The easiest way to reapply sunscreen without ruining your makeup


You’ve heard it before (and we’ll continue to say it again and again), but during the sunny season—and throughout the year—it is imperative that you’re wearing sunscreen with a high level of protection every single day, and that you’re reapplying it, every two hours. Why? Not only is sun damage the number one cause of photoageing, it’s also the instigator of 95-percent of cases of melanoma, Australia’s most-common cancer (that also happens to be preventable with a vigilant sun protection routine).

We know what you’re thinking; “sure—I’m happy to pop on some SPF in the morning before my makeup, but there’s no way I’m ruining it all by smearing sunscreen over it just a couple hours later.” And trust us; we get it. So we’ve tried, tested, and discovered the top tips to setting yourself up for reapplication success, in just four easy-to-remember steps.

1. Give yourself a head start

If the UV rating is sitting at three or above, don’t even think about leaving the house (or sitting next to a window, for that matter) without an even spread of SPF. Our preference is always above 30+, and ideally 50. This means that for the first two-to-three hours after application, you’re covered from the get-go. Lightweight, non-greasy and free from that dreaded white cast, we’re naturally huge fans of our very own Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF50+ Superscreen, which doubles as a hydrating primer for your makeup to sit perfectly on top of. If you prefer physical protection, the brand's new To Save Face & Body SPF30 Physical Zinc Sunscreen and SPF30 Physical Zinc Sunscreen Stick will do the trick too. Do not go a day without it – even if your foundation claims to include SPF. In this case, they’re only classified as secondary SPFs, and the quantity you’d use versus that of your primary SPF just wouldn’t cut it.

WATCH: Mecca Cosmetica presents: It's a good day for sunscreen

2. Keep it creamy

When it comes to your summer-ready makeup, keep it light, glowy and cream-based. This means that when you do go in to reapply with your liquid/cream sunscreen, it won’t clash with the texture of your makeup, creating a muddy mess with unwanted build-up. Our recommendations? Lightweight tinted moisturisers like the bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, Mecca Cosmetica’s Weekend Skin Hydra Skin Tint and Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector, cream cheek products like RMS’ Lip2Cheeks and the Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Cheek Tint and Illuminating Balm Duos, and setting mists instead of setting powders.

3. It’s all in the tools (a beauty sponge and a lightweight SPF)

Your optimal reapplication tool? A low-absorbent beauty sponge. Keep one (or more) in your bag, car or desk drawer, for effortless reapplications no matter where you are (or where you’re going). Our top recommendation for perfect SPF application over makeup is the Juno Microfibre Velvet Sponge, a game-changing sponge created with a soft, velvety microfibre material, with very small fibres to hold onto and apply creams and liquids without absorbing them like many other sponges. This also means it won’t pick up and absorb the makeup already on your face. Use this with a silky, lightweight SPF that you know won’t leave a white cast, and lightly and carefully dab it into your skin, ensuring not to miss a spot. Blogger and SPF aficionado Hannah English has been relying on this simple hack all year round to ensure consistent coverage (and perfect makeup) everyday.

If you ever find yourself sponge-less and beneath the sun’s rays, do not fret—your hands will still do the trick. Our tip? Spread the sunscreen into your hands before dabbing onto your face, and gently press the cream into your skin, rather than rubbing it in circular motions. Your other option is to reach for Mecca Cosmetica's new To Save Face Zinc Sunscreen Stick, which protects and hydrates while mattifying the skin—simply swipe it directly onto your skin or press it in with your fingers.

READ MORE: A beginner's guide to chemical and physical SPF

4. Bump up the colour

It’s only natural that you might lose a bit of the colour on your cheeks after reapplying, so keep your favourite cheek creams in your bag (such as the Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Sticks and Lit Up Highlight Stick, Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Cheek Tint and Illuminating Balm Duo or RMS Lip2Cheek and Living Luminizer, perhaps) for a quick and easy top-up on the go. Swipe on our To Save Lips Superscreen Protective Lip Balm with SPF50+ —or the Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF 30 for a bit of colour, and you’re good to go.


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