Sunscreen Before or After Moisturizer? It Makes a Big Difference

To make the most out of your skincare routine, the order in which you cleanse, tone, and apply moisturizer matters: you would never moisturize and then rinse your skin clean, right? That just defeats the purpose of both processes.

However, the lines for correct (or best) order can become blurry when your formulas begin to look similar. Take moisturizer and sunscreen as a key example. Many moisturizers and makeup products advertise as having SPF – does that mean they’re like sunscreen? Should you then layer them above or below your actual dedicated sunscreen? Turns out, once again, the order matters.

Why Would I Need Both Moisturizer and Sunscreen?

Especially if your moisturizer or other skincare products have SPF, you may be wondering why you also need sunscreen in your daily routine. The reason is that despite the advertising, moisturizers specifically serve a different purpose, even if it’s a dual purpose.

Sunscreens are not meant to be hydrating formulas, and likewise, hydrating moisturizers aren’t the best at blocking the sun. First, if you’re outside for any amount of time, the limited SPF of your non-sunscreen will run out quickly. This would require you to reapply to reactivate your sun protection, which in turn will just make your skin over-hydrated and oily.

On the other hand, using a moisturizer along with a sunscreen allows you to lock in moisture before then applying a formula that sits on top of your skin to protect it. When the sunscreen is no longer effective (the rule of thumb is to reapply every two hours of constant sun exposure), you simply reapply the sunscreen without disturbing your skin’s balance of moisture.

When Should You Apply Sunscreen: Before or After Moisturizer?

Unfortunately, there’s not a clear answer to when everyone should apply their sunscreen on a daily basis. Generally, if you’re using a chemical sunscreen, you should apply it first so it has time to sink into your skin. Physical sunscreens, or mineral sunscreen, should typically be applied after moisturizing so the moisturizer doesn’t smear the minerals and render them ineffective.

Ultimately, the choice of which type of sunscreen and when to apply it is up to you; some people prefer the feel of sunscreen before moisturizing and many prefer it after they’re done with their whole routine. The thing to remember is that applying sunscreen at any stage is better than not applying it at all.

Should I Wear Sunscreen Over Makeup?

Again, there’s no direct answer, but generally, mineral sunscreens with active ingredients like zinc oxide should be applied at the very end of your skincare routine, including after makeup application. Chemical sunscreens probably perform better and allow your makeup to set more naturally when they’re applied before makeup or before moisturizing.

Sunscreen Tips for Top Protection

Not all sunscreens and skincare products are made the same. You’ve heard us mention the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens, which is a choice you should make on your own based on your preferences and lifestyle, but there are even more factors to consider for the best sun protection on a daily basis.

First, depending on your skincare concerns, such as aging signs, pigmentation, or sensitivity, you may want to shop for sunscreens that are formulated to keep your skin looking and feeling great. For example, we created our Defend and Balance Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 for the ultimate protection from UV damage to help your skin’s appearance  defy its age even when the sun is high.

Also, being consistent with sunscreen use is nearly more important than any way you apply it. Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet radiation reflects all around you, meaning the better coverage you have, the more protected you’ll be.

Professional SPF Products From Epicuren Discovery

You want the best for your skin, which is why you agonize over even the specific order for each unique formula in your daily routine. We care just as much about taking care of your skin, which is why our products are sourced from the most proven, potent natural ingredients that give you the clear complexion and perfectly tinted protection you deserve. Check out all our options for sunscreens and Sun Care products by browsing our catalog or taking our Skin Quiz online today.

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