July 14th 2021
Best SPF face sprays, brushes and compacts: how to top up your sun cream over makeup
June 17th 2022 / 0 comment
Reapplying suncream (every 4 hours, but you knew that!) over a full face of makeup is super easy with the latest SPF face sprays, powders and more
The final hurdle when it comes to sun protection is reapplying it on top of your makeup as the day wears on. Sorry, once in the morning isn’t enough to get the protection listed on the packaging. “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 on London's Harley Street. That's where a good SPF face mist or SPF face spray is your on-the-go must-have.
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 stay protected all day? First of all, make sure that your first SPF application, before makeup, is thorough. Use two finger-lengths of SPF; 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, although you have to remember to apply them evenly, especially if you’re on the go, otherwise 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 mattifying SPF spray: Kate Somerville Uncomplikated SPF50, £36
If you sometimes forget the SPF step in your morning regime, this is a godsend. Spray this ultra-fine mist all over your face for an easy way to up your sun protection. It’s mattifying if shiny summer 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.
Best mineral powder SPF: Brush on Block Mineral Block Dispenser SPF30, £40
If you’ve got oily skin, this is the SPF top-up for you. 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 it’s one for oilier types. Our editor's teenage son, with acne-prone skin, prefers this to mists.
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 avoid drying.
Best for a foundation finish: Heliocare 360° Colour Cushion Compact SPF50+, £32.99
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.
Best budget SPF face mist: Garnier Over Makeup Super UV SPF50, £6.50
We spotted this recently in Dr Anita Sturnham's extensive sun cream collection and she told us she was really impressed with it for her sensitive skin. And as a founder of her own skincare line Decree, it takes a good deal to impress her. The price can't be beaten, and neither can the prospect of Boots points!
Best invisible spray for faces and partings: Hello Sunday the Retouch One Face Mist, £16 SPF30
This new arrival was a recent spur-of-the-moment purchase by GTG's designer manager, who wanted something to protect her scalp on holiday, after switching to a protective hairstyle for summer. This lightweight, invisible, portable and fragrance-free pump mist exceeded expectations both for scalp and face with SPF 30 and blue light protection too. "What I loved most is that it didn't leave my oily skin greasy (it’s also suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin) and I can reapply it throughout the day without ruining my makeup. My only tip is to give it a good shake beforehand so you’re not covered in any white dots!" she says.
Best for sensitive skin: La Roche Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Invisible Fresh Mist Face, SPF 50, £14
We love La Roche Posay's Anthelios range, but the standard face SPF can be a little runny for on-the-go. In answer to that dilemma they've just brought out this does-it-all mist which knocks back shine, adds hydration and is invisible. We love the way it dries instantly with no stickiness and is water-resistant. If you're on the beach and have sandy hands, this is a brilliant touch-free option.
Best for all skin tones: Bondi Sands SPF 50+ Fragrance Free Face Mist, £9
If you’re a fan of the Tiktok approved Bondi Sands SPF 50+ face lotion, then you’ll love the handbag-friendly mist version even more. It still has the same texture and finish however, the quick and easy aerosol spray bottle gives it a well distributed coverage. Plus, the undetectable formula is suitable for all skin tones as it leaves no white cast. Meaning you have no excuse to top-up over makeup every few hours.