What Should I Apply First: Moisturizer Or Sunscreen?

by Gio
apply moisturizer or sunscreen first

EDIT: This post was edited with the latest scientific information on 21/07/2017.

Moisturizer or sunscreen: what comes first? That’s the chicken and egg question of skincare. Everyone you ask seems to have a different answer.

Sunscreen always goes last.

Nope, it depends on what type of sunscreen you use.

Just put it on whenever, who cares?

I do. Because sunscreen is serious business. You get the order wrong, you may unwittingly reduce its effectiveness!

So, what should you do? Let’s see what the experts recommend:

Theory #1: Sunscreen Always Goes Last

Both skincare gurus Paula Begoun and Nicki Zevola Benvenuti of Future Derm agree: sunscreen is ALWAYS the last step in your daytime skincare routine.

This, Paula’s argues, is how scientists test the effectiveness of your sunscreen. They don’t get creative and apply sunscreen under moisturizer to see if it works as well.

If tests say that sunscreen on top of moisturizer works, that’s good enough for me. This is the theory that I’ll be following from now on.

Theory #2: It Depends On What Type Of Sunscreen You’re Using

Did you know there are two types of sunscreens?:

  1. Chemical*: it uses synthetic UV filters, such as avobenzone, mexoryl, and octocrylene.
  2. Mineral: it uses mineral UV filters, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

The theory goes that chemical sunscreens need to touch the skin so the chemical reaction that activates them can occur. Any chemical sunscreen goes before moisturizer while mineral sunscreens can still be applied last.

The only one who promotes this theory, as far as I know, is Dr. Neal Schultz, a board-certified dermatologist who practices in Manhattan.

When I first started this blog and wrote this post, I was a huge fan of Dr Schultz’s work but, as my research about sunscreen continued, I’ve started to question some of his conclusions.

(Science isn’t a done science. New information can always come up to refute approved theories. When that happens, we should revisit our conclusions rather than standing firm on our positions for fear of looking stupid).

During my research, I couldn’t find any evidence that chemical sunscreens need to be activated by the skin. If that were true, those handy UV bracelets that tell you when your sunscreen is starting to lose its effectiveness wouldn’t work with chemical sunscreens. But, they do.

The only reaction that happens when you apply ANY sunscreen to your skin is the creation of a protective film. As the sunscreen dries, it forms a film on the skin that makes it harder for it to be wiped off.

This film takes around 20 minutes to form. That’s why your mum always told you to apply sunscreen about 20 minutes before leaving the house.

If you’ve been following Dr Schultz’s theory (I did for a while) and applied sunscreen first, I don’t think you have everything to worry about as long as a) you’ve waited for the sunscreen to dry properly and b) you gently pat on the rest of your skincare on top (that’s just common sense, anyway).

Related: Chemical VS Physical Sunscreen: Which One Is Right For You?

The Bottom Line

After examining the latest research, I now recommend that you apply sunscreen as the last step of your daytime skincare routine. Always.

*Technically, all sunscreens are chemicals. That’s because everything made of matter is a chemical. Even water. Even zinc oxide. But, recently, chemical sunscreen has become synonymous with non-mineral sunscreen, so that’s how I’m using it here.

Do you apply your sunscreen before or after your moisturizer?

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Lisi August 31, 2010 - 3:06 pm

I apply my eyecream first (with spf), then my sunscreen (Avène) and then my moisturizer. I was always worried about doing it wrong – now that I read your article, I feel safer!

beautifulwithbrains August 31, 2010 - 4:26 pm

Lisi, I’m glad you do 🙂 You’re doing everything right, well done! 🙂

Mami August 31, 2010 - 5:40 pm

Ah, I’m doing it in the wrong order.. oops.

