You Don’t Have To Choose Between Makeup And SPF — Just Use These 7 Products

Featured Image Source

A few months ago, we touted the benefits of sunscreen and compiled our favorite, dermatologist-approved products for every skin type, just in time for spring.

Now, as the sultry summer rays beam down with even more of a vengeance, it’s become especially important to lather up from head to toe.

Whether you’re loyal to lotions or you favor the sprays, there’s nothing complicated about keeping your bare arms covered. But how do you shield your face from the sun when you’re worried about keeping your makeup from melting?

Good news, ladies: You can have the best of both worlds. When you use a makeup that’s infused with SPF, you’ll get sun protection and sparkling skin, too! Here, we bring you the hottest SPF makeup tips from skincare guru Melissa Gilbert, an esthetician at Fantastic Services.

SPF Makeup Best Practices

First things first: Don’t ditch your Coppertone completely, warns Gilbert. “Instead of using SPF makeup to replace traditional sunscreen, it should be an add-on,” she advises.

It’s all about the base, Gilbert says. “The best thing to do when it comes to sunscreen and makeup is to start with a good base layer of sunscreen all over your face, neck and ears,” she explains. “I personally apply two layers thoroughly, allowing the first one to absorb fully and then apply the second one before I move on to makeup.”

Then, layer your SPF makeup on top of the base sunscreen. “Setting powder and sprays infused with SPF can be of great help when reapplying the protective layers because they can be applied on top of existing makeup to refresh it, without having to cleanse and completely start over,” Gilbert says. “Ideally, you should be reapplying sunscreen every two hours while wearing makeup. This method works best with lightweight formulas and tinted moisturizers.” 

An added bonus? SPF makeup can protect your skin from aging, too, especially when used in combination with your base sunscreen. “It can cover up signs of aging and dark spots and, depending on the other ingredients in the product, can reduce them and soothe your skin,” Gilbert notes.

How To Choose SPF Makeup

Okay, so you’re sold on SPF makeup – now how do you choose the right product for your skin? Gilbert offers the following tips:

  • Look for hydrating ingredients. “It’s important to look for ingredients such as squalane and niacinamide that protect your skin barrier and hydrate,” she says. “In addition to them, natural oils; vitamins C and E; and hyaluronic acid are extremely beneficial for your skin.”

  • Choose a lightweight formula. “When choosing a makeup product infused with SPF, consider if it’s a more lightweight or heavy formulation,” Gilbert advises. “During the hot summer days, it’s best to go for lighter formulas such as CC and BB creams, tinted moisturizers, and concealers with medium coverage so they don’t feel heavy on your skin or irritate it. For blushes, liquid formulas provide better results than powder ones.”

  • Avoid harsh chemicals. “Many of the ingredients in makeup products actually damage and dehydrate already aging skin,” Gilbert explains. “To prevent that, avoid products with alcohol (SD alcohol, ethanol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol), sulfates (SLS and SLES), and ammonia compounds (DEA, MEA, TEA).” 

Maybelline Dream BB Cream

Maybelline Dream BB Cream

Our Senior Editor wrote an entire review on this BB cream, and she loves it. And if she loves it, you know it’s good. It’s only $8.99 and makes a ton of promises, but it delivers on each one. Your skin will feel moisturized, the redness will be toned down, and the SPF 30 will protect you from burns.

SHOP ON ULTA – $8.99

Glowscreen SPF 40

Glowscreen SPF

Primers are important for making sure your makeup stays, and this one by Supergoop! does just that. Your skin will be glowing and rejuvenated, while also being protected by its SPF 40 formula. The hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 hydrate, too.


ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

If you want to add a little tint to your skin without sacrificing it entirely, turn to ILIA’s serum. Mixing together every inch of skin health, including sun protection and makeup, this tint won’t hide your freckles or clog your pores. It also gives you SPF 40 without the greasy finish.


Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer

Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer
Our writers are total MAC girls, so when we found this concealer, we were thrilled. While the cream consistency conceals your imperfections, it never looks like you’ve piled on a ton of makeup to hide them. You only need a small amount to benefit from its coverage and SPF 35 protection, so it’ll last forever.


Buildable Blur CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Buildable Blur CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Okay, before we dive into why this CC cream is great, a quick rundown: CC stands for “complexion corrector,” meaning it’s more like a foundation than BB cream. This one is buildable, so you won’t go from natural to cake-y, plus it has SPF 35 to protect you from the sun (because no amount of makeup can do that!).


Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Just because sunscreen has good SPF and feels hydrating does not mean you should skip your moisturizer. Luckily, you can have both in one with this gel cream.  Aside from its hydrating abilities and SPF 30, you can also choose one of 20 shades to build with.


Colorscience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Color Balm

Colorscience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Color Balm

Can’t go without looking flushed? This Sunforgettable balm will work overtime to make sure you’re rosy and protected. Apply to your lips and cheeks for a glow, then continue to reapply every two hours for SPF 50 PA++++ coverage. Bonus: the jojoba esters and plant-based squalene help moisturize at the same time.


Colorscience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50

Colorscience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50
And finally, we wouldn’t leave you without plugging a powder brush that blends your sunscreen perfectly. This SPF 50 formula is completely chemical free but packs in all the antioxidants, plus titanium oxide and zinc oxide. Throw it in your purse or gym bag for instant protection wherever you play!



What are your favorite SPF makeup products? Share your recommendations in the comments!

Looking For More Makeup Trends And Tips? Read These Next:

Join the Conversation