A woman applying foundation with a beauty sponge.

Should you apply sunscreen before or after makeup? That's the burning question on every sun-loving beauty diehard's mind. Dr. Amy Kassouf, a dermatologist with the Cleveland Clinic, says before is always better. "Sunscreen works best when applied directly to clean skin," she explains.

Meanwhile, experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend reapplying every two hours – or more frequently if you're swimming or sweating. So, the final answer is actually both. Plot twist! As it turns out, you should apply sunscreen before makeup and top up later in the day for an SPF boost.

Now, why is there so much fuss over ? Learn more about the benefits of sunscreen and get tips on proper under-makeup application.

Why You Should Always Wear Sunscreen

When it comes to wearing sunscreen, "always" means always. Obviously, you need to apply it before heading to the beach or going out for a sunny stroll. But it shouldn’t stop there. Some make the mistake of skipping it on overcast or rainy days, but skin-damaging can easily pierce through clouds. The same goes for staying indoors: if your space gets a lot of natural sunlight, you need that SPF.

It's your best defense against , premature skin aging, skin cancer, and other issues. The WHO estimates that "four out of five cases of skin cancer [are preventable], as UV damage is mostly avoidable." The lesson: when in doubt, play it safe and slather on the sunscreen.

Choosing the right sunscreen can be overwhelming, but knowing what qualities to look for simplifies the search. First, look at the : SPF30 and above will be effective against sunburn-causing UVB rays. Next, check if it's a broad-spectrum formula. If it is, then it protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays.

Some products say "broad-spectrum" on the label, while others attach a PA value (from PA+ to PA++++). The Japan Cosmetics Association created the index to measure a sunscreen's ability to defend against UVA rays, the culprits behind . So, the more pluses, the more powerful it is.

How to Wear Sunscreen With Makeup

Many makeup brands leverage the demand for sun protection by infusing their products with SPF. But as convenient as it is to rely solely on or foundation with sunscreen, they're not enough. You'd have to cake on several layers of your base to get the coverage your skin needs.

Instead, use a dedicated sunblock, then follow it up with makeup. Even better – go for complexion products with built-in SPF for added defense. Think of it this way: UV rays are brutal and unrelenting, so you should take as much protection as you can get. Double up!

Step 1: Wrap up your skincare routine with sunscreen.

As much as possible, don't speed through your . Give your moisturizer and other formulas a few minutes to absorb, then apply sunscreen when your skin is dry. You can use it in place of a primer – it also provides a smooth, even base for makeup to cling to.

As for when to apply sunscreen, make sure to do so at least 30 minutes before walking out into the sun. This should give it enough time to bind to your skin.

Step 2:Use a lightweight formula.

If you're wearing makeup, you can easily find a that won't make your base look cakey or thick. Try the Pond’s UV Hydrate Sunscreen for natural-looking glass skin, or the Pond’s UV Bright Sunscreen for a supple and dewy glow.

Both offer broad-spectrum sun protection with SPF50 PA++++. They also have ingredients like , and for added skin-boosting benefits.

Step 3: Apply liberally.

As for the amount, follow the two-finger rule. Squeeze out two lines of sunscreen onto your index and middle fingers. That's how much you'll need for your face. Don't forget your neck!

Step 4:Set with a powder and/or makeup spray.

Once you're all dolled up and ready to go, finish with or a spray. You can do both if you have or need your makeup to last all day. Hit two birds with one stone by reaching for SPF-infused setting products, like mineral sunscreen powder.

How Do You Reapply Sunscreen Over Makeup?

Sunscreen powders, sprays, and sticks are handy for a midday SPF refresh – especially when you have a full face of makeup on. While they're not as effective as “traditional” sunscreen, they are easy to and offer added protection without messing up your look. Hey, it’s better than nothing!

So, do you put sunscreen before or after makeup? No matter how you roll, the important thing is you’re applying sun protection, period. Ultimately, the best application method is whatever encourages you to be consistent. Find what works for you, stick with it, and never skip sunscreen again.