Can You Tan With Makeup On

can you tan with makeup on

We all look forward to getting ready for the beach and hoping to get tanned. However, one question that revolves around the mind is can you tan with makeup on?

Packing a swimsuit, sunscreen, snacks, and other necessities is normal, but what about makeup? Well, the answer depends on what you are yearning for. If you want a golden tan, it is better to avoid makeup; however, you can still get tanned with makeup on, but the tanning won’t even come.

Generally, makeup products do not provide full protection from harmful ultraviolet rays as sunscreen would. Therefore, when you apply makeup and sit under the sun, the tanning would not come out even on all body parts. Some areas will look more tanned than the others, which of course, you would not like.

So, if you are heading to the beach with makeup on and want to protect the skin from sun damage, it is advised to apply a coat of sunscreen and then your makeup. Sunscreen is an additional barrier to UV rays, shielding your skin from sun damage. It will help in the following ways-

  • Reduce the risk of skin cancer
  • Prevent premature aging
  • Protect skin from environmental stress.

Some people think sunscreen will not let the skin get tanned; however, it’s a misconception. The skin will still tan but at a lower rate. At the same time, it will stay protected from the sun’s damage.

Tan With Makeup On

What Happens When The Skin Tans With Makeup On?

The majority of ingredients in makeup products are chemicals. Even though it can provide a layer of protection to the skin, the outcome is based on its formulation. The chemicals of makeup products break down when sun exposure, making skin prone to damage.

Every makeup product performs a specific function. For instance, foundation corrects the color, fades the marks, and prevents sweating. When you sit under the sun, the foundation will not let the sweat come out, clogging the pores with debris. It may lead to acne and breakouts.

Tanning Tips

If you want to take care of your skin while getting tanned, it is advised to follow certain measures like-

  • Sun Exposure- Do not expose the skin to the sun when it is strongest. Mostly it is from 11 am to 4 pm, but it depends on where you live.
  • Using spray tan- Do not wear makeup if you are using spray tan. Makeup will prevent the spray tan from reaching your skin, causing an uneven finish. Therefore, cleanse your face thoroughly and apply spray tan evenly on the skin.
  • Using liquid makeup- If you use liquid makeup, avoid applying it immediately after getting a spray tan as the chemicals of makeup and spray tan will clash, leaving patches on your new tan.
  • Give time- When you are using spray tan, give time to set it. Spray tans may take 6 to 8 hours to set on the face and give the desired outcome. Do not wash the face for this period as it will not give the perfect tan.

What Makeup Can I Wear Before Tanning?

As already said, wearing makeup impacts tan, and the result could be uneven tan- you might tan in certain areas and burn in others. However, if you still want to get makeup on, you need to keep a few things in mind-

1. Does Your Makeup Contain SPF?

If your makeup doesn’t contain SPF or if the SPF is not high enough to protect you from harmful sun rays, avoid it completely. Go for products with at least SPF 30 or more to ensure full protection.

2. What Is Your Skin Type?

Sensitive skin is more prone to sun damage and gets burned easily. So, if you have such skin, ensure you do not sit under the sun for long hours. Check if you are taking any medication that can make your skin extra sensitive.

3. What Time Of The Day Are You Sitting Under The Sun?

Sun’s intensity is maximum between 11 am to 3 pm. These are the prime hours when the sun is strongest. So keep this in mind if you want to tan from the sun’s rays but do not forget to wear high SPF sunscreen as this is when the sun can damage your skin the most.


Now that you know tanning with makeup on would not get perfect results and may also cause clogged pores, breakouts, irritated skin, and blotchiness, it is better to avoid it. If you can’t go out without makeup, ensure you wear high SPF sunscreen. It may cause uneven results but will not cause sun damage.

Better be safe than sorry!

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