Also, how do you go about reapplying sunscreen during the day without compromising your makeup? Never figured that one out… Any tips??

beautifulwithbrains August 31, 2010 - 6:28 pm

Mami, if you’re using physical blockers, I guess it’s alright. But chemical sunscreens are best applied first. 🙂

About reapplying sunscreen without ruining your makeup, I think the best option is to use a powder with SPF. It’s not ideal as powders can be easily brushed off skin, but if you’re not spending a lot of time outdoors, they’ll still do nicely.

em August 31, 2010 - 8:10 pm

what if you are concerned with acne/skin problems? that just seems like a lot of layers of heaviness on the skin…concealer, moisturizer, foundation, sunscreen…

beautifulwithbrains August 31, 2010 - 8:26 pm

Em, I agree. All this products create so many layers and can clog pores, making acne skin worse. I’d say just experiment until you find a combination of products that doesn’t cause problems with your skin. Or if you want to reduce the layers, then you can opt either for a moisturizer with SPF or use a sunscreen followed by a tinted moisturizer and concealer where needed. Hope this helps.

The Beauty Mixer August 31, 2010 - 9:13 pm

I use Revlon Photo Ready foundation and mix it with Estee Lauder Day wear. I apply this with a MAC brush. It is a perfect do it yourself cocktail for a tinted moisturizer. I also use lorac tinted moisturizer when I am too lazy haha. Estee Lauder Day Wear has spf in it.
A really good sunblock to wear is neutrogena dry sun block 75. I put that on and then apply powder or foundation.

beautifulwithbrains September 1, 2010 - 5:01 pm

The Beauty Mixer, that neutrogena sun block is very well formulated. I wish it were available here as well. 🙂

fabulessbeauty August 31, 2010 - 9:37 pm

I apply sunscreen first. At least, that’s what my derm told me.

beautifulwithbrains September 1, 2010 - 12:54 pm

Fabulessbeauty, that’s great. I think most experts and derms agree that sunscreens (at least the chemical kind) should be applied first. 🙂

Rachel September 2, 2010 - 6:07 pm

I tend to skip moisturizers and apply sunscreen instead due to my oily skin type. Are those the two sunscreen that you wear regularly? I’m thinking about giving the La Roche Posay one a try. Do you know if it works well with oily skin?

beautifulwithbrains September 2, 2010 - 6:37 pm

Rachel, I’ve used the Avene one for a while but had to give up because I hate the consistency. It’s the greasiest sunscreen I’ve ever tried and never seems to absorb! Eww. As for La Roche Posay, I find that works very well and it has a much lighter texture. I have combination skin and I find it works quite well on my oily t-zone so I think it may work for oily skin. But if you can, try and get a sample. 🙂

hiru February 20, 2011 - 6:38 pm

u were right about apply the light texture then heavy one next,i watch this dermatologist video,he explain the same thing n do small experiment which really make sense about this
i think mine probably chemical,so i think i should change my routine n apply it before moisturizer
thank u for the post,i really like all your posts which make me subscribe just now 🙂
p/s: i have question about sunscreen that always bugging me,do sunscreen can be apply around the eyes?i mean on the eyelid.Won’t it will be sting? but how to protect the skin on eyes?or else will become panda eyes..that wouldn’t be nice to look at…

beautifulwithbrains February 20, 2011 - 9:55 pm

Hiru, thank you. I’m glad you found this post useful and you decided to subscribe. I hope to see you around often. 🙂

Yes, if you are using a chemical sunscreen, wearing it before moisturizer would be best. 🙂

As for the eye area, it depends on the sunscreen. Some chemical sunscreen can sting the eye area but it depends on your skin type and what your skin can tolerate. But usually, it is better to apply physical sunscreen (those with Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide) on the eye area as they don’t usually have side effects. Hope this helps.

Amy March 6, 2011 - 7:37 am

My sunscreen has titanium dioxide as well as a lot of others ingredients, does it means it’s both a chemical and physical sunscreen?

beautifulwithbrains March 6, 2011 - 8:37 am

Amy, if some of the other ingredients are sunscreen agents such as avobenzone or mexoryl for example, than yes, it is both a chemical and physical sunscreen.

