Are you always confused about whether to apply moisturizer or sunscreen first?
You’re not the only one.
Many people struggle with which skincare products to use and in what order. This is a common question in the skincare world and for good reason.
Applying products in the wrong order can reduce their effectiveness, so we all want our skincare routine to work as optimally as possible.
So, which comes first moisturizer or sunscreen?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
It depends on the type of sunscreen you are using. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, it should be applied first, followed by moisturizer.
However, if you’re using a mineral sunscreen, apply it after moisturizer.
The order of application is important to ensure that both products work effectively and don’t interfere with each other.
Let’s delve deeper into the topic so you have all the information you need to make the best choice for your skin.
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Table of Contents
Why you need both moisturizer and sunscreen
When it comes to skincare, moisturizer, and sunscreen are two of the most important products you can use.
While they may seem like separate steps, they actually work together to keep your skin healthy and protected.
Hydration is key
Moisturizer is essential for keeping your skin hydrated. This is important because hydrated skin is more resilient and better able to protect itself from damage.
When your skin is dry and dehydrated, it can become more prone to damage from UV rays, which can lead to premature aging and even skin cancer.
Protecting your skin from UV rays
Sunscreen, on the other hand, is specifically designed to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. UV rays are responsible for the majority of skin damage, including sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.
By applying sunscreen regularly, you can help prevent this damage and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
The importance of sun protection
Sun protection is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. While a little bit of sun exposure is necessary for your body to produce vitamin D, too much sun can be dangerous.
UV rays can damage your skin cells, causing them to mutate and potentially develop into cancerous cells. By using a combination of moisturizer and sunscreen, you can help protect your skin from this damage and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Which comes first moisturizer or sunscreen? The order of application
Apply in order of thickness
The general rule of thumb is to apply products in order of thickness, from thinnest to thickest.
This allows each product to be absorbed properly into your skin.
Here’s a suggested order of application for your skincare routine:
- Eye cream
Apply sunscreen last
Sunscreen should always be the last step in your skincare routine, after moisturizer.
This is because sunscreen needs to be applied directly onto clean skin to be most effective.
Applying moisturizer first can create a barrier that prevents sunscreen from being absorbed properly.
Mix moisturizer and sunscreen
If you’re short on time or want to simplify your routine, you can mix moisturizer and sunscreen together before applying.
This can save you time and ensure that you’re getting both moisturizing and sun protection benefits.
Use separate products for maximum protection
While it may be convenient to mix moisturizer and sunscreen, using separate products can provide maximum protection.
Sunscreen is regulated by the FDA and must meet specific requirements for testing and labeling.
Moisturizers with added SPF might not meet these requirements and may not offer the same level of protection as a separate sunscreen product.
Moisturizers with SPF
Moisturizers with SPF can be a good option if you want to save time and money by combining this part of your routine into one step.
However, it’s important to choose the right moisturizer with SPF that works for your skin type.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and refers to the level of protection a product provides against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn.
When looking for a moisturizer with SPF, choose one with a broad spectrum of at least SPF 30.
This means it protects against both UVB and UVA rays, which can cause skin aging and damage.
Moisturizers with SPF typically contain chemical or mineral sunscreens.
Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays, while mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays.
If you have sensitive skin, mineral sunscreen may be a better choice as it is less likely to cause irritation.
When applying a moisturizer with SPF, use enough for adequate coverage.
Use a quarter-sized amount for your face and neck, and be sure to reapply every two hours if you’re spending time in the sun.
While moisturizers with SPF can provide some protection against the sun, they shouldn’t be relied on as your sole source of sun protection.
For extended periods of sun exposure, use a separate sunscreen with a higher SPF and to reapply regularly.
Here are some options if you’re looking for a moisturizer with SPF:
Types of sunscreens
Sunscreens can be broadly categorized into three main types: chemical sunscreens, physical sunscreens, and mineral sunscreens.
Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s UV rays and convert them into heat, which is then released from the skin.
Chemical sunscreens usually contain a combination of active ingredients, such as oxybenzone, octisalate, and avobenzone.
These are typically easier to apply and are less likely to leave a white cast on the skin; however, they can be irritating for some people, especially those with sensitive skin.
Here are some options:
|Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen||40||Check Price On Amazon|
|Innisfree Daily UV Defense Sunscreen||36||Check Price On Amazon|
|Coola Classic Face Sunscreen||50||Check Price On Amazon|
Physical sunscreens work by creating a physical barrier on the skin that reflects and scatters the sun’s UV rays.
They usually contain one or both of the active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Physical sunscreens are generally considered to be safer for sensitive skin, but they can be more difficult to apply and may leave a white cast on the skin.
Here are some options:
Mineral sunscreens are a type of physical sunscreen that contain only mineral-based active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
They work by forming a physical barrier on the skin that reflects and scatters the sun’s UV rays.
Mineral sunscreens are generally considered to be the safest option for sensitive skin, and they’re also better for the environment as they don’t contain harmful chemicals that can damage marine life.
Here are some options:
|La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid||50||Check Price On Amazon|
|Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Face Liquid Sunscreen||50||Check Price On Amazon|
How to layer your skincare products
When it comes to skincare, applying products in the correct order is just as important as choosing the right products for your skin type.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to layer your skincare products for maximum benefits:
- Cleanse: Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, oil, and makeup from your skin.
