Ask Grace: How Do You Apply SPF Over Makeup?

Hi Grace,

I’ve read so much about how important it is to wear SPF every day, and I’ve got into a really good habit of applying it every day. However, I know I should be reapplying my SPF throughout the day as well. I tend to wear makeup most days, so I’d love to know if you have any advice for the best ways to reapply SPF, and especially how to apply SPF over makeup?


Sunscreen reapplication is a big topic at the moment. Now that people are clued up on the importance of wearing SPF in the first place, they’re a lot more open to the idea of reapplication as well. And so they should be – the SPF we put on our faces first thing in the morning doesn’t provide the same levels of protection by midday, and certainly not by the mid-afternoon, when the sun is often at its strongest. 

If you don’t wear makeup, then SPF reapplication is relatively easy and the best way to do it is to reapply with the same product that you used in the morning – that way you won’t get any pilling if the formulas are different. If you’re on the go then there are plenty of great sunscreen mists and sprays which are perfect for topping up your protection while you’re out and about. However, keep in mind that you do need to apply a lot to ensure you get the same amount of coverage that you’d get from a cream or lotion.

If you do wear makeup, then the sprays and mists are still a really good option. There are also several now that are specifically formulated to be applied over makeup – so they won’t disturb your foundation or smudge your mascara, and they can actually help to set and refresh your makeup as well. Another option is to consider a powder SPF – but again, these will need to be applied heavily to ensure you get good coverage. Powders can be a great option if you have oily skin as they will help to absorb excess oil and prevent shine – Supergoop have a lovely one. Finally, reapplying your SPF over your makeup using a sponge is probably one of the most efficient ways to top up and ensure you maintain a good level of protection. Put the sunscreen (thinner, serum-like textures work best) on the sponge and lightly bounce it over your skin, building up in sheer layers to ensure your makeup remains in place.

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