Maxine March 16, 2011 - 11:54 am

I find the very best sunscreen is Neutrogena Ulta Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen with Helioplex. SPF 55. Great for the face – says “Dry Touch”, but isn’t drying at all and bonus is that it seems to act as a great primer before makeup! If I’m using a serum, I put that on before the sunscreen – but moisturizers, after…..seems to work. I live in Vancouver Canada where it seems to rain most of the winter, but I’ve started to use sunblock every day. Like everyone I used to lie in the sun (never again!), use sun beds and even (in the U.K.) used to lie slathered with baby oil and an alumininum board to catch the rays………..can you believe it!

beautifulwithbrains March 16, 2011 - 8:50 pm

Maxine, thanks for sharing. The Neutrogena sunscreen sounds wonderful and I’m glad it works well for you. And those are nasty habits indeed! I’m glad you quit them and have started using sunscreen everyday, that’s so important to protect skin from the harmful UV rays.

Roxann April 4, 2011 - 6:48 am

Thank you so much for this post, it has really helped me clear up my dilemma!

beautifulwithbrains April 4, 2011 - 11:36 am

Roxann, you’re welcome and I’m glad it did.

cindy April 21, 2011 - 9:08 pm

thanks for the post! It helped me a lot. I have a question though, what is a chemical sunscreen and a physical sunscreen? I’ve never heard of this..what’s the difference and which is better. Thanks again!

beautifulwithbrains April 22, 2011 - 7:58 am

Cindy, you’re welcome and I’m glad it did. Physical sunscreens are those sunscreens that contain only Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide. If your sunscreen contains any other sunscreen agent (such as Avobenzone, Mexoryl, Octocrylene etc) then it is a chemical sunscreen. Some sunscreens contain both too (such as Titanium Dioxide and Mexoryl for instance).

Chemical sunscreens need to get in contact with the skin to be activated and thus be effective. When the UV rays hits the sunscreen, they transform it into a less damaging form of heat. They usually protect either only from UVA or UVB rays so several chemical ingredients are needed to offer broad spectrum protection. The problem with chemical sunscreens is that they can cause allergic reactions and, sometimes, free radicals too (although this problem can be avoided by using a sunscreen or moisturizer with antioxidants).

Physical blockers instead act like shields. When the sun rays hit them, the rays are simply reflected off the skin and scattered away in the enviroment. They work from the moment they are applied on the skin as they don’t need to be activated. They are also the best sunscreen ingredients available because they both protect from both UVA and UVB rays and don’t cause irritations. However, they tend to leave a white cast behind and can cause breakouts in some people.

Personally, I prefer physical sunscreens but I wouldn’t say that one type is better than the other. You should just choose the product that best suits your needs.

Rachel August 8, 2011 - 12:27 pm

I’d also add that many physical sunscreen ingredients are also ant inflammatory as well.

beautifulwithbrains August 8, 2011 - 6:15 pm

Rachel, you’re right. Zinc Oxide, for instance, has anti-inflammatory properties. Thanks for reminding us.

shirush June 24, 2011 - 6:40 am

hi.. i apply sunscreen first then my moisturizer and then my mineral makeup… but we need to re apply sunscreen right?… how do u do it when u have your make up on?

beautifulwithbrains June 24, 2011 - 12:50 pm

Shirush, reapplying sunscreen is necessary only if you go to the beach or spends hours outdoors. That’s because the sun rays break down the active ingredients in sunscreens, so the most time you spend in the sun, the more often you’ll have to reapply. If you stay most of the day indoors, walking outside just to go to your car or something like that, there is no need to reapply as very likely your sunscreen will stay intact all day. If you need to reapply it, though, you can do so by touching up your makeup with a powder containing SPF. Hope this helps.

tiffany July 20, 2011 - 3:18 am

Dear beautifulwithbrains
really insightful article on sunscreen application, i learnt many tips thanks so much dear!! your site name is so aptly described 🙂

btw, i have heard so much raves on skinceutical physical sunblock and i think it should work for my sensitive skin.

beautifulwithbrains July 20, 2011 - 6:31 am

Tiffany, awww thank you! I’m glad this article helped you. I hope the skinceutical physical sunblock works well for you. I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard great things about it too.

mia July 26, 2011 - 5:53 am

ohhh.now i know what to apply first. . .thanks.

beautifulwithbrains July 26, 2011 - 1:58 pm

Mia, you’re welcome. 🙂

Leslee August 12, 2011 - 4:21 am

After reading many articles on how important it is to use a sunscreen daily I now use Aubrey Organics SPF 15 Saving Face which has 12% Zinc Oxide.

