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Uh-oh, scared by something on Paula's site...

Paula says that wearing liquid foundation over sunscreen "dilutes" your sun protection.  I guess my take is that you may be moving your sunscreen around a little while applying foundation, but it's unlikely you're removing it altogether--where would it go?  I prefer a foundation without sunscreen because I have sensitive skin and have to choose sunscreen agents carefully.  Basically, I'm not going to lose sleep about this, but if you have time, I'd be curious for your take.


  • Any thoughts?
  • I don't know why she would say that but I can hypothesize two reasons: 

    1. You may apply foundation over sunscreen before the sunscreen has a chance to form a proper film. This could disrupt the emulsion to the point where you could lose coverage. Waiting about 15 minutes would solve that problem. 

    2. You may (consciously or unconsciously) use less sunscreen if you know you're applying another product on top of it. Obviously if you under dose the sunscreen it won't provide the targeted SPF. 

    Just my thoughts. I'd love to hear other reasons. 
  • Thanks, Randy.  Does the sunscreen also have to have the 15 mins to form a film if it's a mineral sunscreen?  I guess I thought that as long as the particles were still on your face, swirling them around wouldn't really affect the protection much.
  • That's a great question. We looked into this previously and couldn't find any hard data. If the mineral sunscreen is delivered from an emulsion it still takes time to form a film. I'd rather be safe than sorry so even with mineral sunscreens I'd wait a while before going into the sun.  
  • I read on a blog that rubbing your sunscreen too much reduces the protection. Not sure how much truth is there in that.
    The same blogger said that one should avoid toping SPF containing products such as sunscreen and foundation with SPF because some ingredients do not work well together (like some chemical sunscreens) so you may end up getting your protection reduced instead of increased by the SPF layering.
  • The bottom line for me is that some protection is better than none.  I tend to run late in the morning and don't have the 15 minutes on a daily basis, but I do put on broad spectrum sunscreen every single day and avoid prolonged sun exposure in general, so I count myself more protected than a lot of people.  I think as long as I know I'm taking a chance on not getting full protection, then I'm okay placing my bets on it being enough.
  • You are correct, Gabis, about some sunscreen actives not playing well together.  I don't usually wear foundation with sunscreen, but if I do, it's compatible with my sunscreen.
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