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What comes first, moisturiser or sunscreen? Experts decode

Updated on: 19 September,2022 10:42 AM IST  |  Mumbai

To keep things simple, there are 2 types of sunscreens, physical sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen. Experts decode the correct way to apply a sunscreen

What comes first, moisturiser or sunscreen? Experts decode

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Are you a beginner in the skincare school? Do you get confused between the steps of a skincare routine such as toning, moisturising and applying sunscreen? Don't worry, we have got you covered.

Chaitanya Nallan, Co-Founder & CEO, SkinKraft Laboratories will clear your doubts regarding what you should apply first, either moisturizer or sunscreen! We all know how important the application of sunscreen is. Sunscreen needs to be applied not just in summers but throughout the year, yes, even in winters. However, it might be confusing when you are layering your skincare products. To keep things simple, there are two types of sunscreens, physical sunscreen and a chemical sunscreen. You must apply your moisturiser first if you are using a physical sunscreen and for a chemical sunscreen apply the sunscreen and then over it you can apply your moisturiser.

Vipin Sharma, Senior Product and Research Manager at Fixderma will guide through the same. Skincare is always dynamic and experimental. With changing formulations and innovation, the steps and method of doing skincare also keeps changing. It has always been CTMS-Cleansing, Toning, Moisturiser and sunscreen. Yes! There has been an addition to the old CTM routine; Sunscreen. Sun protection is indeed the most important step in skincare routine. Any skincare is not 100 per cent effective if you do not seal it with sun protection. But how and when to use a sunscreen is also very important. The thumb rule always goes from treatment to protection. So, one should always start with a serum, then a moisturiser and finish it off with a high protection sunscreen.

But with the changing game of skincare, now even we have moved away from traditional straight forward sunscreens. Sunscreen not only come as per skin type but also now in different concoction. There are sunscreens which are infused with moisturising agents like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E. In such cases, one can skip moisturiser and directly go for sunscreen. But sunscreen always has to be the last step in your skincare routine.

"With the rising trend of following a skin care regime, the question you need to ask yourself is whether you are layering your products in the right order to achieve the desired result. Let us throw some light on the most used products in any skin care routine, Moisturiser and Sunscreen. What is the order of preference? The answer isn't exactly cut and dry, but my choice is justified by some scientific reasons based on their properties. Application of the moisturiser first will bridge any gaps in the stratum corneum and make the skin soft and supple. Also, moisturisers are typically reapplied every 10-12 hours. Sunscreens on the other hand, if applied directly over a dry skin would increase the dryness further leading to irritation of the skin. Additionally, sunscreens should form the outer layer as they can directly scatter/reflect/absorb the UV rays depending on their physical properties. And sunscreens should be reapplied every 2-3 hours for maximum efficacy, especially in tropical countries such as India where increased sweating is characteristic. At present, there are moisturisers available with SPF and vice versa in the market. Nonetheless, as a rule I prefer to layer moisturiser and sunscreen separately, each catering to its own purpose," adds Dr. Gagana B. Gopal, Consultant Dermatologist, KAYA.

Also read: This is the only sunscreen guide you will ever need

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