How to Reapply Sunscreen
Over Makeup

duration time 4 min read

With summer heating up in Australia and the whirl of Christmas barbeques, beachside weddings and outdoor events in full swing, we women are faced with quite the beauty dilemma – how to reapply sunscreen over makeup?

It’s a tricky problem to tackle, but a vital one, as being truly sun smart doesn’t stop with applying sunscreen in the morning. REapplying sunscreen is also important to ensure you stay protected from UV radiation all day long. And that still applies when you’re wearing makeup!

How often you need to reapply sunscreen will depend on a few factors (and you should always follow the directions for use), but the general rule of thumb is every two hours with sun exposure, or immediately after swimming, exercising or working up a sweat. How you reapply also matters; luckily there are some simple steps that will keep you protected, without ruining your makeup or wiping it off altogether. 

Not convinced? Read on. Here are our five foolproof tips for reapplying sunscreen on top of makeup. Consider this essential summer reading!

Tip 1 –
Apply Sunscreen Right The First Time

While burning UVB rays are stronger in summer, ageing UVA rays are ever-present, leading health experts to recommend daily sunscreen wear, all year round. With the UV index higher, applying a high-SPF, broad-spectrum sunscreen every morning is even more crucial in summer – and not only on those days spent at the beach. As UVA rays can cut through glass and clouds, sun protection is important even if you’re just running errands in your car or reading by a window!

To ensure you’re protected, apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before going outdoors. Apply your sunscreen as the last step in your skincare regime, allowing approximately five minutes for it to absorb before putting on your makeup.

Make sure you choose a formula formulated for your skin type ­– La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios range has options for dry to oily and acne prone sensitive skin – then apply generously. One teaspoon of sunscreen should be applied to the face, neck and head area – any less and you might diminish the SPF.

For added protection, consider layering with a foundation that also has an inbuilt SPF, such as Toleriane Corrective Liquid Foundation. However, you should never rely on cosmetic products alone for comprehensive UV protection as they do not necessarily cover those forgotten about areas such as the neck and backs of hands.

Tip 2 –
Use A Sponge To Reapply Sunscreen On Top Of Makeup

To reapply sunscreen without ruining your makeup look, you need to apply carefully – and the right tools can really help. At La Roche-Posay, we’re big fans of the technique used by local beauty blogger Hannah English. To start, 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. Concentrate on dotting and blending sunscreen on a small area at the time (e.g. forehead, nose) to achieve even coverage, then move on to the next section.

To avoid wiping off your foundation, go gently and press the sunscreen onto the skin, without dragging the sponge. Using this dotting technique, you might need to touch-up your blush, but you won’t ruin your whole face.

Tip 3 –
Stick With Light Sunscreen Formulations On Top Of Makeup

When we recommend using light sunscreens on top of makeup, we’re talking about texture, not a low SPF. Why should you go light? A lighter-weight sunscreen spreads more freely over the skin. You’ll easily be able to pat it in, whereas heavier, thicker formulas may require a degree of rubbing that might disturb your makeup.

It’s also worth noting that applying a liquid over a powder can lead to unwanted caking. Therefore, if you’ll be applying a fluid sunscreen over makeup, it’s also best to use cream or liquid foundations, blushes and bronzers.

The ideal sunscreen to apply over makeup? La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light SPF50+. Delivering very high-level broad-spectrum protection for sensitive skin, the lightweight, non-greasy fluid is non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, with an invisible finish.

Tip 4 –
Try A Tinted Sunscreen

Another sunscreen reapplying tip is to try a tinted sunscreen. If you like a natural ‘no-makeup’ look that lets your skin’s beauty shine, wearing a tinted sunscreen in place of foundation makes reapplication a breeze. However, tinted sunscreen also works well both underneath and on top of foundation.

Again, the key is to go light when reapplying sunscreen over makeup. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Tinted SPF50+ offers all the benefits of the original, with a universal tint that adds radiance to all skin tones.

Tip 5 –
Remove Makeup And Reapply Sunscreen Before Extended Sun Exposure

While the sunscreen reapplying method above will help protect you from incidental sun exposure on your lunchtime coffee run or short commute, you do need to be more vigilant with prolonged sun exposure.

If you’re headed to the beach or onto the tennis court – particularly during peak UV periods* – you should wash your face and apply sunscreen to a clean, dry base, 20 minutes before exposure.

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.

Did you


To avoid photosensitisation reactions, dermatologists recommend not wearing perfume on sunny days.


ANTHELIOS is a pioneering player in the suncare market. Its broad-spectrum, very high protection is the result of more than 25 years of advanced clinical research into suncare and sun sensitive skin.