We often indulge in the beautiful process of buying, stocking and finally applying skincare products.. To many its much more exciting than buying a new pair of Manolos..! To be able to maintain smooth and protected skin, sunscreen is crucial and the most essential part of real beauty. We wake up daily with a rally of skin care routine; toners, serums, moisturisers and finally sunscreen and makeup…. The question remains, what is the order of application? What goes first? Moisturiser or sunscreen? The last thing we need is ruining the efficacy of the pricey products we bought.. CIIN did its research and presents to you the final verdict..
Basically, its the sunscreen ingredients we need to look out for.. The decision of what should go first will take seconds out of your time, and just like reading nutritional facts on food items, you should do the same with your sunblock.. Learn to read your labels!
For starters, its important that you know there are two formulas of sunscreen, the chemical and the physical.. Once you know what your product is you will decide on what goes first..Sunblock or moisturiser..
1 || Chemical Sunscreens
Those need to get in contact with the skin to be effective.. Check the ingredients, if the bottle contains any of the following UV filters then you must apply before moisturisers..filters such as avobenzone, mexoryl, oxybenzone, and octocrylene, are ingredients that need time to bind to the skin so the chemical reaction that activates them can occur.. Hence the directions of applying 20-30 minutes before sun exposure is demanded..By applying your moisturizer first, you’re interfering with this chemical reaction, preventing the sunscreen from interacting with the skin the way it should.
The rule of re-applying? During the day, when you feel the urge of re-applying when you already have your moisturizer on.. Well, by the time you need to put on your sunscreen again, most of your moisturizer will have already worn off, and won’t therefore interfere with it much.
2 || Physical Sunscreens
Basically, the efficacy of these types of sunscreens comes in the form of physically blocking harmful UV rays by bouncing sun rays off and away upon contact..Those contain minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These two form a shield on your skin, and unlike chemical sunscreens they do not need to be activated by any sort of a chemical reaction.. Physical sunscreens work immediately, and don’t need to be applied half and hour or more prior sun exposure.. They don’t need to be applied before moisturizer as well..
Of course, if that’s what you like and are used to, you can apply them before your moisturizer. Some experts think that’s better anyway. That’s because some of the ingredients in our moisturizing creams can interfere with the sunscreen and make them less effective.
For example, your moisturizer could contain ingredients that could dilute your sunscreen, reducing the protection it offers, or make it harder to spread evenly so that some parts of your skin may be left unprotected. But if you’re careful, you can use these sunscreens after your moisturizer, if that’s what you like best.
So after displaying the basics, are you ready to go further into details..? We dug deeper.. And the fact that there are sunscreens that combine both chemical and physical sunscreen agents, adds up to the confusion and asks for more research..
Because titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can leave a white cast on the skin and be difficult to blend, some brands prefer to use them in smaller amounts and complement their sun protection properties with chemical sunscreen agents.
So, if they contain both types of sunscreen ingredients, when should we apply them? Before or after moisturizer?
Again, there is not a definite answer on this, but considering that chemical sunscreens need to be in contact with the skin to work and physical blockers are better applied before moisturizer too, I think it makes sense to apply this type of sunscreen first too.
It’s important for you to know the proper order to apply your skincare products, and this as well will interfere with the order of application of your sunblock.. Which brings us to the exception to the rule.. The gradual application of skincare products, from thinnest to thickest. This means that products with a lighter texture, like serums, should be applied before products with a thicker consistency, like moisturizers, to be properly absorbed into the skin. Most sunscreens do have a thick texture, so where do they fit in?
If you’re using an exfoliant or serum with a very light consistency, then you can apply it before sunscreen without compromising its efficacy. If, on the other hand, the sunscreen is lighter than the other skincare products you are using, then apply that first.
Finally, to wrap things up and save your time and energy, always apply sunscreen first thing.. Play it safe, and that’s the bottom line!