As we approach warmer months, I have one thing on my mind: sunscreen. (Forgive me, I’m a beauty editor.) I am a ride-or-die sunscreen user. It’s a part of my morning skincare routine no matter the weather or season, but when I start spending more time outside, sunscreen becomes a pivotal part of my beauty routine.
One thing that always puzzles me about sunscreen, however, is reapplication. Conventional wisdom from derms dictates that we should be reapplying sunscreen every two hours (or every 40 to 80 minutes when swimming or sweating). That’s easy enough to remember, but what am I supposed to do if I have a full face of makeup on?
Luckily, there’s an easy solution for staying protected from the sun without trying to spread sunscreen on top of your makeup. Enter setting sprays with SPF, which make SPF reapplication a breeze, even if you’re sporting a full face. I reached out to experts to get the 411 on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about setting sprays infused with sunscreen.
First of all, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be replacing your usual SPF with an SPF-laced setting spray. “Setting sprays containing SPF can provide an added benefit for additional UV protection but should not replace use of a regular sunscreen,” says Marisa Garshick, board-certified dermatologist. “The setting sprays can be thought of as a cherry on top.”
For this reason, you should always start with a normal face sunscreen before you apply your makeup. Use setting spray to supplement and refresh your SPF protection throughout the day, according to Joie Tavernise, NYC-based skin expert, medical aesthetician, and founder of JTAV Clinical Skincare.
The SPF number is the most crucial part here. “Look for a formula with SPF 30 or higher,” says Rebecca Marcus, board-certified dermatologist. “You can look for a formula that has additional features consistent with your skin type needs. For example, [look for] a mattifying formula if you have oily skin or a hydrating formula if you’re dry.”
Start with a normal face sunscreen, then apply your makeup as usual. “Hold the bottle about six to eight inches away from your face and spray evenly, making sure to cover all areas of your face,” says Tavernise. “Allow the setting spray to dry completely before going outside. Reapply the setting spray every two hours if you are spending extended periods of time in the sun.”
With all of this in mind, keep reading for the best setting sprays with SPF. These products are all either recommended by derms or tested by our beauty editors.
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