Help! Why Does My Face Turn White In Photos?

by Gio
how to prevent your face from turning white in photos

It happened again.

You’ve spent hours getting ready for your BFF’s birthday party. You know that cute guy will be there and you want to look your best. A touch of mascara to bring out the lashes, foundation to even out the skintone, a dab of lipgloss to make your pout shine…

You look in the mirror and you’re happy with what you see. You go out, have a great time, have your picture taken and… you look like a ghost! You take a quick look in the mirror and your face looks fine, but in the picture it has an unattractive, ghoulish white cast. What went wrong?

Why Does Your Face Turns White In Photos?

Blame it on Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. They’re two white mineral commonly found in sunscreens and face powders.

Their jobs is to protect you from UV rays, add whiteness to face powders (it’s thanks to them that face powders can come in so many different shades), and increase opacity to better cover flaws and imperfections.

The catch? These white minerals can reflect light. When you take a photo with flash on, bam! Your face turns white.

Related: Is Zinc Oxide The Best UV Filter Ever?

How Do You Prevent Your Face Turning White In Photos?

Did you know that Titanium Dioxide is in almost every foundation? Yet, foundation rarely makes you look white in photos. How is this possible?!

Quantity matters. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide only give you the dreaded white cast when used in high amounts to create SPF.

So skip sunscreen and everything will be fine, right? Not so fast. You CAN’T skip sunscreen. UV rays are sneaky. They pass though clouds and windows to give you wrinkles, dark spots and cancer. You need to wear sunscreen every single day.

But if you know in advance you’re gonna be photographed, opt for chemical sunscreens. They contain synthetic UV filters like Tinosorb and Avobenzone that provide excellent protection without making you look like Caspar in photos.

If you really, really, really don’t want to make the switch, you can apply the same sunscreen/powder on all exposed areas of your body. That way, you’re gonna look the same colour all over.

A chemical sunscreen is the better option, isn’t it?

The Bottom Line

Very effective at protecting your skin from the sun rays, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are two white powders that will make your face look white and ghoulish in pictures taken with flash. If you know you’ll be photographed, it’s best to opt for a chemical sunscreen and SPF-free makeup products.

Has your face ever turned white in photos? Share your experience in the comments below.

Take The Guesswork Out Of Skincare Shopping

Screenshot from 2017 04 30 11 51 35

Get access to the “Pro Skincare Library” for exclusive skincare routine “cheat sheets” and tricks to help you navigate the beauty aisles jungle like a pro and immediately know what to pick off the shelves to achieve the gorgeous skin of your dreams - even when you’re drowning in an endless sea of skincare products.

Powered by ConvertKit



Janessa January 23, 2013 - 1:43 am

Haha such a happy photo it makes me smile. I still remember just four years ago when I wasn’t aware of this hahaha I looked soo white like I was the only one in bright daylight. I’ll keep up with your posts this Thursday. I have finals this week! I want to let you know why I’m away. 🙂

beautifulwithbrains January 23, 2013 - 7:04 am

Janessa, that’s why I chose it, cos it so cheerful, isn’t it? And good luck with your finals hun! I’m sure you’ll do great!

Janessa January 26, 2013 - 7:30 am

Thanks! Finals went well.

beautifulwithbrains January 26, 2013 - 5:00 pm

Janessa, you’re welcome. And I so happy to hear that, it’s great!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.