Can Concealer Prevent or Allow Tanning – Debunking The Myth In 2023

by Tori Jones
Tan Through Concealer

Hello, my radiant sun chasers and beauty enthusiasts! Have you ever caught yourself basking in the sun’s warmth, your skin luminous, and wondered, “Can I tan through my concealer?” If you have, then you’re not alone! It’s one of the most intriguing questions swirling around the beautiful cosmos, and it’s high time we unveil the truth behind it.

Photo by Karly Jones on Unsplash

In today’s post, we’re about to embark on a fascinating journey, diving into the heart of this sun-kissed mystery. Just imagine, here we are, your trusty beauty sleuth and you, the beauty connoisseur, solving this riddle together. From exploring the science behind tanning and how sunscreen factors into it to understanding the role of makeup in protecting or exposing your skin to the sun, we’ve got it all covered!

Prepare to unearth the secrets of the sun, the intricacies of concealers, and their intertwining relationship. By the end of this post, you’ll know not just if you can tan through concealer but how different ingredients, SPF levels, and application techniques can affect your sun-kissed glow. So let’s slide on those sunnies and dive right in because knowledge is your ultimate sunscreen in the radiant world of beauty!

Get Glowing: The Makeup & Sun Love Affair

Hey, my sun-loving beauties! We’ve all been there – lazing around a shimmering pool or catching waves at the beach, desiring that perfect sun-kissed glow while still wanting to look picture-perfect. And then the question pops up: Can I wear makeup, concealer while tanning? Today, I will share the inside scoop on this sunlit query. So grab your sun hat, and let’s dive in!

A Beautiful Balance: Makeup & Sun Exposure

Yes, you can wear makeup while soaking up some sun! But it’s not just about looking flawless; it’s also about protecting your precious skin. Remember when I got that uneven tan last summer during my tropical getaway? A hard lesson learned is that the right makeup during tanning is crucial.

When choosing makeup for sunny outings, look for products with an SPF of at least 15. These little lifesavers help you stay gorgeous and create a protective shield against harmful UV rays that could lead to sunburn or long-term skin damage.

A word of caution, though, powder-based products like loose or pressed powders can be tricky post-tanning. They tend to settle into crevices, causing uneven tan lines (trust me, not a good look!). So save them for later and let your skin soak in the sun first.

Here’s a little secret from my beauty book – always opt for waterproof mascara before heading outdoors. I can’t tell you how many times regular mascara has left me looking like a raccoon after a quick dip in the water!

The Concealer Conundrum: Can You Tan Through It?

The Concealer Conundrum
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Now, onto the million-dollar question: can you tan while wearing concealer? The quick and simple answer is – yes, you can. But before you rush out with your favorite tube, consider a few things.

Concealer can sometimes act like a little sun-blocking rebel, disrupting your even tan. And remember, wearing makeup in the sun for long periods might clog your pores and lead to breakouts – nobody wants that!

I’m a big fan of a natural, bronze glow over a self-tanner or makeup-induced one. If you share my sentiment, you can still tan while wearing concealer. But applying sunscreen before stepping into the sun’s spotlight is crucial to protect your skin from potential sun damage like dryness or even sunburn.

And a tiny but essential tip – always use concealers with SPF protection. These multi-taskers will give you the desired coverage and won’t block all the beneficial UV rays needed for healthy tanning.

Remember, makeup and the sun can sometimes have a love-hate relationship. Even though you can tan while wearing makeup, going only sometimes with rage is not always recommended. Improper application can result in an uneven tan, leaving you patchier than a leopard!

But fear not; with the proper application techniques, timely reapplication, and advice from your trusty beauty blogger (that’s me!), you can enjoy that radiant summer glow without compromising your skin’s health. Let’s embrace the sun and shine on, beauties!

Tanning Tales: The Makeup Equation

Hey there, sun lovers! Have you ever looked at your makeup-laden face in the mirror and thought, “Can I still tan with all this on?” Well, you’re not alone! I remember being a sunscreen-slathering, makeup-donning beachgoer, puzzled by this exact question. So, let’s clear up this mystery once and for all!

Makeup & Tanning: Can They Co-exist?

Makeup & Tanning
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Yes, my dear beauty buffs, you can still catch that beautiful sun-kissed tan while wearing makeup. But here’s the deal: consistent exposure to UV radiation is the arch-nemesis of youthful skin and could also be a gateway to skin cancer. Scary, right?

So, layer up with sunscreen before your sun-soaking sessions. If you’re like me and can’t go a day without your trusty foundation or other SPF-inclusive products, remember to check the label for reapplication times. That time I got a sunburn because I ignored reapplication advice was not a pretty sight!

If you’re aiming for an even tan (who isn’t?), I suggest skipping makeup for the day. But if you still want some coverage while out and about, remember to layer your sunscreen underneath. Makeup might slow down your tanning process slightly, but as long as you’ve got your sunscreen, there’s no need to worry about those harmful rays causing skin damage.

