If you’re interested in skincare and skin health is important to you, then you probably know that sunscreen is THE. MOST. ESSENTIAL. PRODUCT. TO. USE. DAILY.

But there’s one common question that most makeup lovers ask: is mixing foundation with sunscreen a good idea?

I’ll take you through an interesting journey and share everything there is to the topic to give you the answers you’re looking for.

Can you mix sunscreen with foundation?

In short, mixing sun protection with foundation is a bad idea. Sorry.

Sure, it sounds great to cocktail together your favorite foundation with some sunblock, and get that perfect glow while staying protected at the same time. However, combining sunscreen with any type of foundation is a big “no-no”.


Because mixing both types of products together to apply to the skin dilutes the SPF you put on your face. For one, swirling sunscreen with foundation is risky as you’ll end up applying much less sun protection than normally.

But there’s more.

Applying sunscreen and foundation or concealer mixed together lowers the effectiveness of your sunscreen formula. The SPF factor will be diluted and the dispersion of filters in the formula will be negatively influenced.

What you can expect as a result are holes and patches of skin that are left unprotected. The worst part is that you won’t be able to notice this and chances are that you’ll go out into the sun believing that your skin is safe.

The problem is even worse with sunscreen products that use zinc. In this case, the product is likely to clump together, leaving you with unsightly results.

What about CC cream, you’ll ask?

Can you mix sunscreen with CC cream?

Some CC creams out there are created with a level of SPF in their formulas. But that level is not enough to be relied on completely.

So what most crafty people do is try mixing sunscreen with CC cream. As with any other type of foundation, this is not a good solution. Mixing in extra SPF won’t make the end product stronger when it comes to sun protection. On the contrary, you risk getting an uneven spread and seeing the product fade away more quickly.

Can you mix sunscreen with moisturizer?

Combining sunscreen with moisturizer seems like a natural thing to do to some. I’ve personally done it so many times in the past, only to discover that I haven’t been doing my skin a favor at all.

There are two very nasty outcomes.

The first is the sunscreen diluting factor, which I’ve already touched upon.
Mixing moisturizer and sunscreen means that if your SPF is 30 your skin is only getting SPF15 or even lower.


Because you are cutting in half the amount of product that you use when mixed in with a different product like moisturizer.

Second, you’re bound to get some serious conflicts when it comes to ingredients. There are a lot of ingredients in your moisturizer that can poorly affect the UV filters in your sunscreen.

What’s the result? Higher exposure to sunrays results in wrinkles, skin damage, and hyperpigmentation. Nobody wants these.

How do you wear sunscreen and makeup together?

So what’s the solution, then?

Your face needs sunscreen but it’s also unrealistic to say goodbye to makeup, foundation, moisturizers, and other skincare products. How should you tackle this case?

Although it’s not okay to mix sunscreen with foundation, you don’t have to choose one over the other. You can still wear sunscreen and makeup at the same time.

The trick is layering.

And the steps you take will depend on what type of sun protection you’re using.

Should you apply sunscreen before or after foundation?

Now that you know that the secret is to layer your sunscreen and makeup separately, the question is how exactly do you do that? Does sunscreen come first? Or should it be applied last?

The answer depends on whether your sunscreen uses physical filters or chemical ones.

For example, if you’re using physical sunscreen that blocks UV but doesn’t use any chemical filters, you should start with your skincare products, jump to sunscreen application, and finally end with foundation and other makeup.

But say you’re using a chemical sunscreen.

In that case, you’ll need to apply it first and then move on to skincare and makeup. This is because chemical sunscreen needs to be applied directly on clean skin to work its magic and offer full protection. Not that it won’t work completely, but it will work its best if put on first.

No matter which routine you choose, I’d always recommend waiting a few minutes before applying the next layer.

Can you mix products with SPF together?

Most people assume that mixing different SPF products together increases the overall protection of the new product. Like, if you’re using a moisturizer with SPF15 and follow up with a sunscreen with SPF30, the end result will be SPF45 in total. That’s completely wrong.

Layering SPF won’t give you better protection.

It’s okay to use a single sunscreen product for two applications to ensure that you’ve covered any gaps or holes on the skin and make sure it’s fully protected. However, mixing two separate products with SPF is not a good way to go about this sun protection business at all. The two products can negatively influence each other, leading to poor protection overall and clogged pores.

But let’s dive deeper into the details of the full picture.

Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, and Avobenzone

Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are mineral or physical sunscreens. They’re among the most preferable UVB ingredients because they provide outstanding results and cause low to no irritation. Avobenzone, on the other hand, is the main ingredient in chemical sunscreens.

Why is this important?

Because Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide degrade Avobenzone.

Avobenzone stands out with more stability in polar protic solvents like water and alcohol and less stability in nonpolar solvents. In the majority of cases, sunscreens have extra stabilizing ingredients to support avobenzone.

When mixing a cocktail of sunscreen, you won’t get the appropriate solvent combo. Not to mention the toxins. Once avobenzone and zinc oxide get irradiated by UV light, they create toxic chemicals and allergens. The stabilizers’ main role is to stop these toxic chemicals from forming.

What are the best tinted SPFs out there?

One of my skincare goals is to be able to exit the house barefaced, with only sunscreen on, and feel as confident as I am in a full-face makeup look.

This is why tinted SPFs are my best friend.

So what are the tinted SPF products that you know you can rely on both for amazing UV protection but also for skin beauty? It all comes down to your skin type and what type of outcome you’re after.

For all skin tones

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

The bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream is one of my personal favorites as it can be used by all skin tones – a skincare goal that brands should strive for, in my opinion.

It comes in 10 shades and is a 3-in-1 tinted sunscreen cream that can give you medium coverage and comes with a non-chemical, mineral-based formula.

It’s a highly rated SPF30 product that moisturizes well with proven ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and squalane.

Some of the pros that other users state are that it’s hypoallergenic, created without oil, blurs imperfections and gives an overall healthy-looking skin glow.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream  is Available at Amazon

For sensitive skin

CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen

The CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen comes with SPF30 and contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

You can find three different shades and you’ll love the healthy-looking skin that you’ll greet after application.

It’s ideal for sensitive skin and is rich in vital ceramides for extra moisture and restoration of the skin’s natural barrier. It blends perfectly under makeup if you choose to apply any, and you won’t see any pilling.
The product’s also great for covering redness. The best news is that it’s super affordable.

CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen  is Available at Amazon

For oily and acne-prone skin

Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 Brush-On

The Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 Brush-On is another product that I love using. It comes with a high SPF rating and feels weightless on your skin.

It’s packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory green tea, and contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

The brush gives you extra flexibility when it comes to the amount of powder you want to use. It’s ideal for touch-ups (I don’t use it as my main SPF as it’s a powder formula) without having to worry about reapplying liquid sun protection and it helps to mattify oily skin, especially during hot summer days.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral SPF 50 Brush-On  is Available at Yes Style, SkinStore and Amazon

For dry skin

Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen

The Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen is perfect for people with dry skin.

It’s reef-safe and helps you handle dryness and redness. It contains extra squalane for a boost in hydration and water lily which calms and soothes the skin. With its gentle formula, your skin will feel nice and light throughout the whole day.

Note that it’s not ideal for darker skin tones as it may leave behind a white cast when applied.

Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen  is Available at Amazon

For normal and combination skin

Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF30

If you want to protect your skin and feel the benefits of antioxidants, Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF30 is the best choice for you.

It helps prevent premature skin aging, stimulates the skin’s natural defenses, leaves behind a soft matte finish, and comes with a pure mineral zinc oxide. I loved the even-looking skin tone it gave and the adequate level of moisturizing.

Other benefits include the fact that it’s non-greasy and offers adequate protection for rainy days and during the winter.

Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF30  is Available at Amazon

For anti-aging

ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless

And if you’re looking for an anti-aging tinted sunscreen, the ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless offers everything you could ask for.

It’s an ultralight tinted sunscreen that contains zinc oxide. It helps protect, repair, and correct the skin, tackling any signs of photoaging. It comes with an SPF50 and its formula uses a blend of peptides, antioxidants, and DNA Repairsomes®.

It doesn’t leave a white cast behind and there are no risks of breakouts.

ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless is Available at Amazon

Let’s wrap up

In summary, I wouldn’t recommend mixing sunscreen and foundation together.

Instead, I’d stick to proper layering and ensuring that each product can unfold its true potential and work its magic on the face separately.

There are products specifically designed to offer both UV protection and even out your skin color to give you a boost in self-confidence. I hope you’ve found the tinted SPFs I shared interesting.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve used any of the mentioned products or have interesting stories or feedback about the topic of combining foundation with sunscreen. You can let me know if you’ve used any tinted drops or tinted SPFs by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

Until next time!

Tags: sunscreen
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