- Tone: Apply toner to your face using a cotton pad to remove any remaining impurities and balance your skin’s pH level.
- Serum: Apply a serum to your face to target specific skin concerns, such as fine lines, dark spots, or acne. Serums are lightweight and quickly absorbed by the skin, so apply them before heavier products.
- Eye cream: Apply eye cream around the eye area to hydrate and brighten the delicate skin in that area.
- Moisturizer: Apply moisturizer to your face to hydrate and nourish your skin. Moisturizers come in different textures, so choose one that suits your skin type. If you have oily skin, try a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. If you have dry skin, go for a richer, creamier moisturizer.
- Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen as the last step in your skincare routine to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it generously to your face and neck.
Remember, when it comes to layering skincare products, always apply products with a lighter consistency before heavier ones.
This ensures that each product is absorbed properly and that you get the maximum benefits from each one.
And don’t forget to wait a few minutes between each step to allow the product to fully absorb into your skin.
Follow these simple steps and you can create a skincare routine that works for you and helps you achieve healthy, glowing skin.
When it comes to the order of applying moisturizer and sunscreen, there is some debate.
However, dermatologists and experts agree that it’s important to use both products to keep your skin healthy and protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), sunscreen should be applied as the last step in your skincare routine, after moisturizer.
This way, the benefits of your moisturizer, like antioxidants, will absorb into your skin better. Then, apply your sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Moisturizer helps to hydrate and protect your skin, while sunscreen works to block the sun’s harmful UV rays.
However, if you’re using a chemical-based sunscreen, you should apply it before your moisturizer.
This is because chemical sunscreens need to be absorbed into the skin in order to work effectively. Applying moisturizer after sunscreen can interfere with the sunscreen’s absorption.
Experts recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This type of sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause skin damage and aging.
Tips for sensitive skin
Here are some tips to help you apply moisturizer and sunscreen without causing irritation or breakouts.
Choose the right products
When selecting moisturizer and sunscreen, look for products specifically formulated for sensitive skin, as they are often free of fragrances and harsh chemicals that can cause irritation.
Apply products gently
When applying moisturizer and sunscreen, be gentle.
Avoid rubbing the products into your skin aggressively, as this can cause irritation. Instead, use your fingertips to gently massage the products into your skin.
Wait between applications
If you are using both moisturizer and sunscreen, wait a few minutes between applications.
This will give your skin time to absorb the moisturizer before you apply sunscreen, and it will also help prevent the products from mixing together and reducing the effectiveness of the sunscreen.
Use a physical sunscreen
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to consider using a physical sunscreen rather than a chemical one.
Physical sunscreens contain minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun’s rays.
They are less likely to cause irritation than chemical sunscreens, which can be absorbed into the skin.
Don’t forget to patch test
Before using any new skincare product, it’s important to patch-test it first. Apply a small amount of the product to a small area of your skin, like behind your ear, and wait.
If you don’t experience any irritation or breakouts, it should be safe to use on your face.
By following these tips, you can help protect your sensitive skin from the sun’s harmful rays without causing irritation or breakouts.
Remember to always listen to your skin and adjust your routine accordingly.
When should you reapply sunscreen?
So, you’ve applied your moisturizer and sunscreen in the correct order, but how often should you reapply?
The answer depends on a few factors, such as the SPF level of your sunscreen and your level of activity.
It’s generally recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating.
See also: Does sunscreen only last two hours?
However, if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, it’s a good idea to reapply more frequently, especially if you’re sweating heavily.
Another factor to consider is the expiration date of your sunscreen.
Yes, sunscreen does expire, and using expired sunscreen can be less effective at protecting your skin from harmful UV rays.
Check the expiration date on your sunscreen and make sure to replace it if it’s expired.
If you’re wearing makeup over your sunscreen, it can be challenging to reapply without messing up your makeup.
One option is to use a powder sunscreen that can be applied over your makeup without smudging it.
Another option is to use a setting spray with SPF that can be reapplied throughout the day without disrupting your makeup.
Protecting your skin from the sun is essential for maintaining healthy skin and preventing skin damage and premature aging.
So, make sure to reapply your sunscreen regularly and stay protected all day long!
Which comes first moisturizer or sunscreen? Final thoughts
So, which comes first – moisturizer or sunscreen? The answer is: it depends.
If you’re using a mineral-based sunscreen or sunblock, it’s best to apply your moisturizer first, then your sunscreen. This way, the benefits of your moisturizer, like antioxidants, will go in well.
Then apply your mineral-based sunscreen, which is not absorbed into the skin, but instead sits on top to shield your complexion from UVB and UVA rays.
On the other hand, if you’re using a chemical sunscreen, you should apply it first, then your moisturizer. This will allow the sunscreen to properly absorb into your skin and provide maximum protection.
Remember to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to shield your body from harmful UVB and UVA rays.
And don’t forget to reapply every two hours if you’re spending time outdoors, especially in places like New York City where the sun can be strong and damaging.
If you’re looking for a great sunscreen to add to your skincare routine, I recommend Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen. It’s lightweight, oil-free, and provides broad-spectrum protection without leaving a white cast.
Whether you apply moisturizer or sunscreen first ultimately depends on the type of sunscreen you’re using. Always prioritize protecting your skin from harmful UV rays to maintain a healthy and radiant complexion.