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There’s no denying that the white cast that sunscreen leaves behind can get in the way of creating your desired beauty look. While sun protection is an absolute must, the thought of flaunting an ashen appearance is enough for some people to skip out on SPF altogether. But there are other options available for you to use to get sun protection without having to deal with a chalky white cast. So instead of putting your skin at risk for sun damage (which can lead to signs of aging), try upgrading your SPF skin care lineup with a few new additions. Below, we’re sharing the sunscreen picks and tips you can use to help avoid pasty and ashy-looking skin. 

What Is A White Cast?

A white cast refers to when your sunscreen leaves behind a white layer on your skin. This can be especially noticeable on darker skin tones and in pictures, similar to makeup flashbacks. Why do sunscreens give you a white cast? Well, it isn’t something that always happens. Certain sunscreen formulas include ingredients like zinc oxide, which can give off a white glare. Plus, how you apply your sunscreen can also play a part in the appearance. Ahead, check out our several tips to help avoid the look of ashy skin. 

Tip #1. Opt For A Chemical Sunscreen

Unlike physical sunscreen, which works like a shield to deflect harmful sun rays from your skin, chemical sunscreen works like a sponge, absorbing the sun’s rays, per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Most importantly, the AAD shares that this offering tends to be easier to rub into the skin without leaving behind a white residue.

Editor’s Tip: Use a multitasking skin care product that can provide both hydration and sun protection. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Rosy Tone Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, formulated with SPF 30, imperial peony extract, and LHA (lipo hydroxy acid). Its formula will work to instantly revive the skin’s rosy tone while the built-in SPF 30 protects it from the sun’s rays. Its formula is also paraben-free, mineral oil-free, and dye-free, meaning you won’t have to worry about any white cast. 

Tip #2. Give Your Sunscreen Time To Work

One grave mistake you may be making is not giving your sunscreen enough time to sit on your skin before heading outdoors. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shares that you should apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go outside to allow the product to absorb into the skin and provide maximum protection.

Tip #3. Reach For A Tinted Sunscreen

If you have a dark skin tone, you may already be aware of how essential it is to find sunscreen that doesn’t leave you with ashy-looking skin. Thankfully, a tinted sunscreen option can help in that area. Offering the best of both worlds, this pick provides sun protection and a colored tint to complement your skin tone. If you’re an avid makeup wearer, grab the L’Oréal Paris Skin Paradise Water-Infused Tinted Moisturizer. The lightweight moisturizer is formulated with SPF 19 and provides the coverage of a natural-finish foundation while giving the skin a dose of instant hydration for a dewy, healthy glow. 

Tip #4. Pat Sunscreen Onto Your Face

When it’s time to apply sunscreen, your first thought may be to slather the product all over your skin. Sure, the goal is to ensure that every area of your body is protected, but rubbing sunscreen onto your skin can prevent it from laying evenly. In turn, this can cause streaking and leave a white film-like appearance. Instead of rubbing, try patting sunscreen onto your skin.

Looking for a new sunscreen pick? Try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30, formulated with vitamin C, pro-retinol, hyaluronic acid, and SPF 30 to help soften and soothe the skin while offering a layer of sun protection. Pump a dime-sized amount of the lotion onto your fingertips, and gently pat it onto your face, neck, and chest area. 

Tip #5. Use Foundation Formulated With SPF

Another great way to avoid sunscreen with an ashy white glare is by relying on your foundation for protection. Reach for a hybrid liquid formula like this radiant serum foundation, which includes the benefits of makeup and skin care—offering the coverage of a foundation, SPF 50 protection, and the hydration of a serum. It’s specially designed for mature skin (though works great for skin of all ages) and formulated with vitamin B3. The lightweight formula evens  skin tone and delivers a natural, radiant finish that won’t settle into lines. Use a damp makeup blender to tap and seamlessly blend a small amount of foundation onto your face. 

Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that you’ll need to take other sun protection measures as well. These include seeking out shade and wearing protective accessories like sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.

Tip #6. Give Gel Sunscreen Formulas A Go

As you can imagine, this sunscreen comes in gel form, similar to the aloe vera you apply after a sunburn. This type of sunscreen has a clear formula, making it another option ideal for those who don’t want to deal with a white cast. The gel texture goes on smooth and easy, seamlessly blending into your skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, they’re also great for hairy areas like the chest and scalp. 

Tip #7: Use A Sunscreen Oil

Love the idea of boosting your skin with moisture while protecting your skin from the sun? Sunscreen oil may be just what you need. Perfect for those who have a hard time blending traditional sunscreens onto their skin, this lightweight formula makes the process easy. We also love that this offering hydrates and leaves the skin with a luminous glow. 

Photo Credit: Sarah Duvivier 

Next: How To Tell If Your Sunscreen Has Expired



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