MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect Lotion SPF 50 Review


The main purposes of this product are to provide a smooth base for makeup application, and SPF protection. An unstated benefit of this product is to help with oil control.

*MAC apparently came out with a new formulation that contains antioxidants to help cells retain moisture. I’m not quite sure when this new formulation came out and whether if I have been using the new formula yet or not. Reviews dated early 2016 on MAC’s website indicate that some old fans do not like the new formulation. I think I bought my current tube before those reviews, and while I have bought a new one recently (in April/May 2016), I have not got to using it yet. I will update this post when I get to using the new tube that I bought, which contains the new formulation.


The standard size for the product is a 30mL tube. In my experience with it, this tube lasts about 4-5 months, with nearly daily use (I put it on everyday that I leave my home, but there are about 1-3 days in any given week that I don’t leave my home).


Instructions say to apply to the face as the last step of your skin care regimen and as the first step of your makeup application. Not on the packaging, but as with any sunscreen, apply 20-30 minutes before sun exposure. The texture of the product is a thick, white cream. It is a bit oily as with most sunscreens, but not so much that I feel like I’m slicking oil on my face. I have not noticed any scent to it – in fact, I would say it is odourless.

After about 20-30 minutes after application, the sunscreen does feel a bit sticky on my face. However, this is something I have come to terms with given the benefits of the product.

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  • It is a dual purpose product – a primer for makeup and a sunscreen all in one!
  • Not only is it not super oily like most sunscreens are, it actually helps control oil production. On days that I don’t apply this product, my face gets twice as oily, twice as fast. I absolutely love the oil control benefit and have not found the same benefit in any other sunscreen for the face yet. (Though I have recently been made aware of some other sunscreen products that do have the oil control benefit. I just have not had the chance to try them out yet. I will definitely update when I do.)
  • It does not clog pores/make me break out!


  • The product does feel a bit sticky on the face after application… but this is pretty negligible for me given the benefits that this product provides.


Definitely yes! This product has been a regular for me for many years now.

*As for the product’s performance as a primer… I don’t have too much to comment on that. I rarely ever wear makeup, but when I do, I almost always wear a primer underneath (due to my oily face). I’ve tried other primers with a mattifying function, but I have actually found those to be too drying. I do occasionally wear this product under makeup and it seems to work in that it doesn’t mess up my makeup application. However, I don’t have much of a comparison point for how well it holds makeup in place. So as a primer, I think the product works fine. I just can’t say much about how effective it is in that function. It definitely does make for a great sunscreen though.

Tell us what you think!

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