Moisturizer Before Sunscreen – Should We or Should We Not


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How many times have we heard that using a sunblock or sunscreen is essential for our skin? As per the dermatologists, in order to save our skin from the environmental damage, this external barrier is extremely important. However, sometimes even the best sun protection product fails to perform as per our expectations. Reason? The technique of application and the products that you use along with your sunscreen or sunblock also matter, not to forget the order of application too. No matter how good a brand or its ingredients might be, the incorrect way, or incorrect order might be the reason for it being ineffective. So, let’s come to the very basic question regarding this topic; “Do we apply moisturizer before sunscreen?”

Moisturizer before Sunscreen

Types of Sunscreens: Physical or Chemical?

To logically answer the aforesaid questioned, we first need to understand the two types of sunscreens. Believe it or not, but the type of sunscreen and their respective composition also decides the way of application for optimum results.

Moisturizer before Sunscreen

Physical sunscreens are those that contain Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide as their main ingredients; whereas, chemical sunscreens are those that expressly mention that you need to wait for 20 to 30 minutes after application, before going out into the sun. In case of physical sunscreens, it really doesn’t matter if you apply it over or underneath your moisturizer, as it won’t have any effect on its performance. On the other hand, dermatologists have advised to apply chemical sunscreens on bare skin, as the ingredients of any product (moisturizers included) might interfere with the performance of its components.


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What should come first, Sunscreen or Moisturizer?

Ideally many dermas suggest the application of sunscreen before your regular moisturizer, especially if it is a chemical sunscreen. This is because, the ingredients of moisturizer can dilute the effects of your sunscreen, and it might not work as well as intended. However, if you can apply your sunscreen (physical) well over your daily lotion, leaving no patch unprotected and evenly spread, that will work as well too.

As per the above classification of physical and chemical sunscreen, there is a universal agreement that while the former can be applied anytime before or after application, the latter should preferably be applied on bare skin.

Moisturizer before Sunscreen

On the other hand, there is a universal agreement amongst experts from all over the world, that sunscreen should always be the final step in your skin care routine, which quite contradicts the above mentioned facts, to some extent. However, these experts suggest that you can replace your sunscreen with your moisturizer if it can provide adequate moistness to your skin. Hence, there is no need to layer up. If you want, you can use an anti oxidant serum beneath your sunscreen. It would not only serve the purpose of providing that extra moisture, but at the same time would double the effects of your sunscreen, saving your skin from the environmental damages.

Moisturizer before Sunscreen

On the Ending Note

Summing up all that has been said, the recommendation is, try buying a sunscreen that has the consistency of a moisturizer and sufficient protection indexes. That will do away with the need of a separate moisturizer underneath. If you still insist, try buying an anti oxidant serum. It is a proven fact that a serum multiplies the benefits of moisturizer/sunscreen by making the ingredients work in a more effective manner.

A serum and sunscreen combo works far better than a moisturizer and sunscreen combo. Reason being, that the consistency of serum is very thin and it is meant to be absorbed within the deeper layers of skin and work its way from there. An anti oxidant serum, beneath your daily sunscreen, works well to protect your skin, and repair the damage that has already been done. So, on the ending note, we recommend the usage of serum and sunscreen on a daily basis, skipping the moisturizer.

Moisturizer before Sunscreen

It is no rocket science that a sunscreen or sunblock, is a very essential part of our skin care routine now. No matter how busy, one should never skip sun protection, as it is a shield to the pollution and environmental damages, that otherwise take a toll on our skin. So take good care of your skin, protect it, and flaunt the bare and gorgeous you, when you need to. 😀

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19 thoughts on “Moisturizer Before Sunscreen – Should We or Should We Not

  1. That’s a great article kadambari…I used to apply a light moisturizer beneath the sunscreen before I found a moisturizer with sunscreen benefits. It is really hassle-free that way!

  2. That’s a really helpful post Kadambari 🙂
    I am the serum+sunscreen person, if not that then a light hydrating sunscreen.

  3. Wow… Nice post well penned Kads… I m the serum sunscreen person… But do top it off with a sheer foundation or alternate with spf waala bb cream often….

  4. Hi…I have heard that lotus sunscreens are good…I have been using lotus but still get tanned a lot..also have pigmentation…any good sunscreens which also keep the tan away?

    1. Hi mehek!! I have been using Lotus spf 70 one, and it is too good. Still if you want to try other options, you can go for VLCC or Neutrogena, after research, as per your skin type. 🙂

    1. Thaaaanks 😀 It’s all about preferences yaar. Some find layering up as an additional layer of protection, some want it two-in-one kinda. 🙂

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