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which goes first makeup or sunscreen

Does Sunscreen or Makeup Go On First?

As a dermatologist I’m often asked by patients, “Does sunscreen or makeup go on first?” It’s confusing because reapplying sunscreen over makeup can destroy all the work you have put into your makeup. It gets even more confusing because many makeup products claim to provide sun protection. Is the makeup SPF good enough? Do you reapply the product like you do sunscreen?

In my latest video, get my dermatologist’s tips so that you can confidently answer the question next time someone asks you “does sunscreen or makeup go on first?” Trust me, it’s a common question. I also help you understand what sunscreen is best under your makeup.

To know the order of applying sunscreen or makeup, it’s important to understand the role of makeup in your skin care routine.

does sunscreen go under or over makeup dermatologist explains

Makeup is the final creative color product layer applied on top of your Complete Skin Care Routine. Sunscreen is applied under your makeup. Your sunscreen will significantly affect the look of your makeup and so matching your sunscreen to your skin type is important.

How do you pick the best sunscreen to go under your makeup?

Decide if your skin is oily, normal, dry or a combination. How do you like your skin to feel once all your products have been applied? Are you in a humid or dry climate? Will you be sweating? Does your skin build up oil as the day progresses? If you use a sunscreen that does not match your skin type your makeup will slip, slide, crease, crack, flake, and may not look great throughout the day.

Sunscreens are widely different in their look and feel on your skin. Your facial sunscreen needs to precisely match your skin type and product preference. It also needs to be the perfect canvas for your makeup. You put a lot of time into your makeup because you want to look good. Don’t let your sunscreen sabotage your efforts.

In my latest video learn from a dermatologist how to pick facial sunscreen for different complexion types.

In my video see how to pick a sunscreen that works best under makeup for dry skin or oily skin. Also understand matte and oil absorbing sunscreen bases, and sunscreen for normal skin and sensitive skin. Get the best sun protection with high quality sunscreens applied under your makeup AND get great results from your makeup too. You don't have to compromise.

After watching the short video, look at the sunscreens that I use and note the attributes relative to complexion needs.

Important points to notice when you are looking for the perfect facial sunscreen to wear under makeup are:

  • Is the product invisible?
  • Is there tinting that blends with your skin tone to help hide complexion flaws?
  • Is the base matte to create a primer-like canvas for makeup?
  • Is there a texture to the product that may not mix nicely with your makeup?

best sunscreens to go on first under makeup

My Sheer Strength Pure Physical Mineral Sunscreens come in these important options. My personal preference for facial use under makeup are all but the Water Resistant SPF 30 Spray. That product is best for swimming and heavy sweating, times where makeup may be the last thing on your mind!

My patients and I have put sunscreens to the test under infinite variables of complexion types, activities and climates. Learn what we’ve learned in my latest video.


What sunscreen am I, as a dermatologist, using right now under makeup?

best sunscreen for under makeup on your face

My complexion is loving the look of my Sheer Strength Matte Tinted SPF 50 under my makeup. It is weightless and the matte finish is a perfect canvas for mineral powder.

I apply my Baked Mineral Makeup Powder and loose mineral blush over my sunscreen when I wear makeup.

best mineral makeup for on top of sunscreen

But, and this is a big but, if I am out in the sun for hours, I reapply an SPF powder on top of my makeup!

best mineral sunscreen powder to apply on top of your makeup

I use my Sheer Strength Pure Physical SPF 30 Refresh Powder - yes ON TOP! This is the one time when sunscreen is applied on top of makeup! The sun's UV rays are so damaging to your skin that you always want it protected. SPF powder allows you to reapply UV protection conveniently over your makeup during the day without washing everything off and starting over - it's brilliant!

To see all the pure mineral makeup that I recommend you use to top your daily broad spectrum sunscreen. These are pure mineral powders, made without artificial dye, filler, fragrance or any dubious ingredients. Just pure minerals, triple milled for a natural and flake-free finish that's long lasting and completely natural.

I want you to love your sunscreen, wear it daily, feel good about how you look, and take really good care of your skin. It’s your one precious cutaneous covering for your one precious body and life. Dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, MD