After sweating, how to reapply sunscreen?

Dear Dr. Irwin, I was wondering if you have any advice for how to reapply sunscreen after sweating and wearing makeup? I try reapply every 2 hours, but I hesitate to slap more sunscreen on my face when there's sweat and make up on it... I've heard some say that you should take all of your makeup off before reapplying sunscreen, but I'm often on the go. Are powder sunscreens the only alternative? What do you like to do? Thank you so much! Linda

I think a lot of us have this problem, so thanks for writing!   I was recently in a hot place, riding a cycle up large hills and pouring sweat.  It was really hard to keep it on!

If you are truly working out hard and sweating a lot, I still swear by the Colorscience Powder SPF 30 and they also make an SPF 50  – you have to blot with a bandana first and reapply.  Both will fit in a bike jersey or any other small space.  It really does stay on pretty well even when sweating profusely.

If you’re just at the gym and in a rush, try keeping one of those bandanas (try REI or other hiking stores) in your work out bag or car.  If you don’t have access to a towel, blot with the bandana, and reapply a mineral based sunscreen.  For this, I like the Jane Iredale powder compact and be sure to buy the brush.  It’s SPF 20, and comes in a variety of shades.  

Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product, treatment or device.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!