Can You Put Makeup On Sunburn

cosmetic products on a beach sand

You spend a day at the beach, forget to re-apply sunscreen, and you’re as red as a lobster the next day. It can be embarrassing, and the last thing you want to do is show up at a big event or even leave the house while your skin is beet red and peeling. However, there are bound to be times when you have to walk out the door. It bodes the question can you put makeup on sunburn, or will it cause more damage? This article will cover everything you need to know about putting makeup on sunburned skin. 

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Is It Bad To Put Makeup On Sunburnt Skin

No, it’s not bad to put makeup on sunburnt skin as long as it’s not all day, every day. You should wear makeup on sunburnt skin the least amount possible to give your skin plenty of time to heal. Sunburnt skin is damaged skin. 

Can Putting Makeup On Sunburnt Skin Cause More Damage

No, putting makeup on sunburnt skin will not cause more damage. However, it can cause irritation if you use harsh chemicals or formulas that are not gentle. Applying makeup to a sunburn requires special care. 

How Do You Cover Sunburn With Makeup

While covering sunburned skin with makeup can slightly delay the healing process, there are bound to be a few situations when it’s necessary. In that case, it’s best to know how to cover your sunburned skin to ensure that you look Instagram worth in your selfies. 

Cut Away Flaking Skin

Before you start putting products on your face, addressing any flaking or peeling skin is essential. If you don’t, your makeup will flake off your face along with your skin. Use a pair of brow scissors to cut away flaking skin carefully. Avoid peeling it off, as your skin might not be ready to peel off yet. 

Start With Sunscreen And Aloe

First, you want to apply sunscreen. Makeup doesn’t always protect your skin, and you want to ensure the sunburn doesn’t worsen. The more sunburns you get, the more likely you are to get skin cancer. Even though you already have one, you must keep your skin healthy with a light layer of sunscreen for additional protection. 

Neutrogena Beach Defense Spray Sunscreen SPF 70

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  • Fast absorbing
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Next, apply a very thin layer of soothing aloe. Aloe vera gel will encourage the healing process. It will help keep your skin hydrated and cool down anyone with sunburned or sensitive skin. Aloe vera should be essential to skincare when you have a sunburn. 

Earth’s Daughter Organic Aloe Vera Gel Spray ($10)

Why You’ll Love It

  • Oil-free
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Pick Up Some Green Primer To Conceal Redness

After skincare, you want to apply primer. However, any primer isn’t going to work. Green primer helps conceal redness better than other primers on the market. Pick up a green color-correcting primer to help conceal your sunburn for a flawless finish. 

Stress Remedy + Redness Relief Primer By Cover FX ($38)

Stress Ready Primer tube

Why You’ll Love It

  • Suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin
  • Cools the skin while helping neutralize redness
  • Dries clear
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Apply Foundation

After applying your primer, it’s time to apply foundation. It’s essential to be careful when applying foundation. You don’t want to use a heavy foundation. Instead, use a lightweight foundation. If you use color-correcting products underneath it, it’ll return your skin tone to its natural color. 

You can use a liquid or powder-based foundation for this step. There are wonderful color-correcting foundations on the market that can help further conceal redness. 

However, if you’re worried about using too much makeup, plenty of lightweight foundations on the market will provide ample coverage without being too heavy. 

Phyto Pigments Flawless Foundation Serum By Juice Beauty ($44)

Juice Beauty Serum Foundation

Why You’ll Love It

  • Formulated with certified organic ingredients
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Finish With Bronzer

It seems weird to apply bronzer as the last step when you know your skin is beet red, but after you cover it with foundation, it can look too uniform and unnatural. Applying bronzer will give your face more depth; all you need to apply is bronzer. Use a large fluffy brush to apply bronzer in a three shape, sweeping it across your forehead, cheekbone, and jawline. Then, gently blend it out. 


Phyto-Touche Illusion d'Eté - Topshot
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Glides on smoothly for maximum comfort
  • Hydrates and softens skin
  • Natural appearance

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Other Tips

These are the essential steps to using makeup to cover a nasty sunburn. Both critical are providing your skin with sun protection and using the color wheel to ensure that the redness doesn’t show and that your sunburn doesn’t worsen. However, there are quite a few other things you’ll need to keep in mind. 

Soothe The Skin First

Before applying makeup, soothe the skin as much as you can. Aloe vera can help with this, but there are other things you can do before makeup application to help minimize redness. Apply yogurt to the skin, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse it off. If you don’t have yogurt, wet a washcloth with cold water. You want to use plenty of water. Leave it on your face for 15-20 minutes, then pat your skin dry. 

Use A Soothing Beauty Blender Or Fingers Instead Of A Brush

You don’t want to use any product or tool that can be too rough on your skin, including some makeup brushes. Instead, try to use a damp beauty blender or your fingers to prevent further irritation. 

Use Gentle Skincare Products

If you have harsh skincare products that dry your skin or make it feel tight, they can easily irritate sunburnt skin. Instead, switch those skincare products to gentle cleansers until your skin feels better. Avoid exfoliating products. When cleansing, don’t use tools that can be irritating. Instead, don’t worry about things like dead skin cells right now. Instead, gently wash your face with your fingers instead of a washcloth. 

Matte Formulas Hide Sunburns

Shimmer foundations and dewy formulas highlight imperfections, including the red skin underneath. If this is your regular foundation, consider switching to a matte formula until your sunburn heals. 

Try Powder-Based Foundation To Let Skin Breath More

Powder foundation tends to be more lightweight when compared to liquid foundation, making it more likely that you’ll be able to avoid cakey makeup. On top of that, it lets your skin breathe, which will help your skin feel better. 

Stick With Lightweight Makeup

You’re already going to have quite a few things going on with your face makeup, so the last thing you need is multiple layers of makeup on top of more layers. Instead of going glam, keep it simple for the rest of your makeup. A classic nude shadow and a little lip color are the only things you need. 

Mix Foundation With Oil

Sunburned skin is dry skin. This can make makeup look patchy and flak away as the day progresses. Keep your skin hydrated and encourage your makeup to stay in place by mixing your foundation with a drop or two of oil. 

Try Cleaner Products

When you have skin damage, the fewer chemicals you put on your skin, the better it is. Instead of grabbing any products to use on your face, try using mineral-based products or organic beauty products that aren’t packed with chemicals to avoid further irritation. If you do notice irritation when applying products, stop the application process. Juice Beauty uses certified organic ingredients that are good for animals, the plant, and  your skin! Check them out here. 

In Conclusion

Applying makeup to sunburned skin isn’t the best idea. That’s because it’s not a good idea to apply many unnecessary products to damaged skin. However, if you have to apply makeup to a sunburn, follow these tips and tricks to look amazing. Then, wash it off after you get home to give your skin plenty of air to help it heal. 

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