I have extremely sensitive skin with rosacea, this sunscreen doesn’t irritate my skin I’m thrilled to finally find a product that I can use 🙂
Now.. I know to apply sunscreen first, then my moisturizer 🙂


beautifulwithbrains August 12, 2011 - 8:36 am

Leslee, I’m glad I could be of help and that you managed to find a sunscreen that works well for you. It is so important to wear sunscreen and Zinc Oxide is my favourite sunscreen ingredient as it is gentle and effective.

lily November 2, 2011 - 12:30 pm

I’ve applied Anthelios sunblock since I was 18 or 19, and apart from at the very start when I hadnt done my research yet, I’ve always worn it without moisturiser to be safe, then after that applied makeup. I find that with the lotion form or cream form, it’s moisturising enough anyway.

However I’ve just started the practice of applying anthelios cream sunblock, wait a minute or so, then apply a layer of sunblock with zinc oxide (e.g. one from skinceuticals). If I need to re-apply, I apply another layer of zinc oxide sunblock, or I apply powder containing zinc oxide (if I’m wearing makeup). Is there anyone else who does this? It seems to me that this would be the most effective way to protect from the sun, but so few people do it, so I’m a little paranoid about whether this works.

beautifulwithbrains November 2, 2011 - 7:25 pm

Lily, if you find the sunscreen moisturizing enough, there is no need to use a moisturizer as well.

And that should work just fine. Zinc Oxide stays on top of the skin and acts as a shield reflecting the sun rays away from it, and it also provide broad spectrum protection. So using it, and reapplying it when needed, is a very effective way to keep your skin protected from the sun.

lily November 3, 2011 - 7:44 am

Thank u so much for your help! And I love your website 🙂

beautifulwithbrains November 3, 2011 - 9:04 am

Lily, you’re welcome and thank you! I’m glad you do. 🙂

lily November 8, 2011 - 10:05 am

Hi, I’m sorry to bother u again, but me and my friends were discussing something, and I told them I’d check wif the expert here (i.e. u, haha) =p

Me and some of my friends usually wash our face wif just water in the morning, usually followed wif toner. There are quite a few dermatologists who recommend this for people wif dryer skin. The problem is does that completely remove the nighttime skincare products (since for chemical sunscreens it should be applied on bare skin)? I personally don’t see or feel any product residue after washing wif toner, but I’m still a little unsure. Cos skincare products sometimes contain oil-soluble ingredients, and I wonder if water can adequately remove those.

Of cos, if one applies both physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen in the morning, the skin will be protected even if not applied on bare skin. But I’m talking about if a person only applies a chemical sunscreen. D’you think it’s essential to use a cleanser in the morning to wash off all nighttime products?

Sorry for the long post!

beautifulwithbrains November 8, 2011 - 7:45 pm

Lily, I’m flattered haha.. I’m just a blogger who loves skincare but if I can help, I’m glad.

If you don’t feel any product residue after washing with toner, then I wouldn’t worry. Washing your face with water and then using a toner should be enough. The consistency of toners shouldn’t really interfere with a chemical sunscreen so your skin will be protected from the sun rays.

Using a cleanser is more important at night when you need to remove makeup and the dirt that may have accumulated on your face during the day. You can use it in the morning too but it’s not as important as at night. If you want to start using one anyway, you can try Cetaphil. It’s especially formulated for those with dry and sensitive skin and recommended by most dermatologists.

lily November 10, 2011 - 8:08 am

Thanks so much! You are a beautiful lifesaver 🙂 I’ll pass on your advice to my friends too. 🙂

beautifulwithbrains November 10, 2011 - 1:57 pm

Lily, you’re making me blush! You’re welcome and I’m glad I could be of help. 🙂

Leslee November 10, 2011 - 4:38 pm


I really like this website and the information you provide to us 🙂 Thank you!

