Here's Why You Should Reapply Sunscreen If You're Wearing Makeup

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Alexandra Lozovschi

Sunscreen is a crucial part of a healthy skincare regimen for anyone, regardless of age and lifestyle. Whether you work from home or spend all day outdoors, you like a fresh-faced look or love to get your glam on, sun protection is important year-round, even more so during summer.

"SPF is key to preventing sunburns and signs of premature aging (like fine lines and dark spots)," notes Yahoo! Life, citing PureWow.

However, the sunscreen you apply in the morning can't offer the same protection throughout the day, which is why you should reapply it regularly -- even if you're wearing makeup. Read on to learn how to and why it's important to do it.

Makeup & Sunscreen

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First things first: you don't need to forgo primping up in favor of skincare. Likewise, you shouldn't skimp on sunscreen to save your makeup -- both aspects of your beauty routine are perfectly compatible.

In fact, before putting on your makeup, experts recommend that you prep your skin with an SFP base.

"This ensures that when the makeup starts to smudge or come off, you have a good base underneath to protect you from UV rays,” says celebrity makeup artist Etienne Ortega, who is a Deck of Scarlet’s brand ambassador.

Once your makeup is done, all you have to do is reapply sunscreen over it as you go about your day. Chose a lightweight moisturizer, cream blush, and mascara to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh, and to prevent a greasy appearance when you touch up your sunscreen later on.


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Why It's Important To Touch Up Your Sunscreen

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While you might think that it's enough to slather on the sunscreen before leaving the house and only then, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Corey L. Hartman assures that's not the case.

If you neglect to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, you can expect to end up with a burn or a red face that's painful and tender to touch.

“There are also long-term effects as well, like skin cancer and accelerated aging of the skin, which can lead to hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and dull, tired skin," said Dr. Hartman, who is the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama.

“I always recommend that people not only apply sunscreen to their face daily, but reapply often, especially when outside, next to a window, or when swimming or sweating. The skin on the face is some of the most delicate skin on the body, and is, therefore, the most vulnerable to the sun.”

Here's How Often You Should Reapply Sunscreen Throughout The Day

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How often you reapply sunscreen is largely determined by how long you're going to be outdoors, the time of year, where you are geographically, and how you're going to be spending your time in the sun. As a rule, dermatologists recommend that you do regular touch-ups every two to three hours, especially if you're hanging out at the beach or going on a long walk.

“If it’s the middle of winter and you’re only outside when you get in and out of your car, applying sunscreen once in the morning should be OK. But now, during the height of summer, more people are spending their lunch breaks outside and spending their weekends out enjoying activities – and if you’re doing that, you should definitely be reapplying throughout the day,” explained Dr. Hartman.

Cream, Spray, Powder: The Know-How

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Reapplying sunscreen over your makeup should be a piece of cake, no matter what form your SPF comes in. The important thing to note is that you need an SPF 30 or more. Whether you go for cream, spray, or powder (or a combination of all three) it's up to you and your skin needs.

When using a cream, simply tap it lightly with a makeup sponge over your face (give extra attention to your forehead, cheeks, and chin), as well as your neck and the tips of your ears. While cream-based sunscreen is great for all skin types, it's particularly recommended for dry and sensitive skin.

If you've got combination skin, you might want to give spray a try. Drizzle it onto your skin in even layers and let every spritz dry before you apply the next one.

If a powder suits you best, make sure you reapply it all over your face, not just on the T-zone.

“Sunscreen powders are great because you naturally start to look oily and sweaty while in the sun, so it also acts as a touch-up,” says STILA global beauty director Charlie Riddle.