Question: How do I minimize the "white cast" from sunscreen?


The “white cast” from sunscreen comes from the UV filters inside of it, mainly the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide ingredients of physical sunscreens.

Some sunscreens can make your face look paler than your neck, streak after applying, or leave a white residue on your skin. Here are some tips to minimize these effects and help make sunscreen look better on your skin:

  1. Try different formulations of sunscreens until you find one that doesn’t leave a white cast. Chemical sunscreens do not have this problem as much as physical sunscreens. Check here for a list of sunscreen recommendations.

  2. Apply sunscreen in advance. The white cast will usually disappear when the sunscreen is completely absorbed by your skin. (This can take up to two hours for some people though.)

  3. Pat in sunscreen instead of rubbing it in. This helps the sunscreen to be applied in one, even layer, which will help with any streaking.

  4. Mix tinted sunscreen with regular sunscreen (preferably one of the same brand) to mask any whiteness. Keep in mind that mixing sunscreens may potentially impact the sunscreens' effectiveness.

  5. Mix a very small amount of Dry Flo powder into your sunscreen to make it more matte.

  6. Apply a light layer of makeup (powder or liquid) to cover up any white residue from sunscreen.

The above steps will help with minimizing any obvious white casts on your skin from sunscreen. However, even if you don’t notice a white cast, you may still appear ghastly and pale in photographs with flash. Find out why here.

Last updated: September 27, 2012

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