I have extremely sensitive skin, recently I found products that are fragrance free. The skin care products I am using are the CeraVe hydrating cleanser & moisturizing lotion. These products leave my skin so soft. My son has sensitive skin with eczema and he likes using these products also 🙂 A favorite now for both of us 🙂

beautifulwithbrains November 10, 2011 - 5:08 pm

Leslee, hi. You’re welcome and thank you for visiting my blog. I’m glad you like it. And I’m also glad to hear that you finally found something that works well for both yours and your son’s sensitive skin. They sound really good products. Thanks for sharing.

Jyothi December 21, 2011 - 10:59 am

Hi beautifulwithbrains,

I am Jyothi,
I read all your blogs & I feel I came to right place & I can also get right suggestion for my skin
I have dull skin as per dermatologist suggestion I used kojiglo cream for 20 days , I feel It makes me so dark & dull look
And I am using sunscross SPF 26 location , Is it ok ? request you to help me with few question..
1) I use fash gel face wash, Is it fine?

2) Which is the best moisturize to use, please suggest me moisturizer which does not make face dark & when to use (i.e before suncross SPF 26 or after suncross SPF 26) ?

3) When should I apply makeup –whether on moisturizer or on sunscreen?

4) Please suggest me best makeup cream which get instant glow, fresh look & which remains same at least for 3 hrs on face…

5) Do you think night cream are necessary, if so which is the best …
Or can I use moisturizer itself.

Please help me with the above question.. I will waiting for your reply..

beautifulwithbrains December 21, 2011 - 7:56 pm

Hello Jyothi, I’m glad you enjoy my blog and I hope I can help you with your questions. 🙂

1. Yes, using a gel face wash is fine and so is using sunscreen with SPF26.

2. There are lots of good moisturizers on the market but to recommend the right one for you I would need to know more about your skin type. Is it oily, dry or normal? Do you have any particular skin concerns? Also, when to apply it depends on what kind of sunscreen you’re using. If you use a chemical sunscreen, apply that first. If you use a physical one, you can apply it either before or after moisturizer.

3. Either way is fine. Just make sure you apply sunscreen and moisturizer in the right order, and then apply makeup.

4. What do you mean by makeup cream? A foundation? A primer or a moisturizer?

5. I think it is necessary to use a moisturizer at night but you don’t have to necessarily buy a night cream. Your day moisturizer would be fine too.

I hope this helped.

Jyothi December 22, 2011 - 11:41 am


Thanks for your reply & concern..
As per your suggestion I will continue to use fash gel face wash..

When consultant dermatologist they told below things..
I have oily skin (I have oily skin –but not too oily, I don’t get oiliness on my face.. I feel Its combination of oily & normal skin) I have high pigmentation & tan problem
So they suggested Suncross SPF 26 Sunscreen lotion (is fine for my skin )?
I was using Vaseline healthy weight moisturizer but doctor said not to use..

Currently I m not using any moisturizer..I am applying kojiglo cream after the Suncross SPF 26 sunscreen lotion –but as I said it makes my face soo dark .. I am waiting for ur suggestion to buy right moisturizer

Please suggest me which moisturizer to use & when should I apply (( I mean before Suncross SPF 26 sunscreen lotion or after this )
I am using lakme foundation, but I want to change it –so please suggest me any good cream to get fair & fresh look …

What is this primer? IS this used as foundation? I don’t know about it…
Which one is more effective –primer cream or foundation for my skin?

My last request with you is to help me to apply all this in the right order
I am waiting for all your suggestion

beautifulwithbrains December 22, 2011 - 5:48 pm


if your doctor suggested the Suncross sunscreen then it should be alright for your skin type.

If you have pigmentation problem then you need a moisturizer with brightening ingredients. I’m not sure where you live so I’ll suggest a few products that I think may be suitable for you and you can buy what’s more easily available to you. Some good options are: Paula Begoun RESIST Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening Gel, Dermalogica Extreme C and Olay Pro-X Discoloration Fighting Concentrate.

If the Sunscreen sunscreen is a chemical one, then apply that first. If instead it is a physical sunscreen, you can use it either before or after moisturizer.

Chanel Mat Lumiere and Revlon Beyond Natural Skin Matching Makeup SPF 15 are good foundations for your skin type.

A primer is a product used before foundation to make the latter last longer. Not everyone needs it. I have combination skin and use it only on special occasions cos usually my foundation lasts all day on its own.

