Is it okay to mix foundation with your sunscreen?
December 15, 2006 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Is it okay to mix a dab of foundation with your sunscreen to make an ersatz "tinted moisturizer"? Or will it create a rip in the very fabric of space and time?

I wear sunscreen (Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF45, if it matters) every day on my face and any other exposed skin. I don't normally like to wear a full coat of foundation, but I do sometimes wish for a sheer tint to even out my skintone without feeling like I'm covered in spackle.

I've recently been mixing a dab of foundation into my sunscreen before applying it, as you might do to sheerly tint your moisturizer. Is there any reason I *shouldn't* do this? I'm not a chemistry whiz, so my feeling that this is probably okay is largely groundless, and my googling was inconclusive.

Also-- I know there are SPF-rated foundations, but I only like *very* sheer coverage, so I don't think I'd be able to get enough sun protection from them.

I love love love my sunblock and don't want to try other products or, obviously, stop using it-- if adding the foundation is doing something evil to it, I'll just knock it off and be mildly blotchy.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by thehmsbeagle to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I love the Neutrogena USDT SPF 45 too!

I've found a good way to get some coverage, without the "spackled" look and feel is to use a mineral powder. I like Neutrogena Sheer Minerals Foundation.

I've also heard very good things about Bare Escentuals but have never tried it myself.
posted by suki at 3:12 PM on December 15, 2006

I think it's fine, although it might dilute your sun protection a bit?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:13 PM on December 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

I've done it to no ill effect, but then I did go out and get the Bare Minerals that suki is talking about, and I just use that over regular moisturizer. The mineral foundation takes about 2 seconds to put on.
posted by oflinkey at 3:23 PM on December 15, 2006

Perfectly fine -- I've done this off and on for years when I just want a tiny bit of sheer coverage, and I know I've read it as a beauty tip in various beauty magazines over the years (I'm sure that's where I first got the idea back in high school or college).
posted by scody at 3:38 PM on December 15, 2006

Best answer: I think this is completely fine, as long as you make sure you're not using less sunscreen because of it. I know you said you don't want to try a different sunscreen, but may i meekly suggest the Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF55 over SPF45, for two reasons:

1. The SPF 55 is photostable, while the SPF 45 isn't, which means it doesn't degrade upon exposure to sunlight and you don't have to reapply it every two hours. Also, sunscreens that aren't photostable can release free radicals while they're degrading and make you more susceptible to UVA radiation (SPF only measures protecting from UVB rays.)

UVB rays are the ones that give you sunburns, but UVA rays are the ones that give you wrinkles. Both can give you cancer.

2. Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF55 has just about the best UVA protection you can get in the U.S. The SPF45's UVA protection, in contrast, is not that good.

I get all this from prowling the skincare message boards at I'd pull up some supporting materials but I've spent my whole lunch break writing this post, and there are papers that need to be filed, for goodness' sake.
posted by granted at 4:37 PM on December 15, 2006 [8 favorites]

Oh, and, um, make sure to you're taking a Vitamin D supplement, because if you're wearing sunscreen you're probably not getting enough (it's synthesized in the skin by UVB rays, which your sunscreen is blocking).
posted by granted at 4:52 PM on December 15, 2006

I read somewhere (can't remember the source, sorry) that mixing foundation with moisturizer may not be the best idea for your skin if you are acne prone (the idea is that since moisturizers penetrate the surface layer of the skin and foundation is supposed to stay on top of the skin, mixing the two will pull some foundation down into your skin and cause breakouts. Now that I think about it, this is probably true since I used to do this in high school and would get the worst cystic acne. blech).

But as for mixing it with sunscreen (I too like the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock), it shouldn't be a problem but as ThePinkSuperhero previously mentioned it will dilute the strength of the sunscreen a bit (but spf 45 is plenty high anyway). I don't wear foundation, but if I did I would put a good amount of sunscreen on first, wait 10 minutes, then smear some foundation on. But that's just me.
posted by zippity at 6:20 PM on December 15, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone!

Granted, I had no idea about the photostability issue! Thanks so much for clarifying that-- I'll definitely be looking into the SPF 55.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 12:29 AM on December 16, 2006

granted said: Oh, and, um, make sure to you're taking a Vitamin D supplement, because if you're wearing sunscreen you're probably not getting enough (it's synthesized in the skin by UVB rays, which your sunscreen is blocking).

I don't know if this is true. Unless she covers her entire body with sunscreen she should get enough Vitamin D if she is exposed to the sun for more than 10 minutes a day (which she obviously is).

Maybe this is just hearsay, but I've been led to believe that you get all the Vitamin D you need from just 10 minutes of sun exposure on an area of your body as small as the back of your hand.
posted by mjao at 8:21 AM on December 17, 2006

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