The Dreaded Double Wear Flashback

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation


Let’s just get one thing straight – not all Foundations with SPF cause flash back, otherwise known as the ghost face look.


There are two types of SPF’s you need to know about:

– Physical, and

– Chemical.


Most Physical SPF’s contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (these are opaque, white, finely powdered minerals) that blocks UV radiation by reflecting the sunrays and camera flash. Chemical SPF’s with ingredients such as Octinoxate, absorb the UV radiation rather than reflecting it; hence minimal flash back. Some foundations will even contain both Physical and Chemical SPF which can help counteract the flash back depending on the volumes Physical vs Chemical.

Unfortunately Estee Lauder Double Wear does have a Physical SPF which contains Titanium Dioxide. Hence why so many have fallen victim to the dreaded ghost face look. I for one have been guilty of this, as seen below in a photo taken at my husband’s 21st in 2010.


Estee Lauder Double Wear Backflash


I am naturally super pale so the contrast isn’t major but you can notice a difference between my face vs neck/chest area. At the time I couldn’t understand why despite my efforts of fake tanning and applying extra bronzer on top of my foundation (no judging please, this was before my Makeup Artist day’s haha) I still had the white ghost face look.

For loyal Double Wear fans it is important to note this side effect is only emphasized when a photo is taken using a flash and when there is low lighting. Don’t sweat it if you are attending a day event where there is plenty of natural lighting. (Just be prepared to tackle the photographer if they decide to shoot inside with the flash on!).


So what to do if you are attending an evening event you might ask?

I’ve found adding a drop or two of another foundation that either doesn’t contain SPF, or has an SPF without zinc oxide or titanium dioxide seems to do the trick.

 M.A.C Face and Body

 Lancome Foundation

Depending on the foundation you add it may slightly change the finish (whether it is matte or dewy), but it thankfully doesn’t affect that fantastic Double Wear staying power. My personal preference of foundations to mix with Double Wear is Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation or M.A.C. Face and Body. I absolutely love adding Lancôme’s Teint Miracle Foundation. You will too, especially if you suffer from the dried-up prune look thanks to Double Wear’s extremely matte finish.

Comment below on your experiences with Double Wear and if you’re brave enough I’d love to see a photo where you have fallen victim to the dreaded ghost face look.


Much love


Janet xoxo