Hope this helps.

Jyothi December 26, 2011 - 8:58 pm

Thanks for your suggestion.

Hope I will come back with good results.

beautifulwithbrains December 27, 2011 - 10:30 am

Jyothi, hope so too. Let me know how it goes.

chandru January 4, 2012 - 3:08 am

i have a dry skin ..can you please tel me how many times a day should i apply the moisturizer and the sunscreen ?

beautifulwithbrains January 4, 2012 - 7:26 am

Chandru, you can apply your moisturizer as many times as you need to. As for sunscreen, that fades during the day and the more you are exposed to the sun, the quicker that happens. If you are spending a lot of time outdoors, especially on very sunny days, you should reapply every two or three hours, otherwise a touch up during the day should be enough. Hope this helps.

chandru January 5, 2012 - 3:13 am

thank you 🙂 … so is it a must to always take bath before i apply moisturizing cream repeatedly when my skin gets dryer? will it have any side effects on my face or neck or any other parts of the body if i apply moisturizing first and sunscreen next before i step out of my house? can i go out immediately after i apply such creams ? or do i need to wait for half n hour or so after applying it?

beautifulwithbrains January 5, 2012 - 10:50 am

Chandru, there’s no need to take a bath every time you want to apply a cream. Just wash yourself in the morning, then apply moisturizer and reapply only when needed.

As for the other two questions, the answers depends on what kind of sunscreen you are using. Physical sunscreens (those that contain titanium dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide) can be applied either before or after moisturizer and you can just step outside the house immediately after you slathered them on. That’s because these act as a shield that reflects the sun rays away from your face.

Chemical sunscreens instead need to get in contact with the skin to get activated (a process that requires about half an hour, hence why it is recommended that you wait that long before leaving the house after application) and so need to be applied on bare skin, before moisturizer. Hope this helps.

chandru January 5, 2012 - 3:18 am

shouldn’t i wash my face after 2 to 3 hours if i apply my moisturizer and sunscreen when i reach my office/college..???because my skin gets exposed to dust ..so i usually wash my face …is it wrong to do that ?

beautifulwithbrains January 5, 2012 - 10:52 am

Chandru, there’s nothing wrong with washing your face several times throughout the day if it is dirty but make sure you use a very gentle face wash so you don’t irritate skin. It would also be better to reapply sunscreen and moisturizer again afterwards.

chandru January 5, 2012 - 3:43 pm

thank yo 🙂 hope i wil come out with good results 🙂

beautifulwithbrains January 5, 2012 - 3:55 pm

Chandru, you’re welcome. 🙂

chandru January 5, 2012 - 3:46 pm

how to check whether the sunscreen which i use is chemical or physical ? ?

and also i am a college going student …so its not possible for me to carry my sunscreen lotion and moisturizer with me?so what do i do in that case after i have a
face wash after reaching my college?

beautifulwithbrains January 5, 2012 - 3:58 pm

Chandru, if you’re sunscreen contains Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide, then it is a physical sunscreen. If it contains other sunscreen agents, then it is chemical. And if it contains both types (for example, Titanium Dioxide and Mexoryl), then it is a combination of the two.

Mmm, can you carry a moisturizer with SPF to college with you? Or maybe a powder with SPF (although considering your skin is dry, a moisturizer would be better)? If you can’t take any products at all, I wouldn’t know what to suggest apart from staying out of the sun and away from windows too as much as possible.

carmen January 6, 2012 - 3:06 am

i have a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen. the best routine for me is to use the leanser toner and sunscreen in the day when i leave to go out to work, run errands etc. and i use the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer at nightime before bed. that way i get the best of both at the appropriate times. but thats just me!

beautifulwithbrains January 8, 2012 - 7:56 pm

Carmen, if that’s what works best for you, then keep doing it. Some sunscreens also have moisturizing ingredients so using that alone can be enough for some people.

