Avoid The White Cast of Sunscreen


The white cast from sunscreens on our faces is not a good look on anyone—who wants to look pasty and flat? It's not as noticeable in person but when pictures are taken (and you start getting tagged on Facebook), you look downright silly. The main culprit of looking too pale in photographs are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in physical sunscreen. The active ingredients prevents UV radiation from penetrating your skin by reflecting sun rays. The same concept happens when your photo is taken with flash—the sunscreen reflects the flash, which gives your face the white glare. But don't toss the SPF Beauties! Keep reading for our tips on how to steer clear on looking ghastly in photos. 

Not sure what kind of sunscreen is suitable for you or how much you should be using?Check out our Splurge or Save: Sunscreen and Are You Using Enough Sunscreen articles!

Tip To Avoid The White Cast of Sunscreen

  • Apply sunscreen in advance so it can absorb into your skin completely, before applying makeup. The absorption times can vary from 15 minutes to two hours for some people so you'll need to experiment to see what suits you. For an even and streak-free layer of sunscreen, pat it into your skin.

  • If you know you'll be having your photo taken, apply sunscreen as usual and use a foundation that is titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide free.

  • Apply a non-SPF tinted moisturizer, foundation or powder over your sunscreen to help tone down the white glare. You can also mix your tinted moisturizer or foundation with your sunscreen to dilute the white cast. 

  • A chemical sunscreen will be a good choice as a natural looking sunscreen, because UV filters absorb light rather than reflect. But you will need to try different formulations to find one that doesn't leave you pasty. Just because it works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you.