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Should You Apply Primer Before Or After Sunscreen?

Are you confused about what should go first–primer or sunscreen? You’re not alone! Many people aren’t sure when to apply primer and when to slather on some sunscreen.

So, should you apply primer before or after sunscreen? Keep on reading to find out the answer, so you know which product should be used when, within your makeup routine.

Should You Apply Primer Before Or After Sunscreen?

Is Makeup Primer The Same As Moisturizer?

You might be wondering, is makeup primer the same as moisturizer? Well, darling, they’re not quite the same, despite both being essentials, for whenever you apply makeup.

The main difference lies in their purpose and ingredients, to give you the best results.

Let’s talk about primer ingredients first. Primers are typically made with silicones like dimethicone or cyclopentasiloxane that create an even canvas on your skin.

They fill in fine lines and wrinkles and smooth out any texture on your skin to make it ready for makeup application. Moreover, primers often have mattifying properties that can control oil production throughout the day.

On the other hand, moisturizers are packed full of hydrating agents such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and essential oils which deliver crucial moisture benefits to your skin.

These help to nourish and hydrate your face while maintaining its natural barrier against environmental stressors such as dirt and pollution.

If you have an oily skin type, you might prefer a primer that will minimize your oils, whilst still protecting the skin from the sun.

How do these two contribute to makeup longevity? Well, when you apply moisturizer, it helps keep your skin supple so that makeup doesn’t flake off due to dryness. It creates a healthy base for foundation or concealer to adhere well without looking cakey.

Meanwhile, primer’s role is more direct when it comes to prolonging the wear time of cosmetics, and is applied once moisturizer is applied first.

It acts like double-sided tape – adhering one side onto your moisturized skin while gripping onto your foundation on the other side – ensuring that everything stays put from morning until night.

Should You Apply Primer Before Or After Sunscreen?

Sunscreen types have different characteristics, but they all share a common mission: protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Physical sunscreens, containing minerals like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, act as a shield, reflecting and scattering sunlight off of your skin.

Chemical sunscreens, however, work by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat that’s then released from the skin.

When you apply sunscreen after primer, it can disrupt the layer of protection provided by the sunscreen because most primers are silicone-based and create a barrier on top of your skin.

This barrier can prevent chemical sunscreens from being fully absorbed into your skin, thus reducing their effectiveness.

Foundation compatibility plays a crucial role in this sequence. Primers are designed to prepare your face for foundation application by creating an even surface that helps makeup adhere better and last longer.

If you were to put on sunscreen after applying primer, it could interfere with this process.

Skin sensitivity should also be considered while applying these products in order. Some people may experience irritation or breakouts if their skincare routine isn’t properly layered due to conflicting product ingredients.

To maximize protection from damaging UV rays and ensure flawless makeup application, always apply your sunscreen before using primer.

How Long Should You Wait After Applying Your Sunscreen Before Applying Primer?

How Long Should You Wait After Applying Your Sunscreen Before Applying Primer?

Giving your sunscreen ample time to sink in, roughly about 15 minutes, before moving on to apply your primer can make a world of difference in your skincare routine.

This waiting period allows the sunscreen absorption rate to peak, ensuring maximum protection from harmful UV rays. The next step would be applying primer.

There are several reasons why you should wait before applying your primer:

  • Sunscreen needs time to absorb fully into the skin for effective protection.
  • Applying primer too soon could disrupt the even distribution of sunscreen on your skin.
  • Different primer types have various formulations and may interact differently with sunscreen if not given enough time.
  • Skin preparation steps such as cleansing, toning, and moisturizing should ideally be spaced out for optimal effect.

Understanding how different products interact with each other is crucial in achieving the desired results from your skincare regimen.

For instance, water-based primers might mix improperly with certain sunscreens leading to patchiness or uneven texture.

On the other hand, silicone-based primers work well with most sunscreens but may reduce their effectiveness if applied too quickly after the sunscreen.

While it’s essential to protect your skin from UV rays using a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, it’s equally important that you give it enough time to settle before layering another product over it – especially when that product is a primer designed to help makeup adhere better and last longer.

Will Sunscreen Work If You Apply Primer Over The Top?

Sunscreen creates a protective barrier on your skin to shield you from harmful UV rays.

For it to work effectively, it needs to be absorbed thoroughly into your skin. This is where the question of ‘Sunscreen absorption’ comes in.

Now let’s talk about primer ingredients. Primers are mainly designed to smooth out your complexion, reduce shine, and help makeup adhere better to your skin.

Most primers sit more on the surface of your skin rather than being absorbed in.

This difference between how sunscreen and primer work can cause some confusion when layering them together.

But here’s what you need to know: applying a primer over sunscreen does not necessarily negate the efficacy of the latter as long you wait enough time for each product to absorb properly before adding another layer.

Does Sunscreen Affect How Your Makeup Looks?

The application of sunscreen before applying your makeup can indeed affect how the final result looks. There are a few ways this happens, and it ties in closely with factors like sunscreen absorption, makeup longevity, and potential skin reactions.

