Primer Before or After Sunscreen – Is Primer Worn Under Sunscreen?

Primer Before or After Sunscreen – Is Primer Worn Under Sunscreen?
December 31, 2021 Ellis James
When you’re planning to spend a lot of time outdoors, making sure your skin is protected with sunscreen is essential. However, if you also want to wear makeup for the occasion, you may be stumped trying to figure out the order to apply primer and sunscreen. Will primer before or after sunscreen ensure your face stays protected from the harmful UV rays while also ensuring that your makeup looks its best? Let’s explore this question below and determine the proper order to apply makeup and sunscreen.

Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Mattifying Face Primer Makeup With Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 20, Clear, 1 Fl Oz

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Which comes first, primer or sunscreen?

Just as there is a debate about whether sunscreen or moisturizer should be used first, many people want to know the order that primer and sunscreen should be applied to the face.  Before we answer this questions, let’s first take just a moment to review what primer and sunscreen are and what they are for.

Face primer is designed to prepare your skin for makeup application.  It can smooth the skin’s surface, help seal in moisturizers, and help ensure makeup is applied evenly to the face.

As you probably already know, sunscreen is designed to protect the skin against the UV rays front eh skin.  It works to reflect UV rays from the skin and/or to absorb UV radiation and prevent it from penetrating into the skin.

So, now that we’ve reviewed the purpose of using primer and sunscreen, which should be applied first?  Always apply sunscreen before using primer.  This will allow the sunscreen to penetrate into your skin, where it will be able to work to protect you from getting a sunburn or skin damage from the UV rays.

When you’re trying to decide whether primer before or after mineral sunscreen is best, remember sunscreen always goes first.

BLUE LIZARD Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, SPF 50+, Water Resistant, UVA/UVB Protection with Smart Bottle Technology - Fragrance Free, 5 oz

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Is it bad to put primer over sunscreen?

No, using primer over sunscreen is not bad.  It is always important to apply sunscreen under your makeup to protect you from UV exposure.  Primer won’t stop your sunscreen from doing its job to protect your skin.  In fact, primers, such as Rimmel Stay Matte Mattifying Primer or Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, will just help ensure your makeup stays in place.  They won’t mess with the sunscreen’s protection abilities.


Can I use both sunscreen and primer?

Yes!  You can use sunscreen and primer together.  To make your sunscreen work with your makeup, it is important to always apply the sunscreen before primer or other makeup products, like foundation or blush.  When sunscreen, such as EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen or Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen, is applied first, it can penetrate into the skin and do its job to protect against UV rays from the sun.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, 1.7 oz - Oil-Free, Weightless & Invisible Reef-Safe, Broad Spectrum Face Sunscreen for All Skin Types - Scent-Free - Great Makeup Primer - Beard-Friendly

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How long should you wait between sunscreen and primer?

After applying your sunscreen, you want to wait long enough to let it absorb into your skin and dry fully.  This will help maximize its effectiveness and prevent it from interfering with properly applying your face primer.


Can I wear primer over sunscreen?

Just as you should apply moisturizer before primer, you should also apply sunscreen before primer.  Primer can be worn over sun protection; it will still allow the sunscreen to protect your face, and the sunscreen won’t prevent the primer from prepping your face for makeup application.


Can I use sunscreen as primer?

Some sunscreens can be used as a face primer alternative.  If you’re interested in using sunscreen as primer, you need to make sure to choose an oil-free formula, such as Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Sunscreen or La Roche-Posay Anthelios Oil-Free Body and Face Sunscreen.  Oil-free sunscreens won’t make the skin feel sticky, but will leave more of a matte finish.  The matte finish can serve as a good canvas for applying your makeup over.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60, Oxybenzone Free, Oil-Free Sunscreen, Water Resistant


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Is it okay to wear sunscreen under makeup?

Many people wonder whether makeup that includes SPF really offers enough protection or whether they should wear sunscreen under makeup.  Most dermatologists and skincare experts agree that while SPF protection in makeup isn’t a bad thing and can enhance the protection provided by sunscreen, it shouldn’t be used in place of sunscreen.

Rather, applying sunscreen to your face before applying your makeup is the best choice.  This will help ensure that your skin is adequately protected against the dangerous UV rays from the sun.  Adding an SPF makeup product on top of your sunscreen base isn’t a bad idea, though!

Can I wear primer without makeup?

You may not be completely clear on how to use makeup primer or whether you can wear primer without any other makeup.  The answer is yes, makeup primer can be worn alone without foundation or other products.  Primer is designed to smooth out the skin, correct discolorations, hide blemishes, blur pores, and more.  Plus, many primers are also very moisturizing.

Some people wear only primer as a light-coverage foundation.  Choosing a primer that is a good match for your skin tone can help you pull off wearing it by itself.

Even if you’re not wearing other makeup products, you’ll still want to apply your sun cream before putting on the face primer.  This is always important to make sure the sunscreen can do its job to protect you from the sun.


Wearing Sunscreen and Primer

Applying sunscreen under your makeup and primer is important.  Without sunscreen, your skin is more likely to be damaged by the sun.  This can lead to sunburns, more wrinkles and fine lines, and even future health issues.  Hopefully our article has helped you feel more confident about the order to apply your sun protection and makeup to enjoy a fun and safe day outdoors!

Learn more about protecting your skin and using primer in these related posts on our blog:

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