How To Reapply Sunscreen Over Makeup, According To A Beauty Editor

By Ashleigh Cometti
One expert shares her top tips on topping up your sunscreen without compromising your makeup. Photo / Raaie

This week’s Ask the Beauty Editor sees one reader write in with a makeup dilemma and a desire to beat the heat.

Dear Beauty Editor,

I’m totally on board with the importance of applying (and re-applying) sunscreen, however I wear makeup daily and struggle to find ways of layering sunscreen

Am I limited to spray-on facial sunscreens? Or is there another makeup hack I can try to keep my skin protected from the sun but my makeup staying flawless?


Beauty In A Full Beat

Dear Beauty In A Full Beat,

I genuinely LOVE this question! Firstly, I’m so glad to hear you’re such an avid sunscreen wearer, and are committed to re-applying your sunscreen regularly to keep your skin protected from harsh UVA and UVB rays.

To answer your question, I spoke to Katey Mandy, entrepreneur and founder of local skincare brand Raaie, for her hot take on layering sunscreen on top of an existing makeup base.

According to Katey, re-applying sunscreen throughout the day is one of the most important measures you can take to ensure your skin remains protected.

“We need to be re-applying our sunscreen every two hours to get the sun protection factor listed on the bottle,” she says.

“Re-applying over makeup can be annoying, but there are a couple of tricks you can use to avoid messing up your makeup.”

Press, don’t rub

Rather than smooth your SPF on like you would over bare skin, try rubbing your SPF in between your hands before you press it into your face, Katey advises.

“For real pros, you can use the flat section of a dry makeup sponge to do this. Apply a small amount of sunscreen to the flat section of a dry makeup sponge, then dot — don’t drag — the sunscreen over your face,” she says.

“Go gently and slowly, concentrating on different areas of your face (like your forehead or nose) at a time to achieve even coverage, then move on to the next section.”

Opt for a tinted SPF to avoid a white cast

Tinted sunscreen is an excellent option for all skin tones (but works especially well on deep or dark skin tones) to give an invisible finish.

It’s for this reason that Katey formulated Raaie Sun Milk Drops SPF50+ with a peach tone.

“Many of our customers find they can go without make up as the formula evens skin tone and leaves a lit-from-within glow to the skin,” she says.

Consider a powdered sunscreen

If pressing sunscreen over top of foundation feels fussy or intimidating, reach for a powdered sunscreen which can be dusted on easily while out and about.

Mineral-based powder formulas are your best bet, as more often than not they are designed to layer on top of an existing makeup base, and help to maintain a mattified finish on oily or combination skin types.

Better still, powdered sunscreens in brush formats make the application process even easier, as the powder is dispensed straight from the brush and can be swirled on to skin on the go.

Spray and go

Another fuss-free format to try is setting spray laced with SPF, which serves double duty to refresh your makeup and top up your sunscreen.

The beauty of an SPF spray lies in its simplicity, meaning there’s really no excuse for not spritzing it on regularly throughout the day, whether you’re positioned at the pool or bathing at the beach. Be sure to spritz it out of the wind to ensure the majority of spray lands on your face and doesn’t get blown elsewhere.

Pro tip: stash yours in the refrigerator at home to maximise its skin-cooling benefits.

Don’t overlook your lips

The thin skin on our lips make them even more prone to being ravaged by the sun, so don’t forget to re-apply an SPF lip balm regularly throughout the day to keep them protected. Pop a tube in your beach tote or handbag and reapply as often as you remember.

Many SPF balms now come with colour cocktailed into their formulas, meaning you’re protecting your lips and making a statement all in one fell swoop.



Add to cart

Naked Sundays SPF50+ Hydrating Glow Mist, $43 Editor’s note: currently out of stock online, check in-store.

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