Video: All Your Sunscreen and Make-up Questions Answered

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How to cite: Wong M. Video: All Your Sunscreen and Make-up Questions Answered. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. September 20, 2017. Accessed June 21, 2024.

Or at least I hope all your sunscreen and make-up questions are answered! This video took me a bloody long time to research and put together, so I’m hoping I won’t have to revisit this topic again anytime soon.

The questions I talk about:

  • Do I need to wear sunscreen every day, even though I’ll be inside most of the time?
  • Do I need a separate sunscreen if my make-up has SPF?
  • What happens when I layer multiple products with SPF?
  • Can I mix sunscreen into my make-up?
  • Is chemical or physical sunscreen better?
  • Do I need to apply chemical and physical sunscreens differently?
  • What order should I apply my products in?
  • How should I apply my products so I don’t mess up my sunscreen?
  • How can I stop sunscreen from balling up?
  • How do I look less shiny? How can I get rid of the oil?
  • Do I need to reapply sunscreen? How do I reapply sunscreen with make-up on?

Check out the video here.

My sunscreen reapplication flow chart

I’m a huge fan of charts – here’s the reapplication chart from the video as a pinnable image with some of the other tips from the video too.

Video: All Your Sunscreen and Make-up Questions Answered


Here are all the papers I directly referenced in my video. I read many more papers than this to get a feel for how sunscreens work, if you’re interested in this topic I’d encourage you to do the same.

Daily Sunscreen Benefits

Nambour Trial studies:

A Green et al., Daily sunscreen application and betacarotene supplementation in prevention of basal-cell and squamous-cell carcinomas of the skin: a randomised controlled trialLancet 1999, 354, 723–729.

A Green et al., Reduced melanoma after regular sunscreen use: randomized trial follow-upJ Clin Oncol 2011, 29, 257–263.

JC van der Pols et al., Prolonged prevention of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin by regular sunscreen use (open access)Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006, 15, 2546–2548.

S Darlington et al., A randomized controlled trial to assess sunscreen application and beta carotene supplementation in the prevention of solar keratosesArch Dermatol 2003, 139, 451–455.

MC Hughes et al., Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trialAnn Intern Med 2013, 158, 781–790.

Norwegian Women and Cancer (NOWAC) study:

R Ghiasvand et al., Sunscreen Use and Subsequent Melanoma Risk: A Population-Based Cohort StudyJ Clin Oncol 2016, 34, 3976-3983

SPF and sunscreen application amount

Blog post: How SPF Changes With How Much Sunscreen You Use

B Petersen & HC Wulk, Application of sunscreen–theory and realityPhotodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2014, 30, 96-101

Layering sunscreen

B Pruim & A Green, Photobiological aspects of sunscreen re-application, Australas J Dermatol 1999, 40, 14-18.

Moisturiser and sunscreen

AH Lui & K Greive, The effects of applying a moisturiser on sunscreen efficacy, Poster presented at Australian College of Dermatologists Annual Scientific Meeting, May 2016, Perth Australia.

F Kluschke et al., Gain or loss? Sunscreen efficiency after cosmetic pretreatment of the skin, Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014, 27, 82–89.

Sand resistance

RP Stokes & BL Diffey, A novel ex vivo technique to assess the sand/rub resistance of sunscreen productsInt J Cosmet Sci 2000, 22, 329–334.

Drydown time

Blog post: Why Do I Need to Apply Sunscreen Before Sun Exposure?

DM Beyer et al., Clothing reduces the sun protection factor of sunscreensBr J Dermatol 2010, 162, 415-419

RM Sayre, J Powell & LA Rheins, Product application technique alters the sun protection factorPhotodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 1991, 8, 222–224. (I actually couldn’t find a copy of this, but the quote from the abstract matches what the lead author has said recently in a news article so I’m assuming it’s accurate.)

Products in the video

In case you wanted the links (or if you wanted to direct some Amazon money my way from your usual haulings – thank you so much if you do!)

If you have any feedback or suggestions for my next video, please let me know!

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14 thoughts on “Video: All Your Sunscreen and Make-up Questions Answered”

  1. Hi Michelle! Quick question: would setting sprays work (spf 50, like Coola or Goop) for touching up SPF if I used an spf 50 in the morning?

  2. Excellent video, Michelle. I haven’t been too diligent about wearing sunscreen in the past but I’m much better these days. I recently switched to a routine that includes sunscreen in the last step of my regimen and especially love using a Mineral Powder with SPF as well.

  3. hello Michelle, I discovered your blog recently and I love it! I wish I had found you before.
    I want to ask something, If a day I am in indoor (all day), study next to a window, do I need sunscreen? If I work and in the middle of the day I take a nap, I have to reapply sunscreen? can I apply make up over the suncreen with a brush?

    thank you for all your wisdom and hard work!

  4. I came to your channel after reading your interview at beautifulwithbrains, and was so impressed that you have a very simple morning routine. I am so enjoying your blog and videos, especially the science. This particular video is so so so helpful.

  5. Hi Michelle,
    Great post, I appreciate all your hard work! I have a some questions…So would some foundations be comparable to a moisturizer? If they are a liquid form wouldnt they also reduce the SPF to some degree?

    On another note, what about the lips? Do you recommend using SPF products to protect the lips?

    • Yes they would! Unfortunately it’s hard to say by how much, but it’s unavoidable if you want to wear both foundation and sunscreen.

      Yes I would recommend them – the lower lip is a common site for skin cancer!


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