Should You Use Sunscreen Or Moisturizer First?
written by nail expert Jess Rowley
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Should you use sunscreen or moisturizer first?
When it comes to applying sunscreen, there is a lot of gray area.
Do you need to put sunscreen on before moisturizer? Can I use moisturizer SPF? what comes first sunscreen or moisturizer? Can you mix sunscreen and moisturizer?
Luckily for you, I have compiled over 5 hours of research, gathering the most accurate information to answer all your questions about applying sunscreen and moisturizer.
Listen to this.
From picking out your next sunscreen to choosing the right moisturizer for your skin type and ingredients, you’ll be in the know when it comes to applying your products and protecting your skin.
I’ll take you through the best application techniques and the little tips and tricks that can make your life easier when it comes to applying sunscreen and moisturizer, so you can reap the benefits and get glowing skin.
Here’s a tip- If you have a darker skin tone and don’t want a white cast, go for a tinted sunscreen to neutralize the color. It will keep you protected and looking like a natural beauty!
Can you mix moisturizer and sunscreen together?
Sunscreen is an essential part of any skincare routine, you don’t want to skip out on it. Applying sunscreen and moisturizer or other products in the wrong order can make all the difference in protecting and hydrating your skin properly. The truth is, there is a correct order in which to apply sunscreen and moisturizer, so that you get the most out of both.
Can you mix sunscreen and moisturizer together? This might seem like it doesn’t matter since both are going on your face. Let me tell you right now, mixing both is not a good idea. Sunscreen has active ingredients in to protect from the sun, but when you mix it with moisturizer it may also have ingredients that cancel out the effect when put together. That means you risk losing out on the benefits of either, preventing them from being properly absorbed on the skin.
If you cant mix them, then which one comes first? Moisturizer or sunscreen? The answer to that question depends on the type of sunscreen.
Types of sunscreen
Sunscreen or moisturizer first? to answer that question we need to look at which type of sunscreen you have. Amongst the hundreds of sunscreen available, there are two types of sunscreen; chemical and physical.
Mineral sunscreen is made using natural minerals that block UV rays, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Physical sunscreens have ingredients block UV rays and since they are natural, and tend to be better for your skin. However, physical sunscreens may leave a white cast due to the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Mineral sunscreen can be applied after your skincare routine, but before you put on makeup. That means you can put on moisturizer first, and then apply sunscreen, as they work by sitting on top and reflecting UV rays. That way you get the full benefits and sun protection of both.
Chemical sunscreen is a little different. Since it needs to be absorbed into the skin directly in order to work, it needs to be applied first, before your skincare products or moisturizer. Chemical sunscreens need time to work, at least 15mins to be absorbed into the skin. The good thing about them is that they won’t usually leave a white cast, but maybe harmful to sensitive skin or young children. They work by absorbing UV rays, and you can wear it even in the pool or water.
Check out the label on your sunscreen and read the ingredients. If it contains active ingredients such as zinc and titanium oxide, then it’s a mineral sunscreen and needs to be applied after moisturizer. If not it is chemical, then sunscreen first and then moisturizer . Once you know the type of sunscreen you have, applying it correctly means your skin will be protected from harmful UV rays so you can make the most of your day worry free.
What about moisturizer with SPF?
There are many moisturizers on the market that contain SPF, and can be a good option if you don’t want to put on multiple separate products or you forget to wear your sunscreen daily. The key factor you need to look into when buying moisturizer with SPF is that it contains a minimum of SPF 30 so you get sufficient sun protection. Dermatologists also recommend going for broad-spectrum sunscreen. You might be wondering, what is broad spectrum? It means protection against both UVA and UVB sun rays, which are both harmful in different ways to your skin. this is going to help you get the most protection every day for your skin.
Tips for wearing sunscreen
Here are a few tips to look after your skin and protect it from the sun:
Use about 1 ounce– dermatologists recommend one ounce, or a shot glass of sunscreen to cover your whole body. Aim for a teaspoon for your face. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the amount of sunscreen you use as this can make a huge difference throughout the day in providing adequate protection and preventing sun rays from penetrating your skin.
Use sunscreen in the morning– This might sound obvious, but the best time to use sunscreen is putting it on every morning. Don’t wait to leave the house to put it on or you might end up skipping it in a rush or forgetting entirely. When you make it part of your skincare routine you ensure that no matter the weather, your skin is always covered.
