foundation application messing and removing sunscreen

Is your foundation application messing up your sunscreen?

I was guilty of this for years. I’d put on my sunscreen and then go in with foundation straight away, rubbing the colour evenly all over my skin until every little flaw disappeared.

Little did I know that as I was blending in the colour, I was blending away the sunscreen…

Does Foundation Compromise The Effectiveness Of Your Sunscreen?

It was John from The Triple Helixian who first pointed out the dangers of applying foundation over sunscreen mindlessly:

“I lightly stipple on my foundation. I never, EVER buff because that’ll risk moving or even removing the sunscreen underneath,” says John.

Makes sense. If you’re too rough or apply foundation in a way that causes it to move around, you’re leaving some areas of your face without sun protection.

How effective is your sunscreen? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Sunscreen Audit” Worksheet and find out if your sunscreen is really up to the job:

How To Apply Foundation Without Messing Up Your Sunscreen

John suggests stippling on foundation. What the heck is stippling?

Stippling is an art technique that involves working on a surface with small dots of paint (or foundation, in this case). It gives your skin better coverage and that flawless, airbrushed finish.

You’ll need a stippling brush for this. A stippling brush has two sets of bristles. The white bristles pick up the foundation and apply it to your skin, while the denser black bristles at the base push it into your skin.

Here’s how stippling your foundation on works:

  • Pour a small amount of foundation to the back of your hand and dab your stippling brush in it to pick up the product.
  • Light pat the foundation all over your face.
  • Lightly swirl the brush in small circles, allowing the denser black bristles to blend in the foundation.

FYI, this technique doesn’t just work with foundation. You can use it with blushes and bronzers, too.

Sure, it takes more time. But then again, what’s the point of putting on sunscreen if you’re removing it straight afterwards?

WARNING! Not all foundations work well with the stippling technique. For daytime, choose one that doesn’t set too quickly and is not too thick – or you’ll have a lot of blending to do!

How Long Should You Wait To Apply Foundation After Sunscreen?

Ever wondered why your mum told you to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before heading to the beach?

Common sense says that’s because sunscreen needs to be activated by contact with the skin. 20 minutes is how long that reaction takes.

That’s a myth. Sunscreen doesn’t need to be activated. But it needs to dry.

Think of it as nail polish. If you accidentally touch your manicured nails before they’re completely dry, you’re gonna mess the whole thing up.

Same with sunscreen. It can protect you from the sun only if every inch is uniformly covered. If you touch your face before sunscreen has had the time to settle and form an even firm all over, you’re gonna rub it off here and there, compromising its sun protection.

How long do you need to wait to apply foundation after sunscreen? 15/20 minutes. Not a second sooner.

P.S. This rule doesn’t just apply to foundation (or primer, if you apply that before foundation). DON’T touch your face at all for 15/20 minutes.

Is your foundation application messing with your sunscreen? Let me know in the comments below.