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Should You Apply Moisturizer or Sunscreen First?

by Lauren on Mar 16, 2023

which one are you?

Every good morning skincare routine should contain these two very important steps: moisturizer and sunscreen. Moisturizer is used to hydrate, lock in moisture all day and allow for cake-free makeup application. Sunscreen is also an essential part of your morning routine to protect your skin during the day from the sun’s harmful UV rays. But, which order should they be applied in?


The Order Depends on the TYPE of Sunscreen

There are two different types of sunscreen: physical and chemical. Whilst physical sunscreen acts as a physical barrier over skin to protect it from the sun thanks to minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, chemical sunscreen contains active ingredients which acts as a sponge to Shouabsorb the UV rays and convert them into heat.


order of application


If you’re using a....


Physical Sunscreen

Physical sunscreens act as a barrier and therefore should be applied after moisturizer as the final step of your skincare routine before applying makeup or a primer. 


Chemical Sunscreen

To avoid moisturizer reducing effectiveness by possibly acting as a barrier between the sunscreen and your skin, chemical sunscreen must be absorbed by the skin in order for it to work and therefore should be applied before moisturizer. It is also recommended that you leave some time for the moisturizer or sunscreen to absorb into the skin before applying the other, for the most beneficial morning routine.


sun burn by spf level

"Some Moisturizers and Foundations Contain SPF"

Can’t I just use that?

Whilst inclusion of SPF in moisturizers and foundations is beneficial, the SPF provided by these products is usually less than the recommended SPF 30 and the amount of product required to sustain a substantial SPF from foundation or moisturizer is well above the average amount of product actually used. Most of the time, additional SPF will be around 15 which won’t substantially protect the skin, so including an SPF step in your daily skincare/makeup routine is vital for healthy, glowing skin! 


So, adding a sunscreen, whether it is chemical or physical, into your routine is the best and safest way to protect your skin from the sun! Just remember to check the type of sunscreen you are using and work it into your routine accordingly.



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