Makeup Before or After Sunscreen: What’s the Best Order?

When it comes to our daily skincare routine, there is often confusion about the correct order of applying makeup and sunscreen. Both are essential for protecting our skin from harmful UV rays and maintaining a flawless complexion. However, understanding the correct sequence can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of these products. In this article, we will delve into the debate of whether makeup should be applied before or after sunscreen, providing you with a comprehensive analysis to help you make an informed decision.

1. The Importance of Sunscreen
Before diving into the makeup vs. sunscreen debate, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of sunscreen in our skincare regimen. Sunscreen acts as a shield against harmful UV rays, protecting our skin from sunburn, premature aging, and even skin cancer. It forms a physical or chemical barrier that absorbs or reflects the sun’s rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin. Applying sunscreen should be an integral part of everyone’s daily routine, regardless of whether you wear makeup or not.

2. Applying Makeup Before Sunscreen
Some individuals prefer applying makeup before sunscreen due to various reasons. One argument is that it allows for better adherence and longevity of makeup products. By applying foundation, concealer, and other makeup products first, they can be blended seamlessly into the skin without any interference from sunscreen. Additionally, this approach ensures that the makeup does not dilute or alter the effectiveness of the sunscreen.

However, experts often advise against this practice. When makeup is applied before sunscreen, it creates a barrier that hampers the absorption and efficacy of sunscreen ingredients. The protective layer of sunscreen cannot penetrate through the makeup layer effectively, leaving your skin vulnerable to sun damage. Therefore, while applying makeup before sunscreen may seem convenient for achieving a flawless finish, it compromises the primary purpose of sunscreen – protecting your skin from harmful UV rays.

3. Applying Sunscreen Before Makeup
The most recommended approach by dermatologists and skincare experts is to apply sunscreen before makeup. By doing so, you ensure that your skin receives the maximum benefit from the sunscreen’s protective properties. Applying sunscreen as the first step in your skincare routine allows it to form a barrier directly on your skin, shielding it from UV radiation.

Once the sunscreen has been applied, it is essential to give it enough time to absorb into the skin before proceeding with makeup application. This typically takes around 15-20 minutes, depending on the product and its formulation. During this waiting period, you can focus on other aspects of your morning routine, such as brushing your teeth or getting dressed.

4. Makeup with Built-in SPF
In recent years, many cosmetic brands have introduced makeup products with built-in SPF. These products claim to provide sun protection while offering coverage and enhancing the appearance of the skin. While they may seem like a convenient solution, it is important to note that the SPF in makeup is often not sufficient to provide adequate sun protection on its own.

Experts recommend using a separate sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher, regardless of whether your makeup contains SPF. The amount of makeup applied is usually not enough to achieve the desired level of sun protection. Therefore, it is crucial to consider makeup with SPF as an additional layer of protection rather than a substitute for sunscreen.

In the debate of makeup before or after sunscreen, the consensus among skincare professionals is clear – sunscreen should always be applied before makeup. By following this order, you ensure that your skin receives the maximum benefit from the protective properties of sunscreen. While applying makeup before sunscreen may seem tempting for a flawless finish, it compromises the effectiveness of sunscreen in shielding your skin from harmful UV rays. Remember to allow enough time for the sunscreen to absorb before proceeding with your makeup routine. Additionally, consider using a separate sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF for optimal sun protection, even if your makeup contains SPF. Prioritizing the health and well-being of your skin should always be the primary concern, and the correct order of applying makeup and sunscreen plays a crucial role in achieving this goal.