Jyothi January 10, 2012 - 3:01 am

I have bit oily skin, as per Derm suggestion,I am using fash foam face wash, kojiglo cream & suncross suncream loation from 2 months, but I feel these both cream make my skin very oily & dark, I have become more dark that before & I have got some pipmples…

I heard Neutrogena 14-DAY SKIN RESCUE™ kit & is good. It contains these 3 products.
(1. Cleanser (59 mL tube)
2. SPF 30 (14 mL tube)
3. Night Cream (14 mL tube)

can you check this & suggest me whether I can use this product, hope this does’t have any side effects…

beautifulwithbrains January 10, 2012 - 8:20 pm

Jyothi, I’ve checked the ingredient lists of these products and they seem ok, although you have to try them to see how effective they are for you or if they’ll give you a bad reaction. Although, since you said you have oily skin, I’m not sure this kit is right for you because the cream contains Glycolic Acid instead than Salicylic Acid. They are both effective exfoliants but SA works better for oily skin. Hope this helps.

mariam March 3, 2012 - 1:50 am

i have a very dry skin….i wake up in the morning i wash my face then dry it. after i put moisturiser cream on my face then i let it stay on for 10 mins. then i put powder next but when i put powder on my face it looks very dry…what should i do so that it doesnt look dry from close

beautifulwithbrains March 4, 2012 - 9:24 pm

Mariam, powders tend to be drying so if you have dry skin I would stop using that. Hope this helps.

mariam March 7, 2012 - 3:39 am

sorry to bother you again but what should i use instead of powder? i have alittle bit of acne on my cheeks and my cheeks are kind of red because of the acne?i dont know if i should use liquid foundation? if i use foundation on my face the acne on my cheeks wont get worse or it will get worse i dont really know?

beautifulwithbrains March 7, 2012 - 7:11 am

Mariam, you’re not bothering me at all. That depends on the foundation really. If you use one that’s oil-free, such as Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 for example, then you shouldn’t experience any problems. I’d still recommend trying a sample first to see how it works on you before splurging on the full size though.

Yasmen March 9, 2012 - 9:35 pm

hi….should i put moisturising cream on my face first then use my foundation or just put the foundation without moisturiser cream

beautifulwithbrains March 11, 2012 - 9:16 pm

Yasmen, you should apply moisturizer first, then foundation. 🙂

Ceejei March 17, 2012 - 8:36 am

Thank you for the very helpful information.

I’m using Olay total effects day moisturizer with SPF 15 in a very minimal amount, just enough to cover face and neck. Is this enough? Or should i still apply sunscreen?

Also, after this I’m also applying light powder just to get rid of the greasy / oily effect. Here in the middle east, temperature could get really high and my face looks like i jog a mile so i put a little powder. Is this routine advisable? If not, what could be the best way to get rid of the greasy / oily effect of the moisturizer?

At night, i just use face wash and Olay total effects night moisturizer.

beautifulwithbrains March 17, 2012 - 10:15 pm

Ceejei, that’s definitely not enough, especially if you only apply a small amount. You’d still need to use sunscreen and apply it liberally too to get adequate protection from the sun rays. And using a powder on top of it to keep the shine at bay is alright.

mia March 17, 2012 - 11:49 pm

i do that too.mine is a mary kay moisturizer with spf 15.i apply it liberally though.what physical sunscreen do you think is best for oily and sensitive skin?tnx

beautifulwithbrains March 18, 2012 - 7:35 pm

Mia, Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30+ Chemical Free Fragrance Free Sensitive and ELTAMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 are both good options. Hope this helps.

mia March 18, 2012 - 11:25 pm

ok.tnx.il go see if wher i could find one.

beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 7:02 am

Mia, you’re welcome. I hope you can easily find them.

Ceejei March 18, 2012 - 9:59 am

Again, thank you for the insight.

Another question about the difference between sunblocks and sunscreens.
I just read though that the sunblocks are rather richer in texture than sunscreens. That it is visibly white in color when applied to the face. My skin isn’t that fair to match the color of the sunblock else, i would look like a dough sprinkled with flour. (hahaha)

So, aside from the moisturizer that i’m currently using, should i use a sunblock or a sunscreen? And is there such thing as a colorless sunblock? And is sunblock lotion applicable to face also. Would it matter if i use a sunblock or a sunscreen? Sorry if i have too many questions. Its just that I’ve never used such before…. you know..as part of everyday routine.

