sun care and self tanning Should You Apply Sunscreen Before or After Moisturizer?

The order in which you apply sunscreen is more important than you think.

March 11, 2022
Sunscreen Or Moisturizer First

By now, you probably know the importance of sun care and
applying sunscreen on the daily. If not, here’s a quick refresher: Sun exposure can lead to premature aging, skin damage and several skin conditions, not to mention skin cancer. 

While sun protection is a necessary step in your skin care routine, knowing when to apply your SPF is another story. More specifically, you need to know if you should apply sunscreen or moisturizer first. 

Lucky for you, we’ve taken away the guesswork — because sun safety definitely isn’t something you should be hoping you’ve made the right call on. Below, find the definitive answer on whether you’re supposed to apply sunscreen before or after moisturizer.

Should You Apply Sunscreen or Moisturizer First?

As a rule of thumb, you should apply sunscreen as the final step in your skin care routine. Since products with SPF are specifically formulated with certain protective ingredients, layering one on after your moisturizer will help block out any harsh rays. So, in other words, SPF goes on after moisturizer.


Can You Combine Sunscreen and Moisturizer?

While the idea of mixing your sunscreen and moisturizer together to form one holy grail formula seems like a smart idea, it actually might be less effective. Mixing your sunscreen and moisturizer into a hybrid concoction can result in formulas not working as tested and therefore, as intended, and that isn’t a risk you want to take with sun protection.


However, if you do prefer to multitask, there is a solution — moisturizer with SPF. This type of moisturizer is specifically formulated to both hydrate your skin and protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 


Want to tackle two steps of your routine in one? Take your pick from one of our best moisturizers with SPF, below.


L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30

Not only is this anti-aging face moisturizer formulated with SPF 30, but it’s loaded with a powerful trio of ingredients — Pro-Retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid — that works wonders on skin. After one week, expect to see the appearance of wrinkles reduced and a firmer and brighter complexion. Not to mention, the formula is dermatologist-tested, free of dyes, mineral oil, and parabens and suitable for sensitive skin.


L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Collagen Expert Day Moisturizer with SPF 30

When we age, our collagen — you know, the protein that makes skin look plumper — begins to diminish, leaving us with sagging skin. But this lightweight moisturizer with SPF will help counteract signs of aging when used daily. In addition to SPF, the moisturizer is formulated with peptides (the key to producing collagen) and niacinamide to brighten, retighten and rehydrate maturing skin. 


L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Anti-Aging Day Moisturizer SPF 25

This luxurious anti-aging cream is packed with vitamin E, antioxidants and broad-spectrum SPF 25, which all help renew skin. Over time, skin feels smoother and looks refreshed with continued use. The formula maximizes skin's power of rejuvenation by stimulating surface skin cell renewal to reveal a more hydrated and youthful-looking complexion.


L'Oréal Paris Wrinkle Expert 55+ Age Defense Lotion

This anti-aging moisturizer is a must for anyone 50 or older. With the help of broad-spectrum SPF 30, the lotion helps reduce wrinkles and strengthen, smooth and protect skin. Immediately after applying, your visage will look noticeably fresher and radiant, and feel soft and hydrated. 


L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Rosy Tone SPF 30 Sunscreen Face Moisturizer

As skin matures, its ability to renew surface cells slows down, causing a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface. The complexion, as a result, becomes dull, losing its natural rosy, youthful tone. This ultra-hydrating cream — which is infused with imperial peony extract and lipohydroxy acid (a powerful anti-aging ingredient) — instantly revives skin's rosy tone while protecting it from the sun’s harmful rays with broad-spectrum SPF 30.


L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30

Brighten up the appearance of your complexion with this moisturizer featuring SPF 30. It visibly corrects the look of dull, uneven tones, lines and wrinkles to reveal radiant, youthful-looking skin. The moisturizer is also formulated with glycolic acid, vitamin C and Pro-Retinol, which are all impressive at reversing signs of aging.


L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Anti Wrinkle Firming Day Cream SPF 25

Just as its name suggests, this moisturizer is formulated to deliver firmer, smoother skin while providing UVA and UVB SPF 25 sun protection. In just four weeks, the retinol-infused formula increases cell turnover, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and provides long-lasting hydration.


Next: Skin Care Products That Can Cause Sun Sensitivity

Edited by: Sophie Dweck, Image Credit: Crystal Simone