Makeup & The Quest for Even Tan

Let’s talk about makeup’s role in the tanning equation. As a beauty blogger, I’ve learned that makeup can create a UV ray blockade, potentially leading to an uneven tan – definitely, not the sun-kissed glow we aim for!

Before applying makeup, gently apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. And whenever you’re stepping out in the sun, remember this mantra! Also, stick to lightweight and oil-free makeup as excess oil can clog pores, preventing an even tan.

For those who prefer a bit more coverage outdoors, tinted moisturizers or light foundations with UVA/UVB protection can be great alternatives. They provide enough coverage to camouflage certain imperfections without blocking natural melanin production.

Remember when I had a makeup faux pas with heavy concealer while tanning? I can tell you; it’s different from the route you want to take. If you must use heavy concealers, try to remove them after an hour of sun exposure to prevent skin congestion.

Coverage Sans Makeup: Tanning the Natural Way

Tanning the Natural Way
Photo by Maria Lupan on Unsplash

But what if you want to tan naturally without makeup and still need some coverage? Well, I’ve got you covered! A tinted sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 is a great starting point. Choose one suitable for your skin type to nourish your skin during tanning.

BB Cream or bronzing lotions can also be your best buddies. They provide additional protection and help even out your skin tone when applied before tanning. However, remember the patchy tan I got once by not blending a bronzing cream properly? Take a leaf from my book, and make sure to blend, blend, blend!

Regularly use sunscreen to ensure an even tan, and reapply any BB creams or bronzers throughout the day. What’s your secret recipe for basking in the sun safely while letting your tan form evenly over time? So, go ahead, embrace the sun, and let your natural glow shine through!

Mascara Madness: Tanning Beds and Eye Makeup

Hey, my fellow glow-getters! Today let’s talk about something that once led to my beauty blunder: mascara and tanning beds. A dangerous duo, you ask? Let’s dive into the details.

The Trouble with Mascara in Tanning Beds

The Trouble with Mascara in Tanning Beds
Photo by Peter Kalonji on Unsplash

We love our mascaras for the magical touch they add to our eyes, don’t we? But bring them near a tanning bed, and the magic fizzles out. Trust me on this; I still cringe at the memory of mascara streaks running down my face after a tanning bed session.

Why does this happen? The heat generated by UV rays in tanning beds makes your mascara melt. And if you thought smeared mascara was the worst part, think again. Some mascara formulations contain ingredients that turn toxic when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. This can irritate your eyes and even cause long-term damage.

So, the next time you’re heading for a tanning bed, give your mascara – and other facial makeup like foundation and eyeliner – a miss for an even and safer tan.

Tanning Bed With Makeup: Yay or Nay?

If you’re wondering whether using a tanning bed with makeup on is okay, let me set the record straight – it’s a big NO. I cannot stress enough the potential harm it can cause your skin.

Tanning beds alone pose a risk of skin cancer, and adding makeup to the mix could amplify this risk. Moreover, makeup can clog your pores, preventing UV rays from evenly tanning your skin. Not to mention, when exposed to UV light for extended periods, certain chemicals in makeup can wreak havoc on your skin.

My advice? If you want a sunless tan, ditch the makeup and embrace a safer alternative, like spray tans or other self-tanning products. They’ll give you the glow without the risk of radiation exposure that comes with indoor tanning beds.

To Remove or Not to Remove Makeup Before Tanning

Photo by Isabell Winter on Unsplash

Now, should you remove your makeup before using a tanning bed? Absolutely YES. Remember, tanning is about exposing your skin to UV light, with or without tanning lotions or oils.

Leaving your makeup on while tanning can lead to an uneven tone, thanks to makeup smudging and running down your face in the sweaty, humid tanning room atmosphere. Picture this: that’s precisely what happened to me during my first tanning bed experience! Not a pretty sight, I tell you.

Most importantly, medical professionals strongly advise wearing sunscreen all over your body, including your face, while sunbathing or using any tanning device. Makeup can block the protective elements of sunscreen, putting you at a higher risk of burning.

Additionally, certain cosmetic products contain ingredients that react negatively to UV light rays, potentially harming your skin even more. So, go bare-faced if you’re planning to get a tan, whether in direct sunlight or using a tanning bed. Trust me; your skin will thank you!

Can Concealer Block UV Rays And Affect Tanning?

Yes, concealer can block UV rays and potentially affect tanning. Many makeup products, including concealers, often contain SPF (Sun Protection Factor) to help protect your skin from harmful UV radiation. This means that areas where you’ve applied concealer might not tan as profoundly as areas without makeup, leading to an uneven tan.

Furthermore, the physical barrier created by the concealer on your skin can also limit the direct exposure of your skin to UV rays, which may hinder the tanning process.

However, it’s important to remember that makeup should not be your primary form of sun protection. Makeup application is often uneven, and the level of SPF in cosmetic products is usually insufficient to protect your skin thoroughly. Therefore, if you’re going to be in the sun, applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 under your makeup is crucial.

