Skip to Content

Do You Apply Sunscreen Before Or After Primer? [Truth Revealed]

Have you ever wondered what the difference between sunscreen and primer is, or do you apply sunscreen before or after primer, within your beauty routine?

Let’s take a look at why we need to wear sunscreen as one of the most makeup products.

You should apply as part of your daily beauty routine, and let’s take a look at whether you should apply primer before your sunscreen, or layer it on top for best results. Keep on reading to find out if you should be applying primer before or after sunscreen.

Do You Apply Sunscreen Before Or After Primer? [Truth Revealed]

What is makeup primer?

Makeup primer is a base coat for your skin. It’s used to help foundation, concealer and powder stick to the skin better, so you get more coverage with less product. 

You apply makeup primer after moisturizer but before foundation or tinted moisturizer.

Makeup primers can be tinted or clear, depending on what kind of look you want to achieve when applying your makeup (for example: if you want more coverage with less foundation).

Some primers can also help with oil control, if you have oily skin, to give you matte skin before applying your foundation. So, make sure you choose a primer to complement your skin type.

When should makeup primer be applied as part of your makeup routine?

Makeup primer should be applied as the last step in your skincare routine and the first step in your makeup routine.

Primer provides a barrier between your skin and your makeup, providing smoother application and longer wear.

It also helps smooth out any fine lines or wrinkles, and can help control oil, making it a great option for those with oily skin.

Primer not only helps keep your makeup looking perfect all day, but it can also protect your skin from the harsh ingredients in some of your makeup products.

When you apply primer before makeup allows you to use less product overall, resulting in a natural look that won’t feel heavy or cakey.

What is sunscreen?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of exactly what sunscreen is and how it works, it’s important to understand how the sun affects your skin, and why you need to use sunscreen daily.

The sun emits ultraviolet radiation in three forms: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVB rays are the shortest wavelength of ultraviolet light that reaches earth from the sun and causes damage to skin cells by producing free radicals (unstable chemical compounds).

These free radicals can lead to a number of issues such as premature aging, wrinkles and sagging skin.

Longer wavelength UVA rays don’t cause as much damage, but can still contribute to hyperpigmentation or dark spots on your face.

The most effective way to protect yourself from these harmful rays is by applying sunscreen before going out into direct sunlight. Sunscreen comes in two different forms: physical block or chemical block.

Physical block sun protection products are made up of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which reflect UV rays away from your skin, while chemical blocks absorb them before they reach your epidermis (the top layer of skin).

Most experts agree that physical blocks are better than chemical ones when it comes to protecting against both short wave UVA light and long wave UVB light. So, ensure you have the optimum level of protection to protect your skin.

Do You Apply Sunscreen Before Or After Primer

Do you apply sunscreen before or after primer?

So, do you apply sunscreen first or primer first – which comes first in your routine?

It’s generally accepted that sunscreen should be applied before any other skin care products, so applying your primer over the top of your sunscreen – primer and sunscreen together. You can even find primer with sunscreen included within the formula. 

This is because the ingredients in sunscreens can absorb more easily into the skin when it’s clean and hydrated than if you’re still wearing makeup or have applied moisturizer.

Plus, having a layer of sunscreen on top of your face will ensure that all your exposed areas are fully protected from harmful UV rays (including your neck). You shouldn’t mix your sunscreen and primer together, as part of your daily routine.

They need to have separate layers, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Primers aren’t as important for preventing sun damage as they are for keeping makeup in place throughout the day—which is why we recommend applying them second.

Even if you use a primer specifically designed for protecting against sun damage, remember that it won’t provide any additional protection once it’s covered over by foundation!

To get the most out of both products: apply thin layers over clean dry skin so that there isn’t too much product sitting on top of your face at once (this will help prevent clumping).

You can also use this step to double-check that every inch has been covered by both products (by using an applicator brush), but don’t forget to include areas like the back of hands which tend not be thought about when applying these things.

If you’re using a chemical sunscreen, does it take longer to absorb into the skin?

The absorption time of chemical sunscreens depends on a variety of factors, including the type of sunscreen you’re using and how thickly it is applied.

Generally, chemical sunscreens take a few minutes to absorb into the skin, so it’s important to give yourself adequate time before going into the sun.

It’s also important to remember that reapplying sunscreen every two hours is key to protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Chemical sunscreens tend to last longer on the skin than physical sunscreens, so they may require less frequent reapplication. However, reapplying after sweating or swimming is recommended.

The bottom line is that sunscreen should always be applied prior to your makeup

Can I wear primer over sunscreen? The bottom line is that sunscreen should always be applied prior to your makeup, otherwise your sunscreen won’t layer nicely under your makeup. This allows the sunscreen to fully absorb, without pilling up.

This means applying it first thing in the morning, before you even leave the house. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a tinted moisturizer or foundation, as long as sunscreen is applied first and foremost, and allow the sunscreen to penetrate your skin.

Remember: The sun’s rays can cause damage not only on their own, but also when they interact with any product containing SPF in it (which most do).

Sunscreens should also be reapplied throughout the day, especially after swimming or sweating excessively because that indicates increased UV exposure.

Do all mineral sunscreen products give you a white cast?

Mineral sunscreens are a popular choice for those looking for a natural way to protect their skin from the sun.

However, one common complaint about mineral sunscreens is that they can leave a white cast on the skin.

This is because most mineral sunscreens contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which are white.

While it is possible to find mineral sunscreens that do not leave a white cast, they are often more expensive and harder to find than their traditional counterparts.

In general, mineral sunscreens with smaller particle sizes are less likely to leave a white cast. However, even sunscreens with large particle sizes can be used without leaving a white cast if they are applied properly.

When applying sunscreen, be sure to rub it in well and apply a generous amount. Allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of mineral sunscreen without the unwanted side effect of a white cast.

What is the difference between chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen?

What is the difference between chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen?

Choosing the right sunscreen can be difficult, as there are two major kinds—chemical and physical.

Chemical sunscreen typically contains a mixture of chemical ingredients, such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octinoxate, that are designed to absorb UV radiation.

The chemicals then help to convert the UV radiation into heat, effectively blocking it from reaching your skin and helping to protect you from sun damage.

Physical sunscreen, on the other hand, is made up of active mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that act as reflective agents to physically block UV radiation from reaching the skin.

Physical sunscreens don’t absorb UV radiation and instead provide a physical barrier on the skin that helps deflect UV rays.

Most sunscreens on the market contain both physical and chemical ingredients, but generally speaking, chemical sunscreens are more common.

Both kinds of sunscreen provide effective protection from the sun, but physical sunscreens tend to be more expensive, less cosmetically appealing, and may not be as effective in blocking all types of UV radiation.


Primer or sunscreen first? If you want to know the order to apply your sunscreen and primer, you need to apply sunscreen with primer coming second in your makeup routine.

If you choose to apply your sunscreen after your makeup (as an additional layer of protection), make sure that it is a water-resistant formula.

The best sunscreens will allow you to go outside without having to worry about your face getting red or burning.

When deciding primer or moisturizer or sunscreen first, think about what you’re going to do for the day ahead.

If you plan on going outdoors for more than an hour during the day, please be sure to apply a moisturizer that contains SPF in order to protect yourself from harmful rays that could cause premature aging as well as skin cancer.

Always apply your sunscreen first as part of your makeup application. So, the answer to sunscreen or primer first, is sunscreen followed by primer.

*This post contains affiliate links