Can You Tan With Makeup On?

Can You Tan With Makeup On

Can you tan with makeup on? Whether from the sun or the bottle, a light tan can be all it takes to make someone feel confident and on top of the world. Before we dive into the topic of tanning with makeup, it is important to note that tanning can damage your skin and cause long-term effects such as skin cancer. Always be sure to use sunscreen and hydrate even when you are trying to tan.

Tanning is typically done by slightly darkening the color of your skin either through artificial methods like a tanning bed or self-tanner or by sitting out in the sun when the UV rays are strong. Usually, tanning works best on bare skin. With that being said, can you still get a tan with makeup on your face?

While it is definitely possible to tan with makeup on, it is not recommended. Self-tanner will likely not work with makeup since the lotion or mouse will not be able to penetrate the layer of makeup to color your actual skin. Instead, it will just blend into the makeup already on your skin. This is also the case for spray tans.

With other tanning methods like natural tanning or a tanning bed, it is more likely that you will be able to tan through your makeup. Both methods use rays to penetrate your skin and release pigmentation and melanin. Tanning with makeup on in this way is definitely possible, but still not recommended as you will tan much easier and more evenly without makeup on. 

Can You Tan with Makeup on Your Face?

Can You Tan With Makeup On

It is possible to tan with makeup on your face but not recommended. Makeup provides an extra layer on your face which makes it difficult for tanning products or UV rays to penetrate through the skin. 

For artificial tanning methods like self-tanner and spray tans, your face will likely not tan at all with makeup on since you’re essentially applying a colored lotion on top of foundation and other colored products. It will not be able to tint your actual skin since the makeup will be blocking it from reaching your skin. Furthermore, it will cause the artificial tan on the rest of your body to be darker than the tan on your face. 

Even tanning your face artificially without makeup could cause your makeup and foundation to not match the color of the rest of your body. This is why many people avoid self tanning their face completely so their makeup will still match the rest of their tan.

As for tanning methods like a tanning bed or sitting out in the sun which will physically release the pigmentation in your skin, wearing makeup on your face won’t totally prevent a tanned face. However, it could result in an uneven tan. A lot of face makeup contains SPF which will protect your face from UV rays. If the SPF on your face does not match the one on your skin, you could get two different shades of tan. Additionally, depending on how much makeup is on your face, the tan could also result unevenly since it has to penetrate through layers of makeup like foundation, bronzer, blush, etc. 

Can You Tan with Makeup On in a Tanning Bed?

It is possible to tan with makeup on in a tanning bed, but similar to tanning under the sun with makeup, it will probably result in an uneven tan.

Makeup provides an additional layer of protection to the skin from UV rays and some makeup even contains SPF. Since tanning beds are essentially mimicking the UV rays from the sun to release pigment in your skin, the same thing will occur when wearing makeup. The tan will likely turn out uneven as the rays will have an extra layer of product to penetrate. The tan will also likely be lighter than the tan on the rest of your body. The heat from a tanning bed can also cause makeup to clog your pores which may cause a breakout. 

Can You Spray Tan with Makeup On?

You probably should not spray tan with makeup on as it will result in an uneven appearance of the tan and your face may not tan at all. Spray tanning is essentially spraying your body with a tinted product that appears to change the color of your skin. If you apply spray tan over makeup, it will not be able to tint your actual skin and will likely wash off with the rest of your makeup at the end of the day. 

Advantages of Tanning With Makeup On

Tanning with makeup on is not recommended if your goal is to get an even tan. However the advantage of tanning with makeup on is that it provides an additional layer of protection from UV rays. A lot of makeup contains SPF products that help protect your skin while in the sun. Additionally, even products without SPF are still an extra barrier against the sun’s rays. 

Effects of Makeup on Tan

Tanning with makeup on can create an extra barrier between the sun’s rays and your skin. However, some of the effects may prevent you from reaching your desired goal while tanning. 

Tanning with makeup on can cause an uneven tan since the UV rays have to penetrate an additional layer of product to reach your skin. It will also cause your face tan to be lighter than the tan on the rest of your body. 

The Best Way to Tan With Makeup On

If you are determined to wear makeup to the beach or tanning booth while tanning, there is a practice that may help you reach a more-desired result. First of all, if you avoid the use of face makeup you should not have an issue while tanning. This means no foundation, primer, blush, concealer, or bronzer. As long as your skin is still exposed to the sun it will result in an even tan. This means you can still wear eye makeup, brow products, and lip products and still get a decent tan!


Getting that natural glow from a tan can do a lot to make us feel more confident. Makeup can do this as well! However, for an even tan that is the same color throughout your body, it is best not to wear makeup while tanning. Despite this, it is important to always wear SPF for protection, even if your desired result is a tan!

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