. If you’re using a powder formula, adding liquid sunscreen on top of it could cause caking issues. So, use a liquid or cream foundation if you plan on re-applying liquid sunscreen later.
  • Try a tinted sunscreen instead of foundation. If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors and will need to reapply sunscreen often, simplify your makeup routine by using a tinted sunscreen instead of foundation. This will provide sun protection and a light coverage, all in one step. You can also use a tinted sunscreen on top of your existing foundation too!
  • Use a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens (containing ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are less likely to cause irritation or have a chemical reaction with makeup ingredients.

Reapplying sunscreen throughout the day is essential for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. And with these tips in mind, you can confidently reapply sunscreen throughout the day without ruining your makeup!

Do you have any other tips for reapplying sunscreen over makeup that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below!

FAQ About Reapplying Sunscreen On Top of Makeup

How many times a day do I need to reapply sunscreen?

The official line is that you have to reapply sunscreen every two hours. But the truth, the two hour rule isn’t necessary for people who work indoors. If you’re spending most of your time inside, one to two reapplications a day should be enough. However, if you’re spending prolonged time outdoors in direct sunlight, stick to the two hour rule!

Should I wash my face again before reapplying a sunscreen?

Most people choose not to wash their face when reapplying sunscreen since they don’t want to disturb their existing makeup. However, if you’re sweating, your face feels oily, or you want to guarantee a full layer of coverage, your best option will be to remove all your existing old sunscreen and makeup, and then start fresh with a new set.

Can you reapply sunscreen on top of makeup?

Yes! In fact, reapplying sunscreen over makeup is a great way to make sure you’re getting full coverage protection from the sun. Most people like to reapply sunscreen over makeup through the use use a beauty sponge, which can be used to dab on a layer of lightweight sunscreen. Powder sunscreens and sunscreen mist sprays are two other solid options.

Do you put sunscreen on before or after makeup?

You should apply sunscreen after your moisturizer and before your makeup. Sunscreen should be the last thing you apply to your face before adding on your makeup.

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