Sensitive Makeup for Sun Burnt Skin and Tips for Sun Protection

Last Sunday I had a great day enjoying Banger Racing, however, it was deceptively cloudy all day in that it turns out it actually wasn’t… so we all came away with sun burnt faces and didn’t realise until it was too late. This definitely made me realise that I need to be more careful with when and how I use sun protection – no matter what the weather looks like it’s doing.


Normally, I apply The Body Shop Skin Defence SPF 50 to my face (it’s the only one I have tried with a high SPF that doesn’t make my face sting) however, I keep this in my makeup bag so on no-makeup days like last Sunday, I do have a habit of forgetting about it, very silly, I know. I now keep it with my moisturiser so I use it as soon as that has fully sunken in.


I don’t think I’m the only person who isn’t great with this part of skincare, I think it’s so hard to choose the right sun protection for you, it needs to work with sensitive skin, sink in quickly so you don’t have to wait and it needs to be long lasting, especially under makeup because it’s not something you can reapply. On top of this, once it has sunken in, how do we know how effectively the skin is covered? It’s very difficult to tell if there is an even coverage across the surface of the skin. Thankfully, researchers at have done the hard work for us and tested 135 sun creams which are supposedly the best of the best according to top magazines.
Unfortunately for us UK readers most of the suggested brands are easily accessible in the USA but not so much here, however, you can purchase them on Amazon so there is still hope. Despite this I still want to share the research with you because it’s incredibly important and they go into a lot of detail about why certain product/types of products were ruled out. For instance, powders and sprays are scrapped from the list because it is difficult to measure whether enough has been applied and if it has actually covered everywhere, it is so easy to miss patches when you don’t properly spread it! They also thoroughly explain which ingredients you should be avoiding and the reasons why so we can all be properly informed and understand what we are reading on the back of the bottle, for this reason, I 100% think it’s important to give this article a thorough read!


Sadly, if it’s a little too late for you this time like it is me, the best advice I can give after you’ve spent too long in the sun is to lather up in after sun regularly and avoid makeup. Personally, while I know this is the better way, I do like to apply makeup to wake myself up and feel more alive at 6am so I can’t not use something. Below is the routine I would recommend.

This is entirely dependent on the severity of the Sunburn. This worked for me because my sunburn, while definitely there, wasn’t too bad but if it is, be extra careful about what you use on the skin and consult a doctor if necessary.

I’m not a skincare expert, this is just what worked for me with my skin at this time.

TooFaced Hangover Primer (£27)

TooFaced_Hangover_PrimerThis is a recent purchase of mine and so far I’m loving it. It doesn’t contain silicones to block the skin so it lets the face breath while also leaving the skin feeling moisturised from the Coconut Water, perfect for when your skin isn’t at its best and is overly sensitive.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer (£24)

Urban_Decay_Naked_Skin_ConcealerThis is also fairly new to me but again it’s a great addition. I love how light weight it is and how well it blends into the skin with my Real Techniques Miracle Mini Eraser. As the skin is overly red at times like this, I only applied it under the eyes as it just wouldn’t have blended in (mainly in terms of colour) anywhere else and I didn’t want to cake my entire face in a product like this.

BareMinerals Original Foundation (£26.50)

BareMinerals_Original_FoundationAs the point of this was to use not too much makeup so the skin can heal while you look presentable, I applied this with a big fluffy powder brush the same way you would apply a setting powder to give a wash of colour to help even out the skin and tone down the redness instead of giving full coverage. This means the skin isn’t being caked on with foundation so it’s less damaging to the sensitive area, especially with this foundation being so gentle in the first place. I also found that this didn’t emphasise any peeling patches like can happen with thicker applications of this or any foundation so I was really glad about this.

Collection Colour Lash Clear Mascara (£1.99)

Collection_Colour_Lash_MascaraAs always, I run this through my brows to keep them in place, I really need to replace this soon and I think I’m going to try something different next time as it doesn’t always work how I want it to. This doesn’t have much of an impact on the skin, especially if you are careful to only get it on the brow hair. I do think a brow gel, clear or not, works best in this situation though because with the light foundation it is a very natural look so fully filled in brows will be too much.

Neutral Eyeshadows

Neutral_EyeshadowsI’m not specifying any particular shadows here because any brand will do. I like to use a matte shade similar to my skin tone over the lid then a darker, matte bronzer type shade through the crease. This stops the base products creasing on my eyelids so my makeup looks fresher and adds a bit of definition with the crease shade. Using too many different shades and glitters will again be a bit much (at least for me) with the rest of the makeup and it can react badly with how sensitive the skin is.

Maybelline Sensational Lash Mascara (£8.99)

Maybelline_Lash_Sensational_MascaraThis is definitely my favourite mascara at the moment. It isn’t heavy on the lashes and doesn’t irritate my eyes at all. I also love the definition, curl and length this gives, perfect for a fresh natural look. Again this has little impact on the skin but it does help the eyes pop and bring attention to the eyes, away from the redness of the sunburn.

Heavy Duty Lip Balm

Burts_Bees_Lip_BalmThis is an essential that I have with me at all times when my skin is overly sensitive. I usually find that if the rest of my face is dry (or in this case burnt), then my lips are suffering too and a good lip balm is very important to help me feel better through the day. At the moment I’m of course still using Burt’s Bees Lip Balms, I’m juggling between the ginger spice and honey scents and I’m going to get either mango or pink grapefruit soon for something a bit more summery. I do try other lip balms but so far no others have compared so I always come back to Burt’s Bees.

As the skin is red anyway, I would personally avoid blush as this could emphasise it more that you may like.

A cooling and hydrating skin mist may also be nice to freshen up the makeup and stop it feeling dry while cooling the sunburn some of these also contain SPF and, while not the recommended method of application, they are a way of topping up the SPF without ruining your makeup and it’s definitely better than nothing!


All the products I have suggested are both gentle to use and gentle to remove so there is no need to excessively scrub at an already sensitive face at the end of the day.

Please take better care of your skin than I did so you don’t need this, but I personally found that while my skin was so sensitive, this was a really good way of toning down the redness and looking more work suitable without irritation. Just remember though that before you get to this stage, it’s well worth keeping yourself fully informed by reading the research so you know how to best choose which sun protection to buy!

Let me know what you sun protection you use to avoid needing this in the comments!

Thanks for reading,


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