When it comes to sunburn, many people wonder whether they can still apply makeup to their damaged skin. It’s a common question, considering the discomfort and redness that sunburn can cause. But before you pick up that foundation brush, it’s important to understand the implications of applying makeup over sunburned skin.

Applying makeup over sunburn can be challenging because sunburn damages the skin barrier and causes inflammation. When you have sunburn, your skin is already compromised, and adding makeup on top of it can further irritate the skin and potentially worsen the sunburn. Instead, it’s best to focus on soothing and healing the sunburned skin first before considering any cosmetic application.

can you put makeup over sunburn

Can You Put Makeup Over Sunburn?

Putting makeup on sunburned skin may seem like a quick fix to cover up the redness and discomfort. However, it’s essential to consider whether it’s safe and beneficial for your skin. In this article, we’ll address the question of whether you can put makeup over sunburn and explore how to care for sunburned skin effectively.

Understanding Sunburn

Before diving into whether you can wear makeup over sunburn, let’s first understand what sunburn is. Sunburn occurs when your skin gets overexposed to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun or artificial tanning beds. These rays cause damage to the DNA of your skin cells, resulting in inflammation, redness, pain, and peeling.

It’s important to note that sunburn is a sign that your skin has been damaged, and it requires proper care and healing. While makeup can provide temporary coverage, it’s crucial to prioritize the healing process and allow your skin to recover.

Should You Put Makeup Over Sunburn?

In general, it is not recommended to put makeup over sunburned skin. The damaged skin needs to breathe and heal, and applying makeup can potentially worsen the condition. Here’s why:

  • Makeup can further irritate the already sensitive skin, leading to more redness and discomfort.
  • The ingredients in makeup products, such as fragrances and preservatives, can be harsh on sunburned skin.
  • Sunburned skin is dehydrated, and makeup can contribute to further dryness, making the healing process slower.

However, if you feel the need to wear makeup due to a special occasion or personal preference, there are some precautions you can take.

Precautions for Wearing Makeup over Sunburn

If you choose to wear makeup over sunburned skin, follow these precautions:

  • Wait until your sunburn has started to heal. Give your skin some time to recover, usually a few days, before considering makeup application.
  • Opt for lightweight and breathable makeup products. Look for non-comedogenic formulas that won’t clog your pores.
  • Avoid using makeup brushes or sponges that may aggravate the sensitive skin. Instead, use clean fingers or a soft, clean brush.
  • Apply makeup sparingly and gently. Don’t tug or pull on your skin while applying or removing makeup.
  • Remove makeup promptly. Leaving makeup on overnight can further irritate the skin and delay the healing process.
  • Keep your skin moisturized. Apply a gentle, non-irritating moisturizer before applying makeup to provide some hydration to your sunburned skin.

Caring for Sunburned Skin

While makeup can offer temporary coverage for sunburn, it’s essential to prioritize the healing process and take care of your sunburned skin. Here are a few tips to facilitate the healing process:

  • Stay out of the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun until your sunburned skin has fully healed to prevent further damage.
  • Cool the skin. Apply a cool compress or take a cold shower to soothe the burnt skin. Avoid using ice directly on the skin.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep your body and skin hydrated from within.
  • Use aloe vera. Apply pure aloe vera gel or a moisturizer containing aloe vera to help soothe and moisturize the sunburned skin.
  • Avoid tight clothing. Wear loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics to prevent additional irritation and discomfort.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with sunburn.

Can You Prevent Sunburn?

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to sunburn. Here are some ways to prevent sunburn:

  • Apply sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it generously and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Seek shade: Limit your sun exposure, especially during peak hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest (typically between 10 am and 4 pm).
  • Wear protective clothing: Cover exposed areas of skin with long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses.
  • Avoid tanning beds: Artificial tanning beds emit UV rays that can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer.


While it’s generally not recommended to put makeup over sunburned skin, sometimes circumstances may warrant it. If you choose to wear makeup, take precautions and prioritize the healing process. Remember, caring for your sunburned skin and preventing further sunburn are crucial for its long-term health.

Key Takeaways

  • You should avoid putting makeup over sunburn as it can further irritate the skin.
  • Sunburned skin needs time to heal, and applying makeup can hinder the healing process.
  • Instead of covering up sunburn with makeup, focus on soothing and hydrating the affected area.
  • Use aloe vera gel or a cold compress to relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Protect your skin from further damage by wearing sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure until the sunburn heals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about using makeup over a sunburn:

1. Can you wear makeup on a sunburn?

Yes, you can wear makeup on a sunburn, but it’s important to take proper precautions and choose the right products.

Firstly, make sure the sunburn is not severe and has started to heal. Applying makeup to a fresh, blistering sunburn can increase irritation and delay the healing process.

Secondly, opt for gentle, non-irritating makeup products that are specifically formulated for sensitive or damaged skin. Look for products that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic.

2. Are there certain types of makeup that are better for sunburned skin?

Yes, some types of makeup are better suited for sunburned skin.

Choose products with moisturizing properties, such as tinted moisturizers or BB creams, as they can help hydrate the skin and provide some coverage without causing additional dryness or flakiness.

Avoid heavy, full-coverage foundations or powders, as these can emphasize dry patches and further irritate the sunburned skin.

3. Should I apply any skincare products before putting on makeup over a sunburn?

Prior to applying makeup over a sunburn, it’s important to prepare the skin with soothing and hydrating skincare products.

Start by cleansing the skin gently with a mild, non-foaming cleanser to remove any dirt or debris. Follow with a lightweight, moisturizing lotion or gel to hydrate and calm the sunburned skin.

Allow the skincare products to fully absorb and dry before proceeding with the makeup application.

4. How can I prevent further irritation when applying makeup on a sunburn?

To prevent further irritation when applying makeup on a sunburn, follow these tips:

Avoid using any brushes or applicators that may cause friction on the sunburned skin. Instead, use clean fingers or a soft makeup sponge for a gentle application.

Blend your makeup products carefully and avoid tugging or pulling at the skin. Opt for lighter layers and build up coverage gradually to minimize irritation.

5. Is it necessary to remove makeup from a sunburn before bed?

It is highly recommended to remove makeup from a sunburn before going to bed.

Leaving makeup on overnight can further clog pores and prevent the skin from healing properly. Cleanse the skin gently with a mild cleanser and follow with a soothing moisturizer to help the sunburned skin recover during sleep.

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How to Cover Sunburn with Makeup

In summary, it is not recommended to put makeup over sunburned skin. Sunburn is a sign of damaged skin and putting makeup on it can further irritate the skin, slow down the healing process, and potentially cause more harm.

The best approach for sunburned skin is to focus on soothing and healing the skin by using gentle skincare products, keeping the skin hydrated, and avoiding further sun exposure. It is important to allow the skin to heal naturally before applying any cosmetics.


  • Maria J. Morrison

    Maria is a professional Beautician and his hobby is beauty & Personal care. she has been for the last 5 years and he loves makeup while on outings as well. Based on his experience with the different types of makeup. She is sharing his opinion about various makeup so that a beginner can get started the right way. Find him onTwitter here. Happy reading.