Of the many sequences of using skincare , one that is perhaps the most confusing is determining whether you should use a moisturizer or sunscreen first. These two products have different functions, and the wrong order can affect their potency.
So, which one should you use first?
Know first the function of moisturizer and sunscreen
Although facial skin absorbs both of them in the same way, moisturizer and sunscreen have different effects on the skin. In order to determine whether you should use a moisturizer or sunscreen first , try to identify the following functions:
1. Moisturizer function
Moisturizer functions to keep skin moist and improve its texture. These products usually contain humectants such as glycerin, lactic acid, or urea. Humectants are substances that can draw water into the skin, so that the facial skin remains moisturised.
Most moisturizers also contain emollients in the form of vegetable oil and lanolin, which can soften the skin. The combination of humectants and emollients not only leaves the face feeling moisturised, but also smooth and supple with an even texture.
2. Sunscreen function
If you are confused about whether to use a moisturizer or sunscreen first , this might be a clue. Launching the Skin Cancer Foundation , the main function of sunscreen is to protect the skin from UV rays which can cause sunburn , premature aging, and even cancer.
When buying sunscreen , choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or 50 to obtain maximum protection. Sunscreen should be reused every 2 hours, especially after sweating, swimming, or washing your face.
So, should you use a moisturizer or sunscreen first ?
The order of using skincare is confusing because everyone has different needs. However, Dr. Melda Isaac, a dermatologist in Washington DC, United States, recommends that you follow one simple sequence.
The order is cleansing, healing, moisturizing , and protecting. So, after you use facial soap, toner, and serum, the next step is to moisturize facial skin with a moisturizer .
When you are confused about whether to use a moisturizer or sunscreen first , remember that sunscreen is a skin protector. Referring to the order suggested by Dr. Isaac, sunscreen is used at the last stage of your skincare routine .
Pay attention to the type of sunscreen you use. If you are using a sunscreen lotion or cream, wait for the moisturizer to completely absorb into the skin. Mixing the two will actually reduce the sunscreen’s ability to ward off UV rays.
Sunscreen creams and lotions usually also contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which dry out the skin. If you apply the moisturizer first, your skin will be more moisturised so that no lumps are formed.
The key is to use the product correctly
Moisturizer before sunscreen is the most recommended order. However, there are also people who might be more comfortable using sunscreen or other products first, then ending with a moisturizer .
This is actually not bad for the skin. It’s just that you have to carefully choose and use a moisturizer so that this product doesn’t dissolve the sunscreen and reduce its ability.
The key is to use the product in the right amount and manner. Moisturizer or sunscreen first, the most important thing is that you apply it evenly and wait for it to absorb before being followed by other skincare products .