Can Your Face Tan With Makeup On?

Published June 7, 2018
Sun shining on a woman's face

It's common to wonder what effect wearing makeup on your face will have when you're tanning. In short, it seems that you're unable to tan properly with makeup on, and there are a few reasons why.

Facts About Wearing Makeup While Tanning

Research shows that makeup can act as a barrier between your skin and the sun and could cause uneven tanning. However, whether you're wearing foundation, powders, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, or lipstick, you shouldn't use makeup as a replacement for sun protection. This is because even with makeup on, exposure to the sun could:

  • Cause sunburn
  • Damage your skin
  • Increase your risk of skin cancer

The reason why makeup can sometimes act as a tanning blocker because most products contain chemicals that are hard to break down. It's these chemicals that can prevent UV rays from entering your skin and producing melanin.

Some people think that their face might tan properly if they apply sunscreen underneath their makeup, but this is not the case. Experts do say, though, that your skin will still tan with sunscreen on, just at a slower rate.

How Will Makeup Affect My Tan?

It's safe to say that wearing makeup on your face will impact your tan in some way. You might tan, you might tan in certain areas, or you might burn, but it depends on a lot of variables such as the following:

  • Whether your makeup contains SPF - SPF in your makeup might not be high enough to cancel out the sun's harmful rays completely. Opt for SPF 30 or higher for full protection.
  • Your skin type - Sensitive skin will be more prone to sunburn. Be especially careful if you're taking medication as some types make your skin extra sensitive.
  • The time of day - The sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm, therefore your skin will be the most affected at these prime times. Bear this in mind if you're trying to tan in the middle of the day when the sun is particularly intense.

Other Effects of Makeup in the Sun

As well as affecting the end result, wearing makeup while you're tanning is also not recommended because it has the following consequences:

  • It clogs your pores.
  • It can cause breakouts and irritation.
  • It can result in blotchiness.

These effects are due to the increased heat in the summer months. It not only makes you sweat, but it also produces excess oil from your skin's oil glands that mix with dead skin cells to create blockages.

How to Tan With Makeup On

If you want your face to tan while wearing some sort of coverage, you can opt for makeup that contains SPF30+ such as:

  • Tinted sunscreen
  • A tinted moisturizer containing SPF
  • An oil-free, lightweight foundation with SPF

However, consider it as an extra layer, not the main event.

Furthermore, whether you choose to wear makeup containing SPF or sunscreen with a bit of makeup on top, remember that you will need to reapply your SPF product regularly throughout the day to keep yourself protected from the sun's harmful rays.

Be Safe, Not Sorry

Wearing makeup on your face in the sun can prevent your face from tanning evenly. However, you can opt for sunscreen plus a product that has lightweight coverage if you want more of a flawless finish as you're enjoying the sunshine.

Can Your Face Tan With Makeup On?