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How to top up your SPF when you’ve got makeup on

July 15th 2021 / 0 comment


Reapplying suncream over a full-face of makeup needn’t be a chore. Here are the best formulas for topping up without ruining your foundation

Thanks to lighter, non-greasy formulas, we’re all wearing SPF on our faces every day (aren’t we?), and have even found tinted SPFs that work as gorgeous bases for makeup. The final hurdle when it comes to SPF is reapplying it on top of your makeup, because pplying SPF to your face once in the morning isn’t enough. If you're continuously in the sun make sure you're reapplying your SPF every three to four hours,” says Dr Hiba Injibar, consultant dermatologist and founder of Dermasurge, Harley Street.

Ideally SPF should go directly onto our skin, Dr Hiba tells us, but when you’ve painstakingly applied foundation, bronzer and highlighter, removing it all to reapply SPF several times a day just isn’t going to happen.

So how can we reapply SPF on top of our makeup? First of all, make sure that your first sunscreen first application, pre-makeup, is thorough. Use a teaspoon worth of SPF and it can’t hurt to follow with primer and foundation with SPF in too.

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“When it comes to adding SPF throughout the day over makeup, I would suggest an SPF compact or a brush on powder sunblock as it’s easier to get an even application of the product onto the skin,” says Bobbi Brown senior pro artist Warren Dowdall. “Mists and sprays are another options, though they can be a little more challenging for an even application especially if you’re on the go so you can end up with patchier protection if you’re not careful”

The makeup you’re wearing can make a difference to how easy it is to apply SPF top-ups, Wayne tells us. “You have more flexibility with a liquid foundation as you can choose an SPF compact, powder SPF or mist. If you’re using a powder foundation, a powder SPF will be the best option as liquid compacts or sprays could disturb your base. The reality of a thorough SPF reapplication means that it’s unavoidable that you may have to reapply your blush and highlighter, but what’s an extra minute to touch up when you’re prioritising the health of your skin?”

Here’s our pick of SPFs to apply over makeup.

Best for easy top-ups: Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF50, £34


If you’re someone who sometimes forgets to apply the SPF step in their skincare regime this is a godsend. Once you’ve finished your makeup, spray this ultra-fine mist all over your face for an easy way to up your sun protection. It’s mattifying if shiny skin is one of your bugbears and gives UVA and UVB protection. You can’t feel it on your face at all once it’s on but one thing to watch out for is getting this in your hair. It can feel crispy if sprayed onto your strands (a bit like a hairspray feel) but does easily brush out.

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Best for cooling off: Boots Soltan Clear and Cool Protect Suncare Mist SPF30, £7


This tropically-scented mist gives UVA and UVB protection, with a fine application that leaves skin refreshed and protected without ruining your makeup or leaving skin looking greasy. It dries quickly and makes topping up SPF a doddle. Unlike the Kate Somerville one, this mist isn't designed specifically for the face so does a sting a bit if you get it in the eyes. We'd recommend spraying it into your hands and then patting onto your face instead.

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Best for shiny skin: Brush on Block Mineral Block Dispenser SPF30, £34


If you’ve got oily skin, this is the SPF top-up for you. It’s a bit trickier to use than some of the others; we recommend dabbing the brush on your hand to make sure the powder is coming out, then using the fluffy brush to apply to your face as you would any other powder. Being a loose powder it is quite dry, hence why it’s one for oilier types.

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Best for hydrating dry skin: Coola Full Spectrum 360 Refreshing Water Mist SPF15, £39


If you’re a slave to hydrating face mists you’ll love this. It feels as refreshing as any spritz we’ve tried, with added sun care benefits -SPF15 allows 93.3 per cent UVB to be blocked. It absorbs quickly and doesn't smudge foundation and uses aloe and coconut water for the hydration hit. It's vegan and cruelty-free, as well as being alcohol-free to prevent drying.

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Best for a foundation finish: Heliocare 360° Colour Cushion Compact SPF50+, £31


Available in three shades, this works like foundation rather than simply a top-up of SPF. It gives buildable coverage and a dewy finish as well as UVA, UVB and HEV protection. It feels light and moisturising on the skin and easily layers on if you're someone who looks to refresh their makeup as well as their SPF throughout the day.

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Best for on the go application: Hello Sunday The Take-Out One - Invisible Sun Stick SPF30, £14


Hello Sunday launched earlier this year with an abundance of new ways to apply SPF, from serums to hand-specific SPF to lip balm SPFs. The brand's latest launch is this stick formula which glides onto your face with no stickiness or pulling. It has a zesty lime, geranium and mint scent, leaves no residue and is the quickest SPF to sink in that we've tried. Plus it has hyaluronic acid in for a hydrating boost.

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MORE GLOSS: The best facial SPFS to wear every day

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