Question: Can I wear makeup over sunscreen? Or will it destabilize it?


You only really have to worry about makeup destabilizing sunscreen if your sunscreen has avobenzone as one of its ingredients. It‘s best to not layer these kinds of sunscreens with anything containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which are common ingredients in makeup with SPF and most mineral makeups.

Avobenzone is often made less effective when in the presence of octinoxate, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. However, there is no evidence of how much the avobenzone is actually broken down when it comes into contact with these other ingredients. Also, many makeups are now using microencapsulated titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which minimizes how much their presence destabilizes avobenzone.

Therefore, you can go ahead and wear mineral makeup or SPF makeup over an avobenzone-containing sunscreen, but it’s better to be safe and just not do it. Or if you do, at least wait 20 minutes after applying the sunscreen (so it has time form a protective layer on your skin) before putting on any makeup.

If your avobenzone-containing sunscreen has stabilized avobenzone, you won’t have to worry as much about it destabilizing with these other ingredients.

Last updated: September 25, 2012

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