How To Wash Off Sunscreen

man washing face after using sunscreen

Sunscreen is designed to stay on so when it comes time to remove your sunscreen you may find that it won’t wash off.  Water-resistant and waterproof sunscreen is the hardest to remove. So, when it comes time to wash sunscreen off your face or your body, these tips can help.  Whether you are washing sunscreen off a baby, toddler, child, or adult- our advice is the same. Be cautious and gentle when you have eczema, rosacea, or sensitive skin.


Sunscreens, especially chemical sunscreens, are made with oil.  This means they are oil soluble and are best removed with cleaning oils, soaps, creamy cleansers, or foaming washes and cleansers.  Soap and foaming cleansers can dry the skin, so if you are removing sunscreen from a baby, toddler, or someone with delicate skin, use an oil, cleansing oil or creamy cleanser.  Micelle water and gel cleansers do not do a good job of removing sunscreen.


If you do not have dry or sensitive skin, you can use a foaming cleanser to remove sunscreen such as one of these:



Wash Your Face Twice To Remove Sunscreen

cleanse face two times to remove sunscreen

The very best way to remove sunscreen is to wash your face 2 times with a different cleanser for each wash cycle.


1.      First facial cleanse to remove sunscreen:

Wash the first time with a cleansing oil.  This helps change the positive and negative forces that are holding the minerals to your skin’s surface.


Your other option for the first wash to remove sunscreen is to apply an oil like baby oil, or Argan oil.  We do not recommend coconut oil because it can cause breakouts. Putting oil on the skin helps surround the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and separate it from the skin. Apply the oil with a soft cloth or cotton pad and swirl it around gently to coat the skin’s surface.  This will not remove all of the sunscreen but will help it lift away for the second face wash cycle.


Here are some oils that we like to use to take off sunscreen:


2.     Second facial cleanse to remove sunscreen:

After using a cleansing oil or an oil to solubilize the sunscreen, use a cleanser that is right for your Baumann Skin Type. Learn more about how to know which cleanser is best for your skin type here.  This cleanser will remove sunscreen and prep your skin for the rest of your skin care routine.


wash process to take off sunscreen

Best Sunscreen Remover For Sensitive Skin or Rosacea-Prone Skin

This is our favorite gentle cleanser to remove sunscreen.  Use it for babies, toddlers, or when you have eczema or sensitive skin.



Best Cleanser To Remove Sunscreen in Normal Skin


The best and most effective sunscreen remover when you don’t have sensitive skin is a foaming cleanser.  We like the Nolio Foaming Cleanser but there are several good options that you can find below. These same cleansers can be used to wash sunscreen off the face or body.



How To Remove Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen From Face?

Physical sunscreens are the hardest to remove because they are sticky and are actually designed to cling to the skin. You will need to double cleanse the face.  Follow the instructions above. Wash the first time with a cleansing oil or oil and follow with the best cleanser for your Baumann Skin Type.


Cleansing oils that we like:




What Happens If You Don’t Wash Off Sunscreen?


Do you need to wash off sunscreen?  Yes!! You will develop clogged pores and milia if you do not wash your sunscreen off at night before bed.  Comedones (white heads and blackheads) form when sunscreen, dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells clog pores.  Many sunscreens have silicones in them that must be washed off before you go to bed to prevent acne breakouts.

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