  • Sunscreen Absorption: Sunscreens usually work by absorbing into the skin and then absorbing or reflecting UV rays from the sun. This absorption process can sometimes interfere with the way your foundation or other base products sit on your skin.
  • Makeup Longevity: In some cases, certain ingredients in sunscreens may cause your makeup to break down faster than usual. This depends largely on the type of sunscreen you’re using and its compatibility with your makeup products.
  • Skin Reactions: If you have sensitive skin, combining several products (like a primer, sunscreen, foundation) may lead to irritation or other adverse reactions.

However, despite these potential impacts on your makeup appearance, don’t be tempted to skip the SPF step in favor of flawless cosmetics alone. 

Getting around these issues is a matter of finding compatible products and perhaps adjusting how you apply them.

For instance, allowing enough time for each product to absorb fully before layering another helps improve both sunscreen efficacy and makeup longevity.

What Kind Of Primer Is Best Applied Over Sunscreen?

What Kind Of Primer Is Best Applied Over Sunscreen?

When it comes to choosing a primer to layer over your sunscreen, you need to pay close attention.

The type of primer you should use can make all the difference in achieving that perfect summer glow while still protecting your skin.

However, those with sunscreen allergies should be extra cautious as certain primers may contain ingredients similar to sunscreens that could potentially aggravate their condition.

The ideal primer should have a lightweight formula that doesn’t interfere with the function of your SPF product.

It’s also essential that it complements the texture of your sunscreen. If you’re using an oil-based SPF product, go for an oil-based primer or vice versa.

Primer ingredients play a pivotal role too in ensuring your makeup stays put throughout hot summer days. Look out for primers infused with silicones like dimethicone or cyclopentasiloxane.

These ingredients form a smooth base on top of the sunscreen, helping your foundation glide on effortlessly and stay longer without caking up.

Summer makeup tips always emphasize hydration and protection from harsh UV rays.

Hence, consider investing in hydrating primers enriched with hyaluronic acid or glycerin which not only ensure longevity but also provide an extra boost of hydration under the scorching heat.

Is The SPF In Primer Enough UV Protection For Your Face?

Think your primer’s SPF is enough to shield your face from harmful UV rays? This might not be the case. While many primers boast an SPF rating, it’s important to understand that this isn’t a replacement for sunscreen.

Primer ingredients often include some degree of sun protection, but they’re not formulated primarily as sunscreens.

Typically, their main function is to create a smooth base for makeup and improve its longevity on your skin. The inclusion of SPF in primer is more of an added benefit rather than its primary purpose.

Sunscreen formulations are designed specifically to protect against both UVA and UVB exposure – the two types of UV radiation that can harm your skin. They contain active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which physically block these harmful rays.

On the other hand, most primers have a much lower concentration of these protective ingredients.

In fact, if you rely solely on the SPF in your primer for sun protection, you’d need to apply an unrealistically thick layer to achieve the same level of protection as a standalone sunscreen.

Remember that UV exposure can lead to premature aging and increase your risk of skin cancer. Therefore, even if your primer has some SPF rating, it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for regular sunscreen application.

How To Reapply Sunscreen When Wearing Makeup?

Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays before they reach your skin, while physical or mineral sunscreens reflect them away.

The latter tends to be less disruptive to makeup application and wear but may leave a white cast on deeper skin tones.

When applying your initial layer of sunscreen under your makeup for the day, consider using a setting spray with SPF.

This not only protects your skin but also helps keep your makeup in place longer – an added bonus for those concerned about their look’s longevity.

The trickiest part comes when you need to reapply throughout the day without ruining your meticulously applied cosmetics.

There are several strategies you can employ here. One option is using a powder sunscreen; it can be brushed lightly over your existing makeup, providing additional protection without disturbing what’s underneath.

Alternatively, consider an SPF-infused setting spray that can be spritzed on top for quick touch-ups throughout the day.

How Often Should I Reapply Sunscreen when Using Makeup Primer?

You should reapply sunscreen every two hours to maintain its effectiveness, regardless of makeup primer usage.

The primer ingredients may impact the longevity of your makeup but won’t extend the life of your sunscreen.

Environmental factors like heat and humidity can reduce sunscreen’s effectiveness over time. So, even with a primer on, don’t skimp on regular sunscreen application to keep your skin protected all day.

How Often Should I Reapply Sunscreen when Using Makeup Primer?

What Are the Potential Skin Damage Risks of Not Using Sunscreen Before Primer?

Not using sunscreen before primer can lead to serious skin damage. Sunscreen absorption is crucial for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, which can cause premature aging and even skin cancer.

Without it, the primer’s function of smoothing and prepping your skin for makeup becomes less effective, as underexposed skin may lead to irritations or inflammations.

Skipping sunscreen before primer significantly increases the risk of sunburns and other types of damage.


When it comes to primers and sunscreens, there’s an order that you must follow for optimal results.

Sunscreen should always be applied before primer – and also given time to set in (around 15 minutes) – so that it can do its job of protecting your skin from harmful UV rays.

Primer ingredients are designed to create a smooth base on top of which makeup can adhere better without caking up, while hydrating primers also provide an extra boost of moisture under the hot summer heat.

And don’t forget – sunscreen is not a replacement for primer, no matter how high its SPF rating is! Reapplying every two hours throughout the day is key to ensure proper sun protection.