Advice For Applying Makeup Post-Sunburn (Because We Know You're Not Missing That Vacation Dinner)

While adding makeup on top of your sunburn is likely tempting, you should think twice. Every year, millions of us burn. When this happens, many of us instinctively reach for our makeup to cover up the aftermath. However, dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D. warns against this: "Applying makeup, especially if it has chemicals and irritants, can cause more inflammation to the skin" (via Refinery29). If you can, you want to avoid doing this whenever you can. However, what if you have a special event and don't feel ready to part with your trusty makeup yet? This situation can truly feel like the ultimate dilemma, especially if you feel self-conscious about it. Thankfully, there are steps that you can follow to ensure that you're being kind to your skin while working with sunburn and makeup.


Being gentle is key. Thankfully, you have quite a few options in your arsenal. Below, we'll take a look at some essential tips for applying makeup-post sunburn so that you can tackle those social events head-on. Although it may take some adjusting, you should be good to go in no time with the correct products and preparation.

Prep your skin with yogurt

It is of utmost importance to be kind to your skin when it's sunburnt, and your skincare products should be no exception. Before applying any makeup, you should ensure that you use gentle products to prepare your skin. This step is arguably one of the most important of all. Speaking to Prevention, celebrity makeup artist Geoffrey Rodriguez recommends "[spreading] a layer of plain yogurt on your face to calm down the burn. Yogurt has lactic acids that are very soothing, and probiotics that nourish the damaged skin. This will minimize the redness." Rodriguez advises leaving the yogurt on your skin for 20 minutes before gently rinsing with cool water. This should help to calm and prepare your skin before your makeup goes on. However, this isn't the only step you should take before applying makeup to your sunburned skin.   


Of course, you should also remember to use SPF protection under your makeup, as it will help to protect your skin from further damage. You can apply this after your yogurt or another sunburn-soothing option. Likewise, it's also just as important to wear SPF in winter, as the sun is still present even if the temperatures are cooler. Whichever method you pick, your skin should benefit from it. Now, it's time for your makeup.  

Using light products with sunburn is key

So, what else should you consider when working with makeup and sunburn? While it may feel frustrating, it is again imperative to use gentle products that will be kind to your skin. When deciding what products you should wear, you should focus on the formula. For example, Lancôme makeup artist Alex Sanchez explains to Makeup that you should "avoid very active anti-aging products, exfoliating products/tools, acne products, and alcohol-based astringent products until sunburned skin is healed." After all, you want your skin to heal. So, instead of piling on the makeup, you should opt for a more laid-back approach and only use lighter products. Doing so is in your skin's best interests, and it will likely thank you later! 


A light mineral powder product or CC-tinted cream is perfect for skin options. Of course, when it comes to areas like your eyelashes and eyebrows, you should be able to apply your makeup as usual, whether that be a lick of mascara or a dash of brow gel. When working with sunburn, the key is to be as gentle to your skin as possible — including when you're applying it too. If possible, going makeup-free is always the best solution. Just make sure to apply some more SPF to prevent it from happening again! Likewise, you may also benefit from being makeup-free at the gym. Now, you should be able to easily rock makeup with your sunburn.