Sunscreen, we now know, is integral to protecting ourselves from melanoma. It’s also integral if you want to maintain great skin, which isn’t the primary reason you should be using it daily (Hello! Avoid skin cancer!) but is totally a benefit on the side.

But if you wear makeup, you’ve probably struggled to find a sunscreen that works with your routine. Even if you don’t, sunscreen has a history of leaving a white cast on your face, making you look greasy, and irritating sensitive skin. It’s often easier to just not apply it – even though we know we should.

I asked Ava Matthews, founder of Ultra Violette (one of the coolest new sunscreen brands in Australia, and recently landed in Sephora stores) for her hot tips on incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine without losing your goddamn mind in the process.

1. Old formulas will be greasy on skin

According to Ava, the reason sunscreen has such a bad rap in terms of leaving skin greasy is because the old formulas required a high percentage of oil to keep the sunscreen filters stable. Now, there are water soluble SPF filters, which means lighter formulas.

Look for formulations that include Tinosorbs (types of UV filters) as they generally would have been formulated in the past 5 or so years. Some SPFs on the market were created in the late 90’s!

2. Use a hydrating SPF under makeup

If sunscreen has notoriously made your makeup run off your face in record time, look at switching to a hydrating SPF formula.

Hydrating benefits (vitamin E, glycerin, hyaluronic acid)  in an SPF should keep skin and makeup looking fresh without it running off your face. Maybe consider replacing your daily moisturiser with a hydrating SPF. Ultra Violette’s Supreme Screen SPF50+ doubles as a great moisturiser and primer under makeup.

3. Can you apply sunscreen OVER makeup?

Yes – but it takes some creativity.

We’re working on something that is going to make reapplying your SPF a lot easier. Until that’s available, then there are some SPF powders and sprays that can be reapplied over makeup (just make sure it’s made in Australia).

One hack Ava told us comes via influencer Hannah English, who worked out how to use the serum-texture Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ over makeup by applying with a sponge.

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Hiiii! You know how we talk about the best sunscreen being the one you’ll use every day, right? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (it needs to be at least SPF30+, preferably SPF50+ with good UVA protection) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For today’s #SunSafeSeries, these are my sunscreens, depending on the skin finish I want. Pls see mini reviews below; ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ???? @ultravioletteau Supreme Screen SPF50+ If you’re not wearing SPF regularly, If you want a sunscreen that feels like a moisturiser, if you want your mornings to be quick, This is for you! Satin finish, great UVA protection, supremely elegant texture. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ???? #ultravioletteau Queen Screen SPF50+ This one I find more moisturising, with amaaazing glow, so I reach for it on a dry day or if I want extra glow. bonus points for being the formula that got me reapplying over makeup (see story highlights for that!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ???? @kravebeauty Beet The Sun* SPF47 PA++++ Also a satin finish, also reapplies wonderfully over makeup, Does sting my eyes a little but it’s a really fascinating formula – it goes on quite liquidy and transforms to a satin/matte, but with the appearance of glow? Magic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ???? @purito_official Centella Green Level Unscented Sun* SPF50+ PA++++ This is the one I’d recommend for oily skin types, but it’s not drying either so I quite like it on myself too. When I don’t want my skin to have too much skincare glow, if that makes sense? Also great for sensitive skin (hi!) because it’s unfragranced. If fragrance is your trigger. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ???? LIPS – @meccacosmetica To Save Lips* SPF50+ Slight hint of mint, slight hint of sunscreen, moisturises lips while protecting them! To keep them full forever! Also I’ve never reacted to this! And I have had a LOT of allergic reactions to lip products in my time (wanna see gory pics? Haha kidding) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Finally, don’t forget to reapply – if the UV index is 3 or more, the Cancer Council recommends. And tag me and @dirtyboysgetclean Don’t know if this applies to you? Google the UV index in your city. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You’d be surprised how high it can get on a cloudy day ⛅️

A post shared by Hannah English (@ms_hannah_e) on

So any super light-weight sunscreen could work the same way. It’s important to re-apply through the day, especially if you are out in the sun often.

4. Sensitive skin can benefit from a physical sunscreen

Basically there are physical sunscreens, which use Zinc / Titanium Dioxide to shield skin from the sun, and chemical. Chemical formulations can irritate very sensitive skin, which could be why you’ve always hated sunscreen.

That being said, for me personall it’s been worth trying chemical sunscreen (that’s geared toward more sensitive skin types) because my skin seems to not react if it’s fragrance free. And let’s face it, physical sunscreens are naturally heavier in consistency.

Some people find that physical SPFs (i.e. those utilising Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide as filters) are heavier on skin and can make your skin “sweat” so if you hate the feeling of traditional sunscreens, steer away from a physical and find a chemical SPF that’s lightweight in texture.

At the end of the day using sunscreen is a no-brainer. There’s no argument not to. It’s just about finding the right one for you.