In recent years, I’ve ditched all possible excuses and have diligently applied sunscreen whether I’m with or without makeup. It might be the sun-fearing beauty editor in me, but I know that whatever excuses we once had with sunscreens no longer apply. These days, liquid sunscreens are are a great alternative to the old-school kind that were too rich/creamy/sticky/chalky. And you still only need a nickel size amount to cover the entire face. I got in touch with Dr. Doris Day, a New York-based dermatologist to get the 411 on what we need to know about wearing liquid sunscreens.
Always go for SPF 30 or higher.
SPF 15? Not good enough. Whatever texture you prefer, always look for sunscreens that are SPF 30 or higher and ones that offer broad spectrum protection, providing both UVA and UVB protection.
If you have a good sunscreen, you can skip primer.
“There are excellent sunscreens that also act as primers and are labelled as such,” says Dr. Day. “It would be ideal if you used a primer with sunscreen and then a foundation with sunscreen so you can have even better coverage. Otherwise, look for a matte sunscreen that [has a minimum of] SPF 30 and is untinted so it doesn’t affect the colour of the foundation.” In other words, double-duty products are your friend.
Liquid sunscreens allow for smoother makeup application.
“I like liquid sunscreen under makeup since they allow for makeup to be applied smoothly over them,” says Dr. Day. “Mineral or powder sunscreen may make the foundation or makeup applied after make the skin look bumpy or [make] the pores look bigger.”
The right fluid won’t make your makeup pill.
Certain sunscreens can make your makeup—namely your foundation—pill (kind of like how your sweater pills). Mineral sunscreens have a tendency to that. “The exception is mineral sunscreen that is micronized, those can be very smooth under makeup,” explains Dr. Day. What you should look for: “Ones that contain salicylic acid or ones that are more matte may make it look smoother.”
I have a few favourites that I rotate on the regular from Shiseido, Ombrelle and La Roche-Posay. From the three, I stay pretty true to Shiseido’s Urban Environment. I’m halfway through one and have a 30-ml bottle in waiting for travel since it’s easy to tote around. It’s oil free, offers broad-spectrum protection and is so ultra light, it feels like you’re applying a serum.