can you tan through makeup

Can you tan through makeup? Should you wear makeup on your next beach day?

How does makeup react when you expose your skin to the sun? These are some common questions for those who appreciate a good tan.

If you want your tan to be uniform and golden, you should probably skip makeup for the day to achieve your aim.

Even though getting a tan while wearing makeup is possible, the result is likely to be patchy.

It is because cosmetics do not offer complete protection from ultraviolet rays in the same way sunscreen does. So, can you tan with makeup on your face?

No, it is not a good idea to tan with makeup because it can also damage your skin and pose other risks.

Tip: Avoid perfumes, deodorants, and tight clothing before going for a spray tan, or you might see inconsistent results. 

Can You Tan Through Makeup and What to Know?

can we tan through makeup

Some women think it is okay to leave their makeup when tanning because it adds a layer of protection from UV rays.

However, it is not entirely true and often comes down to the quality of products and formulas.

 After all, makeup is composed of different substances. Any of these substances, if left out in the sun, run the risk of decomposing and causing adverse reactions on the skin.

Moreover, the foundation may prevent sweat from evaporating from the skin, accumulating debris in the skin’s pores. 

What Makes Tanning through Makeup a Bad Idea?

why tanning a bad idea

According to studies, applying makeup before going outside can prevent your skin from tanning evenly.

Foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, blush, powders, eyeliner, and lipstick are all great additions to your beauty routine, but they should never replace sunscreen.

Most cosmetics contain compounds that are difficult to break down, which is why makeup can sometimes have a tanning-blocking effect.

These compounds block UV rays before they may penetrate the skin and trigger melanin production.

  • Exposure to the sun, when wearing makeup can:
  • Result in sunburn
  • Damaged skin
  • Increased risk of skin cancer

Some people believe that if they put sunscreen on their faces before applying cosmetics, their faces will get a better tan.

However, experts do agree that your skin will still tan even with sunscreen applied; the process will just take longer. 

Is It Okay to Spray Tan with Makeup On?

okay to tan spray with make up

Is it okay to tan with makeup on? Probably not. But, what about spray tan?

If you want to protect your skin when tanning, you should avoid being out in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

This is when the sun is at its peak intensity, and you are likely to experience its harmful effects.

It is not recommended that you put on cosmetics before having a spray tan for the same reason. 

Understand that makeup will prevent the spray tan from penetrating your skin, resulting in an uneven finish. 

What Else Might Go Wrong When Tanning with Makeup?

In addition to having an effect on the final results, using makeup while tanning can lead to a number of other negative repercussions, including the following:

  • It clogs your pores and leads to acne.
  • It can irritate your skin and result in breakouts.
  • It can leave your skin dry or blotchy.

The higher temperatures during the summer months are the cause of these consequences.

what else might go wrong

Besides making you perspire, tanning with makeup stimulates the oil glands in your skin to produce excessive oil.

Eventually, it combines with dead skin cells and leaves you with clogged pores.

Tip: Be sure to know your melanin cut-off point, usually 2-3 hours for fair-skinned people, to tan properly. 

What Might Affect the Results of Tanning with Makeup?

Wearing makeup on the face will almost certainly interfere with the quality of your tan.

Many factors, including the following, determine whether you will tan, tan selectively, or burn. 

The Quality of Your Makeup

a quality of the make up

In this case, it comes down to the availability of SPF in your makeup. There is no guarantee that the SPF in your cosmetics will entirely block off the sun’s rays.

Still, it is a good idea to use sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF rating. 

The Type of Skin You Have

People with different skin types may react differently when tanning through makeup.

Those with delicate, sensitive skin are more likely to experience a sunburn. Certain medications can increase skin sensitivity, so take additional caution if you are taking any. 

Consider The Timing

Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the sun’s rays are at their fiercest and will have the greatest impact on your skin.

This is important to remember if you plan on tanning in the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest. 

How Can You Tan Safely through Makeup?

safely tan through makeup

As mentioned already, cosmetics with an SPF30 or higher are a must if you want your face to tan while still having some covering from the sun.

Be sure to use some tinted sunscreen along with a high-quality tinted moisturizer that also contains SPF.

And, of course, it is advisable to use some oil-free foundation with SPF for added protection.

Whether you go for sunscreen and makeup or just sunscreen, you have to reapply your SPF product throughout the day to maintain your protection from the sun’s damaging rays.

Tip: Ensure you take breaks from the sun to reduce UV intensity, sunburn risk, and prolong your tan. 

How Do You Wear Makeup after Getting a Spray Tan?

wear makeup after tan spray

Spray tans are great, but they can complement your natural glow rather than being its exclusive source.

Even while your newly sprayed tan makes your skin look radiant, there are times when you may want to hide your glow with makeup.

Take a look at the guidelines below if you are unsure about applying makeup after getting a spray tan. 

Do Not Use Water Straight Away

Avoid taking a shower right after getting a spray tan. Getting your face wet is not a sensible thing to do after a spray tan.

It would be counterproductive to cover your freshly tanned skin with a thick foundation layer if you want to maintain your radiance.

While foundation probably will not destroy your tan as much as a full-on shower would, it also will not help it last longer.

Make sure your tan has fully faded before using foundation, preferably waiting 6-8 hours.

You risk having your tan ruined or your makeup looking uneven if it contains any moisture. 

Try New Shades of Makeup

try new shades

You may want to avoid using old makeup because it would no longer complement your new skin tone after tanning.

Makeup artists recommend trying out several tones of foundation, concealer, and powder to complement your natural golden hue.

Consider going makeup-free if this is a one-time tan and rocking your tanned skin instead. Because of this, you will not have to waste money on new makeup.

If you tan frequently, you should buy a second set of cosmetics to achieve the desired shine.

Mixing in a little bronzer is another, generally cheaper, alternative. Your regular foundation can be adjusted to your current skin tone using this.

Reach Out for New Color Options

You probably use more than just concealer, foundation, and bb cream on a daily basis.

In addition to these staples, you might also apply blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick.

You have more alternatives, including going a shade or two darker, without having to do so like you would with foundation.

If you change your skin tone, you can experiment with color in new ways. For example, consider the first time you tried wearing makeup.

Start from scratch again.

Do not take this as a roadblock; instead, use it as an opportunity to push your color palette to new extremes.

Invest in a wide variety of lip, eye, and cheek colors to experiment with on your radiant skin.

Enhance the Glow

enhancing your glow

After getting a spray tan, one of the main makeup aims should be to amp up the faux glow.

Using a heavy powder or makeup that leaves your skin looking matte will actually make your tan fade faster.

Try something new with your makeup, such as a creamy blush, shimmery eye shadows, a sheer gel bronzer, or dewy lip gloss.

Tip: Do not be quick to choose new makeup colors immediately after tanning because spray tans darken at least an hour after application. 

Read Next: Does Micellar Water Remove Waterproof Mascara?


Can you tan through makeup? You can certainly try. But, should you be doing it? Not really.

When you are in love with that beautiful faux glow you get after tanning, it is natural to be concerned about what you can or cannot do.

It can hurt your skin in so many ways and leave you with an uneven tan.

So, take your time understanding how to mix tanning and makeup for an ultimate new look.

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