It was around this time last year that I started taking sunscreen seriously. And by that I mean I started wearing it every day, regardless of the weather or the UV index. I came into the light (figuratively, not literally, of course) after bumping into an old acquaintance from high school. I was in my hometown visiting my parents for the weekend and I ran into her at the drugstore. She’d been a frequent tanning bed occupant since we were in the 10th grade, and wow, did it ever show. I feel a bit awful for saying this, but seeing how incredibly weathered her skin looked was a huge wake-up call for me. I’d only been to a tanning bed maybe seven or eight times in my entire life, but clearly, that was seven or eight times too many. I was also a frequent beach-goer, and I usually eschewed sunscreen in favor of letting my skin turn golden brown.

The longer I stared at my old friend’s face, the more I realized that I’d been a reckless fool my entire life. After saying our goodbyes, I spun on my heel and headed straight for the skincare aisle. I left the store clutching a jumbo-sized tub of sunscreen for my arms, legs, and chest, and this for my face.

Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Face Sunscreen

And it’s done the trick, for the most part. Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Face Sunscreen doesn’t make my face greasy at all, and it has a light scent that I really like. Oh, and it keeps my skin protected from the sun, so that’s awesome and all, but here’s the thing: it’s ruining my makeup. I don’t know if I’m using too much sunscreen (is that possible?) or if I’m not waiting long enough for it to dry properly, but damn, it’s just messing up my look in a real bad way. My green-tinted primer doesn’t seem to sit properly on top of the sunscreen, and when I go to apply my beloved Pur Minerals 4-in-1 pressed powder, I often find that my brush strokes lift up the sunscreen, which causes it to form into little balls that flake off of my face. It looks about as attractive as it sounds, trust me.

So, here’s my question for you: is this normal? Does your sunscreen eff up your makeup game? Am I doing something wrong here? Should I be trying a different product? I’ve heard good things about Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and Korres Suncare Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Face Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (wow, what a ridiculously long name), but they’re both pretty pricey, so I’d love to hear reviews if you’ve tried them. Actually, I’d love to hear reviews of any facial sunscreen you’ve tried, especially if you found one that’s become your summer staple. Help a girl out in the comment section below, would you?

Here’s Why You Need To Buy Real Sunscreen This Summer And Not Just Makeup With SPF

Makeup with SPF might be a tempting alternative to sunscreen, but here’s why you shouldn’t replace your sunscreen.

I am a person who is really serious about sun protection because my mother scared the pants off of me with stories of skin cancer as a child. This is why I got extremely excited when I discovered makeup with SPF–it seemed like a timesaver, didn’t involve slathering weird crap on my face and body, and made sunscreen a fun beauty product and not something boring. But, as you might have guessed, makeup with SPF is hardly a substitute for actual sunscreen, and it’s time to lay down the law about it.

While you really should be wearing sunscreen year-round regardless of weather (please excuse my judge-y tone–I really just want you to be safe), things get especially important once you start spending vast quantities outdoors, letting the sun wash over you. While you’ll certainly experience an uptick in your emotional health, sun damage is a real, scary health issue that we don’t do enough to combat. The sun doesn’t just cause age-related things like sunspots or wrinkles–two million-plus people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year in the United States alone. Let’s get serious about sun protection, and unfortunately, that means going further than using your makeup with SPF.

When it comes to sun protection, “the absolute best and safest way to protect your face is with sunscreen, and any SPF makeup should be supplemental.” While makeup with SPF is a great idea, in theory, it should act as a supplement to your sun protection routine. There are two main issues when it comes to using makeup with SPF as your only sun protectant: coverage and reapplication. Normally, you’d slather sunscreen on your face and body in a pretty high quantity in order to make sure you’re fully covered. Regardless of how much SPF your foundation has in it, there’s no realistic way to put on makeup and achieve the same coverage and concentration that you’d get from sunscreen. The other issue is that sunscreen requires frequent reapplication if you’re using it correctly, so your all-day waterproof makeup look won’t be effective after a few hours. Unless you plan to cake on your makeup beyond your wildest dreams and reapply it every few hours, it’s simply not a feasible replacement.

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