Should I Use Sunscreen or Moisturizer First?

Should I Use Sunscreen or Moisturizer First?


Khadija B.
November 4, 2021

It’s imperative to do whatever we can to protect our skin and keep it looking youthful, with sunscreen and moisturizer being the most important defense we have.

While we all know how critical it is to use both skincare products every day, there are often misconceptions about how to apply them for the best results.

Should use sunscreen or moisturizer first?

The order in which you apply sunscreen and moisturizer has to be determined by the type of sunscreen you’re using, whether it’s mineral or chemical form.

Mineral sunscreens should be applied after moisturizer and a chemical type before, so it all depends on what you use.

As the best tools we have against aging and skin damage, you want to get your moisturizers and sunscreens right.

This quick guide answers all of the important questions about what goes first and why, as well as some helpful tips for getting the most thorough application.

Do You Need Sunscreen and Moisturizer?

Do You Need Sunscreen and Moisturizer?

Sunscreen and moisturizer are both equally important parts of a daily skincare routine, but each with its own purpose.

Sunscreen’s job is to provide broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays, while the moisturizer’s role is to add moisture to your skin, balance your complexion, and prevent it from drying out.

On most days, you’ll need to apply both moisturizers and sunscreens because they have different roles.

Moisturizer should be applied morning and night, and sunscreen in the morning or before you plan on leaving the house, even if you don’t intend of spending a lot of time in the sun.

Although there are moisturizing products that contain some form of SPF protection, to get the best results, you’ll want to apply your moisturizer and sunscreen separately.

This allows the products to have their intended effect and be absorbed into the skin as needed, without taking anything away from the other or affecting any of the important ingredients in their formulas.

Should You Use Sunscreen or Moisturizer First?

Should You Use Sunscreen or Moisturizer First?

One of the biggest misconceptions about using sunscreen and moisturizer is that you should apply one before the other, with everyone having their own idea about what’s right.

However, the correct method for using them depends entirely on the type of sunscreen you use and how it takes effect.

A physical or mineral sunscreen, also known as sunblock, should be the last step in your skincare routine and before you apply your makeup.

You’ll want to lather on the moisturizers, serums, eye creams, and anything else you usually use, give them time to soak in, and then place the sunscreen over the top.

Those who use a chemical sunscreen should apply this first, as it needs time to absorb into the skin where it does its work.

After waiting 10 minutes, you can move on with the rest of your skincare routine so that all of your chosen products will be as effective as possible.

The best approach for a skincare routine is to go from the lightest products to the heaviest ones.

A sample routine might be cleansing, toning, adding serums, then sunscreen followed by moisturizer, or moisturizer before sunscreen, depending on the type you’re using.

Give everything time to settle and be absorbed before moving on to the next step.

Tips for Applying Them Both Effectively

Tips for Applying Them Both Effectively

As the two most crucial steps in any skincare routine, you want to be sure you’re getting your moisturizer and sunscreen right.

To help you do just that, we’ve got some expert tips from dermatologists that will make the most of these skincare solutions.

  • Don’t just focus on the face when applying sunscreen and moisturizer, but make sure it’s rubbed into your ears, neck, back of the neck, and chest. These areas are just as susceptible to damage.
  • Consider when you might need to reapply sunscreen and whether it’s going to mess with your makeup, then plan accordingly. If you’re out and about all day and plan on putting more sunscreen on, think about investing in a powder sunscreen that can go over the top without ruining your look.
  • Give sunscreen 15 minutes to absorb into the skin before applying anything else. Otherwise, you’ll wipe away the product and be left exposed to UV rays.
  • Invest in a quality sunscreen and moisturizer rather than choosing a two in one product. However, if you’re in a bind, using a moisturizer with SPF protection is still better than nothing at all.

Skin That’s Safe From the Sun

We all have different needs for our skin, and this includes the products that we use each day.

To ensure you’re protecting your skin from the sun and giving it the moisture it requires, think about the specific products you use and the best approach to apply them effectively.

Related Questions

Sunscreen is one of the most important skincare products you can use, but there’s a lot of unknowns about it still.

To make sure you’re choosing the best protection for your skin, we’ve answered some of the more commonly asked questions about sunscreen that can help you out.

What SPF Is Enough For Your Face?

What SPF Is Enough For Your Face?

According to dermatologists, a good sunscreen should have an SPF rating of at least 30 to be effective, with higher ratings not necessarily being better at blocking the sun.

At this level, you’ll be able to block up to 97 percent of UVB rays, which is as powerful as sunscreen can be.

Is Mineral Sunscreen Better?

Both chemical and mineral sunscreens are effective at protecting the skin from UV rays, but mineral sunscreen is believed to be the healthier option.

However, as long as you’re using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and AVB rays, and rated at least SPF30, this will be sufficient.


Khadija B.