Prevention against skin cancer and aging takes diligent. I always thought that you are safe as long as you do not suntan and always apply your sunscreen before sun exposure. It was until recently when I heard on dermTV from dermatologist Neil Schultz that you need to apply sunscreen before moisturizer. According to Dr. Schultz, sunscreen has to be the first thing you apply to your skin for the active ingredients to bind to your skin and do their work. Simple enough? However, I think most of us have the habit of applying our moisturizer, then sunscreen on top. If you are one of those people, you have to remember to reverse your habit.
What if you also apply toner and serum in the morning? Dr. Schultz believes you can apply toner before sunscreen but serum is only to be use at night. I can live with that, as I don’t normally use serum in the morning anyway. However, I think there are women out there that would not want to give up on their morning serum regimen. I did more research about the topic. According to a pharmacy website from Canada, it is not necessary to apply sunscreen first. It is about applying products in the order of their consistency. This totally makes sense to me and it is a practice I have been doing for years anyway. Let’s say your serum is in a liquid or light milky texture. If you apply the serum on top of your cream sunscreen, I doubt your serum will get a chance to absorb properly.
In essence, my two cents is that it will simplify things if you find a moisturizer that also contains sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or higher. If you must use additional moisturizer, it would be on top of your sunscreen. Also, if you use toner and serum in the morning then you would follow your cleansing with toner, serum, then sunscreen, in the order of your product consistency, from lightest to heaviest.
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