Sunscreen under your foundation, concealer, or blush tends to get a bad rap. It’s often associated with makeup sliding off mid-day, or a sticky, unpleasant feeling on the skin. However, that’s not necessarily the case with all SPFs on the market. In fact, the best sunscreens to wear under makeup won’t leave you with a greasy complexion, or pill when you apply the rest of your cosmetics. Don’t forget, sunscreen is a non-negotiable step in your beauty regimen, no matter where you’re located or if your day is spent indoors or outdoors — it’s really just about finding the right formula.
When you’re deciding on a sunscreen to wear under your makeup, you’ll want to first evaluate your skin type. For instance, Neil Scibelli, a celebrity makeup artist based in New York, says if your skin tends to be on the oily side, look for sunscreens that are oil-free and might also have pore-refining or mattifying benefits. “Some even contain lactic acid which can help slough off dead skin and even the skin tone while you’re wearing it,” he explains. “If your skin tends to feel dry after applying sunscreens, try looking for some that contain hydrating properties like glycerin, aloe, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E.”
Amber Amos, an editorial makeup artist in Los Angeles, recommends looking for a sunscreen that’s not too greasy, and won’t leave a white cast on the skin — either through a tinted physical formula or a chemical option. If you’re not sure where to start don’t worry — the experts had plenty of recommendations.
Ahead, find the best SPFs to wear under your makeup for a seamless finish. Remember: It’s crucial to apply it every single day. It’s the best anti-aging product in your beauty cabinet.
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The Best SPFs To Wear Under Makeup
Ask a makeup artist or dermatologist what their favorite sunscreen is, and they'll likely tell you Supergoop's Glow Screen (Amos included). This cult-favorite sunscreen gives you a dewy finish and includes SPF 40 to protect the skin. Plus, its infused with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5.
Scibelli has recently been really loving this lightweight sunscreen from Bliss for daily wear and under makeup. “The mineral formula is super sheer, dries quickly, and completely clear,” he explains. “It’s also fantastic for summer and under makeup because it helps to control oil production with built-in antioxidant protection. Definitely a favorite.”
“I have been loving EltaMD’s UV Clear SPF46 sunscreen as it is extremely lightweight, and is basically traceless under makeup,” Maria Giannopoulos, a freelance makeup artist in New York, tells TZR. “During the summer months, I opt for their tinted finish which gives you protection and a beautifully bronzed glow.”
“I love this setting spray sunscreen, especially for summer because it leaves a beautiful dewy finish to the skin, while also setting your makeup,” Scibelli says. “It’s important for sunscreen to be on the outer layers of the skin, so this is perfect for setting your makeup for optimal sun protection, as well as for touching up throughout the day.” Plus, the makeup artist notes that the formula is antioxidant-rich, which shields the skin from pollution, as well as UVA and UVB rays.
Robert Sesnek, a celebrity makeup, says one of his favorite sunscreens to wear underneath makeup is Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+. Infused with aloe vera, this sunscreen’s formula is catered specifically to those with sensitive skin, as well as children.
“As someone who loves Jergens natural glow on the body, this lightweight facial moisturizer with sunscreen is great on its own or under makeup because it gradually delivers a beautifully bronzed glow in the form of a lotion,” Scibelli says. “It’s also a great alternative to a tinted moisturizer if you’re looking for sun protection with just a hint of bronzer.” On top of that, he says there’s no streaking or odd odors with this sunscreen.
Amos recommends Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Sun Drops SPF 50, which she says is a serum. On top of SPF, this sunscreen serum is also made with powerful ingredients that moisturize and protect skin from free radicals such as hyaluronic acid, green tea leaf extract, and a complex of cassia extract, vitamin E, and beta glucan.
Gionnapolous is also an advocate for Supergoop! and loves the Unseen formula. The makeup artist says its, “basically invisible on the skin, with a velvet finish that I find can help minimize the appearance of my pore size.” Additionally, she says it contains frankincense, which she finds helps to reduce any redness on her skin.