Real Simpleanswers your questions.

By Real Simple
Updated June 12, 2008
Bill Phelps

Q. In what order do I put on sunscreen, makeup, and face cream?

Judith Miller

Decatur, Georgia

A. After washing your face, apply your face cream or serum. This way, the vitamins and the antioxidants can be directly absorbed by the skin, says Kenneth Beer, a dermatologist in Palm Beach, Florida. Next, smooth a generous amount of sunscreen over your entire face. For people who work indoors and take the occasional lunchtime stroll, sunscreen with SPF 15 is adequate and reapplication isn’t necessary. If you’re outside more, use an UVA-UVB sunblock that has at least SPF 30, such as the gel-based sunscreen Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch in SPF 55 or 70, which dries quickly and is shine-free. Wait 10 minutes for the sunscreen to be absorbed by your skin, then blot off any excess oil. Dust a powder foundation over your face to matte any lingering shine and apply the remainder of your makeup.

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