Apply everywhere– The most common areas people forget to apply sunscreen are your ears, neck chest and tops of your hands. These areas are often missed but are usually exposed to sunlight all day. Your neck can also be one of the first areas to show signs of aging, so you don’t want to miss it!
Reapply during the day– You need to be reapplying your sunscreen because the skin will absorb it and reduce the effectiveness of sunscreen. Sunlight can be the strongest during midday and early afternoon, so if you’re only applied it in the morning, it might be a good idea t reapply, especially if you’ve been swimming or sweating.
Sunscreen expires- You might be surprised at this, but sunscreen has a shelf life of 3 years, so that old bottle in your cupboard is not doing much if its over 3 years old.
Do you really need to use moisturizer under sunscreen?
A lot of people ask this question, and with good reason. With so many products out there, it can be difficult to determine which ones you actually need in your routine. If you’re using a facial sunscreen, a moisturizer can seem unnecessary. However, since both of these products have different functions for the skin, you should be using both. Moisturizer is a great way of providing moisture and much-needed nutrition to nourish your skin. Sunscreen on its own will protect your skin, but it won’t help to repair the moisture barrier or nourish it like moisturizer does. If you want to keep signs of aging at bay, using both is a good way of looking after your skin and protecting it.
Should I wear sunscreen if I wear makeup?
You might be surprised at the answer to this, but yes. Even with a full face of makeup up, you need to know that harmful sun rays can penetrate to your skin and cause damage. Even though some makeup products contain spf, it’s not enough to provide the protection your skin needs. Experts recommend using sunscreen first as part of your skincare routine and then applying your makeup over it.
Chemical sunscreens can give you invisible coverage and sufficient protection so you can wear sunscreen every day under your makeup. Either way, always apply sunscreen no matter what.
Should I wait before applying sunscreen after moisturizer?
Although there isn’t an exact time or rule for this, it can be useful to wait a bit before applying sunscreen. When first applying moisturizer, leave it for a minute or two to give your skin time to soak it all in. If you apply sunscreen on too quickly you risk mixing both together, reducing the effect of both, and if can leave your skin too heavy, making it harder to absorb the product.
First, apply your moisturizer. Then, leave it alone for a minute or longer if needed. You can maybe do something else while waiting for it to absorb. Then when you apply your chemical sunscreen you’ll get all the benefits and it will be easier to layer your makeup over it.
When should you apply sunscreen in your skincare routine?
Now that you know whether it’s sunscreen or moisturizer first, you might be wondering where it all fits into your skincare routine. As we discussed earlier, you need to know which type of sunscreen you have first. For mineral sunscreens, you need to apply it last after all other products. This is going to make it your outer layer of protection. Of course, for chemical sunscreens, this needs to be the first thing you apply, before your skincare and other products.
When using a skincare routine, usually you would cleanse, tone and apply your serum and moisturizer, then as the last step your mineral sunscreen. For chemical moisturizers, you should cleanse first, then apply your sunscreen, and then go on to the rest of your skincare routine. Whether you choose to use a mineral or chemical susncreen, having a broad spectrum spf 30 sunscreen in your beauty routine is a must.
Final Thoughts – Sunscreen or moisturizer first?
When it comes to looking after your body, things are pretty simple, but your face requires a little more attention. Applying moisturizer and sunscreen in the wrong order could be the difference in, for example, getting adequate sun protection and nourishing your skin.
Its important to use a speararet sunscreen that is specially formulated to protect from uva and uvb rays. A moisturizer spf may not always have a high amoitn of spf necessary for this protection, and putting on powder spf is simply not enough.
Regardless, you don’t need hours of your time to apply a moisturizer and sunblock. With these beauty tips, you can apply spf sunscreen every day, and even with makeup over it. Make sure you check whether your sunscreen is a physical or chemical sunscreen so you know when to apply it. Remember, physical comes after moisturizer (moisturizer first) , and chemical should be applied before moisturizer.
If in doubt, moisturizer first, then apply sunscreen for sun protection. Try to go for sunblock spf 30 as this is better for your skin. So, when someone asks you sunscreen or moisturizer first, what will you say?
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