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How to Layer Skincare, Sunscreen, and Makeup

Should You Wear Sunscreen Every Day?

28 Feb 2024

When you’re packing for a tropical vacation or getting ready to hit the beach, chances are one of the first things you grab is sunscreen. But if that’s the only time you reach for the SPF, you may want to reconsider your stance. Experts say that you should be wearing sunscreen every day—rain, snow, or shine.

While wearing sunscreen on cloudy or rainy days may feel a bit over-the-top, it’s one of the best ways to protect your skin from damage. Fortunately, there are tons of different types of sunscreen on the market, including makeup-skincare hybrids that can streamline your routine. Here, we’ll share the benefits of wearing sunscreen every day and offer tips on how to choose the right formula for your skin. Find all the details and learn how to protect your skin from those pesky rays, ahead.

Why Is Sunscreen Important?

Sunscreen is important because it protects your skin (and we don’t just mean from painful sunburns). Ultraviolet radiation—in other words, the sun’s rays—can damage your skin beyond what you may see after a day at the beach. In fact, sun exposure is responsible for up to 80% of visible skin aging.1 If you tend to skimp on the SPF because you like how you look with a sunkissed glow, opt for a spray tan or warm up your skin with a bit of bronzer instead.

Why You Should Wear Sunscreen Everyday

You should wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin from both temporary concerns (like burns) and long-term damage. Ahead, we’ll dive a bit deeper into the benefits of wearing sunscreen every day.

Daily Sunscreen Use Benefit #1: Helps Prevent Signs of Aging

As sun exposure is directly linked with skin aging (think: fine lines, wrinkles, and unevenness), wearing sunscreen every day can help prevent some of these skin changes. That’s not to say that SPF will keep you looking 20 forever—but it may help protect you from developing age-related skin concerns prematurely.

Daily Sunscreen Use Benefit #2: Helps Prevent Sunburn

Sunscreen helps protect your skin against sunburns—this, you likely already know. Even if you don’t usually burn like your fairer-skin friends, unprotected sun exposure can damage your skin. The difference is that you may not see it immediately, unlike those with lighter skin tones.

Daily Sunscreen Use Benefit #3: Reduces Risk of Skin Cancer

When used as directed, sunscreen can reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. To protect your skin, the United States Food and Drug Administration recommends wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day and reapplying every two hours or after sweating or swimming.2 You’ll also benefit from taking other steps to limit your sun exposure, such as avoiding direct sunlight at midday and wearing protective clothing when possible.

When Should You Wear Sunscreen?

Experts recommend everyone six months of age and older wear sunscreen every single day, whether they go outside or not. That’s because the sun’s rays can penetrate through glass (like windows) and damage your skin. Fluorescent lighting can also emit some UV light, giving you even more reason to wear sunscreen.

How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen?

Aim to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after sweating, swimming, or toweling off (even if your sunscreen is labeled as waterproof). When you do reapply, make sure that you apply enough to fully cover all exposed skin, including your face, neck, hands, and chest.

Is It Safe To Put On Sunscreen Everyday?

In the United States, all sunscreen products are regulated for safety by the FDA. Products that don’t pass the test won’t hit the shelves—this means what you see in stores and at reputable retailers is designed for safe, daily use.

Should You Wear Sunscreen Every Day Even If You Don't Go Outside?

Yes, you should wear sunscreen every day, even if you spend the entire day indoors. As we mentioned earlier, ultraviolet rays—specifically UVA rays, the type that contributes to visible skin aging—can penetrate through glass. Plus, some indoor lighting can also cause cumulative UV damage over time. So even if you’re indoors, wear sunscreen like you would if you were spending the entire day at the beach or park.

Should You Wear Sunscreen When It's Cloudy?

It’s important to wear sunscreen even when it’s cloudy. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate through clouds.3 So, yes—sunscreen is important to wear even on cloudy, sunless days.

Should You Wear Sunscreen Everyday in Winter?

You may not feel like it’s necessary to wear sunscreen everyday in the winter, but it is. As anyone who’s gone skiing on a sunny winter day can tell you, the sun during the winter months can be strong—and snow can reflect those rays back at you. Even if it’s cloudy and you’re huddling up indoors, you can get some sun exposure just by being near a window. So apply (and reapply) your SPF, even when you’re enjoying a cozy snow day in.

What Sunscreen Should You Get?

There are two different types of sunscreen: Chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen. They both help protect against UV rays, but they work in different ways. Keep reading to learn about each type and their benefits.

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens, as the name suggests, use chemical filters such as avobenzone or octisalate to absorb UV rays before they can reach your skin.

Pros of Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens are popular because of their widespread availability and ease of use. Because they use lightweight chemical filters rather than physical barriers, they tend to be easy to rub into the skin and don’t leave behind a white cast.

Cons of Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens require a bit of time to “kick in,” so you have to apply them about 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure. This may not be ideal if you’re spending all day in the sun and unable to hide out in the shade for a few minutes before resuming your outdoor activities.

Mineral-Based Sunscreens

Mineral-based sunscreens use minerals (like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) to deflect ultraviolet rays. You can think of these formulas as a physical shield for your skin.

Pros of Mineral-Based Sunscreens

Mineral-based sunscreens form a physical barrier on your skin, so they work immediately. Those prone to sensitivity sometimes find that mineral sunscreens feel more comfortable on their skin, too.

Cons of Mineral-Based Sunscreens

Some mineral-based sunscreens leave a white or chalky-looking cast on your skin. While this whitish cast can serve as a great indicator of where you’ve applied your sunscreen, it can be a deterrent if you have a darker skin tone (though there are tinted options you can try).

Does Makeup with SPF Work?

Makeup with SPF works in that it will help protect your skin from the sun—but there are stipulations. For one, you’re unlikely to use the quantity needed to fully protect your skin (experts recommend using an ounce of sunscreen for your entire body). It’s also important to note that you’re probably not going to apply makeup to your hands, chest, arms, legs, or other exposed areas of skin that need protection. With that being said, you can pair your makeup with SPF with a traditional sunscreen for additional protection against UV rays.

All About Blur Screen

Help protect yourself from the sun and prep your skin for makeup with our Blur Screen SPF 30 Primer. The lightweight gel primer helps blur the skin, grips makeup for up to 18 hours of wear, and provides SPF 30 protection against UV rays. Plus, the cactus flower-infused formula blends seamlessly on all skin types and leaves skin feeling hydrated and fresh. We suggest pairing the layerable formula with our Bare With Me Blur Tint Foundation for a smooth, matte look. Learn more about wearing sunscreen with makeup in our article here.

Final Takeaway

A common refrain amongst dermatologists is “The best sunscreen is the sunscreen you’ll use.” Translation: Wearing sunscreen every day matters more than what type of SPF you reach for. So apply, reapply, and don’t forget to cool out in the shade when the rays are strongest.

Our Blur Screen Primer is made to pair with makeup, and we’d love to see the looks you create. Share your sun-safe looks on social and tag us @nyxcosmetics!

Next: Check out these 8 Cool Summer Looks for Hot Days.

1. Flament, Frederic et al. “Effect of the sun on visible clinical signs of aging in Caucasian skin.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology vol. 6 221-32. 27 Sep. 2013.
2. “Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun.” United States Food and Drug Administration, 24 May 2023.
3. “Sunscreen FAQs.” American Academy of Dermatology Association, 19 Oct 2023.


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