What Are Some Tips For Applying Makeup While Tanning To Avoid Uneven Tan Lines?

Applying makeup while tanning can be a tricky business if you’re aiming for an even tan, but there are a few tips and tricks that you can employ:

  1. Use makeup with SPF: Start by using makeup that contains SPF. However, remember that makeup shouldn’t be your primary source of sun protection. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 underneath your makeup.
  2. Choose Light Makeup: Opt for lightweight, oil-free makeup. Heavy foundations or concealers can block UV rays, leading to an uneven tan. Tinted moisturizers or BB creams are a better option as they provide coverage and often contain SPF but are light enough to let some sun through.
  3. Blend Thoroughly: To avoid blotchy areas, thoroughly blend your makeup. Pay particular attention to areas where your skin meets the hairline or jawline.
  4. Limit Makeup: If possible, limit your makeup to areas needing coverage. The less makeup, the more even your tan is likely to be.
  5. Reapply Sunscreen: Reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating, as makeup and water-resistant sunscreen can wear off. Sunscreen should be reapplied over makeup.
  6. Be Careful with Powder Products: Avoid using powder-based products like bronzer or powder foundation, as they may create blotchy, uneven areas when you start to tan.

How Can Makeup With SPF Protection Help During Tanning?

Makeup with SPF protection can help shield your skin from harmful UV rays while tanning, reducing the risk of sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in makeup products is designed to block UVB rays—the leading cause of sunburn and skin damage.

However, it’s crucial to remember that SPF in makeup typically isn’t enough to provide complete sun protection, especially during extended exposure. The amount of makeup we apply and how we apply it usually offers a different level of coverage than sunscreen.

Also, it’s often the case that makeup only contains protection against UVB rays and not UVA rays, which also contribute to skin aging and skin cancer. So, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen underneath your makeup is essential, which will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

When using makeup with SPF, consider these tips:

  1. Apply generously and evenly: This ensures you’re getting the full benefit of the SPF. However, most people need to apply more makeup to achieve the SPF protection stated on the label.
  2. Don’t rely solely on makeup for sun protection: You should use broad-spectrum sunscreen as your base, then apply your makeup. This ensures more comprehensive and reliable sun protection.
  3. Remember to reapply: No matter how high the SPF in your makeup is, it will still wear off over time. It’s important to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.

Incorporating makeup with SPF into your beauty routine can add an extra layer of defense against the sun’s harmful rays. But remember, it’s not a substitute for proper sun protection measures like sunscreen, shade, and protective clothing.

8 Awesome Product Recommendations For Different Skin Types

Finding the right makeup product with SPF to fit your skin type and preference is key in balancing sun protection and the quest for a lovely tan. Let’s delve into some product recommendations tailored to different skin types and preferences.

For Oily Skin:

1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 60 – This oil-free formula is perfect for people with oily skin. It’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores, and it has a matte finish, reducing shine.

2. Neutrogena Clear Face Break-Out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen SPF 55 – This oil-free product is perfect for preventing breakouts while providing ample sun protection.

For Dry Skin:

1. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ – This color-correcting cream delivers full coverage and hydrates the skin while protecting it from the sun.

2. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – This product offers lightweight hydration and broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection. It’s perfect for those wanting to moisturize and even out skin tone while getting some sun.

For Sensitive Skin:

1. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 – This sunscreen is great for people with sensitive skin, including skin types prone to acne, rosacea, and discoloration. It’s lightweight and silky.

2. Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 – This hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic formula is perfect for sensitive skin types. It is oil-free and helps even skin tone and texture.

For Natural, Vegan Options:

1. Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer – This 4-in-1 multitasking BB cream blends zinc broad-spectrum SPF 30, mineral coverage, and powerful antioxidant-rich apple, grape, and aloe juices for a radiant, protected, even-toned complexion.

2. Suntegrity “5 in 1” Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen – This product provides broad-spectrum protection and is packed with antioxidants. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil.

Remember, the effectiveness of these products is contingent upon correct and generous application, frequent reapplication, and they should be used in conjunction with other protective measures like shade and clothing. Be sure to take into account your individual skin type, lifestyle, and personal preferences when choosing a product. Happy tanning!


And that wraps up our tanning talk, my beautiful readers! Remember, achieving that sun-kissed glow shouldn’t come at the expense of your skin’s health. Whether lounging by the pool or under a tanning bed, always go makeup-free to let your skin breathe and tan evenly. Not only does makeup block UV rays from tanning your skin, but it can also react adversely under UV light, potentially harming your skin. Always, and I mean ALWAYS, prioritize sunscreen – it’s your skin’s best friend in the fight against UV rays. Are you looking for an alternative? Consider sunless options like spray tans or self-tanning products for a glow without the radiation risk. Your skin’s well-being is crucial, and no level of tan should compromise that. So, take this advice and step towards a healthier, glowier you. Shine on, my friends, shine on!

Feature image by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

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