Would really appreciate your advice.

beautifulwithbrains March 18, 2012 - 7:45 pm

Ceejei, yes sunblocks tend to leave a white cast on skin because they contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are white in color. To solve this problem, companies have come out with sunblocks which contain nanoparticles of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Because these particles are really small, they won’t leave a white cast on skin. They can be used on the face as well.

Whether to use a sunblock or a sunscreen is a matter of personal preference really. The important thing is that, whatever product you use, it contains both UVA and UVB filters.

If you have any further questions, just ask away. 🙂

mia March 19, 2012 - 8:48 am

now im confused..i thought sunblock and sunscreen are one and the same?

beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 1:51 pm

Sunblocks and sunscreeens are often used interchangeably (I’m guilty of that too sometimes), but actually the first term refers to products with physical sunscreen agents (ie titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) and work by reflecting UV rays away from the skin, while the second to those with chemical sunscreen agents (such as avobenzone or mexoryl for instance) and work by transforming UV rays into a less damaging form of heat.

mia March 18, 2012 - 11:56 pm

i know this is off topic..but what can i use to get rid of fine lines especially the vertical lines that are starting to show between my eyebrows? *sigh*

beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 7:12 am

Mia, there really isn’t anything that gets rids of fine lines forever but there are a few things you can do to help. First of all, use sunscreen and a cream or serum full of antioxidants to prevent further damage. Then, you can use a moisturizer with silicones and/or hyaluronic acid that will fill fine lines in and make them look less obvious (of course the effects are only temporary). Use an exfoliant a few times a week. This will get rid of the dead cells on the surface and expose the brighter and younger skin underneath. Finally, use a product with retinoids as they are the only thing that can actually reduce the signs of aging (but be patient as it can takes a few months before you start seeing results). Hope this helps.

mia March 19, 2012 - 8:30 am

yeah u r right..i heard of retinoids..and those peptides whatever they call it.i will really do something bout this bfore it’s too late.i often get mistaken for someone older than my age and it annoys me really.tnx gorgeous.

beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 1:45 pm

Mia, peptides are actually quite tricky. There are just so many of them available and while some are very effective and can help fight premature aging, others don’t really do much. Before buying a product with peptides you may wanna make sure it contains one that actually does something.

That’s annoying indeed. But with the right products, you can have younger-looking skin. And sooner you start, the better. 🙂

Ceejei March 19, 2012 - 7:11 am

Thank you very much beautifulwithbrains. Looking forward to more beauty tips and very useful information.

beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 1:43 pm

Ceejei, you’re welcome. Thanks for sticking around and all your support. 🙂

mia March 19, 2012 - 8:42 am

and ohh i forgot to ask..what do u think about neutrogena sunscreen w/ helioplex?what about aveeno?have u tried any of thse?are they good for oily and sensitive skin?i tried to look fo the sunscreen uv mentioned but im havin a hard time finding one…i just arrived frm the nearby city.bt maybe it’s in the key cities.

beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 1:53 pm

Mia, unfortunately it’s not easy to find a good sunblock as most products on the market contain chemical sunscreen ingredients. I haven’t tried Neutrogena sunscreens because they’re not available here but I know they make one that’s suitable for oily and sensitive skin. It’s called Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30. Aveeno sunscreens are usually pretty good too.

mia March 19, 2012 - 2:18 pm

Thank you for your advice.I’ve been thinking of buying either of the two.Il try to look for blue lizard in the city.but if i wont find one, il go for aveeno.tnx again.i appreciate it a lot.iv been reading reviews bout it but im just not quite sure if what im reading is a paid review or the real one.thats why i prefer blogs…bloggers..like u.tc Godbless.

beautifulwithbrains March 19, 2012 - 7:11 pm

Mia, you’re welcome. I hope you’ll be able to find them. I’m really glad that you enjoy my blog and I prefer reading blog reviews too. Bloggers try the products and list both the pros and cons which is very helpful to determine whether the products reviewed will suit your needs or not. 🙂

mia March 20, 2012 - 12:32 pm

hey!tnx for ur advice!i just found out blue lizard is really one of a kind.im definitely getting this one.check this out . . .

beautifulwithbrains March 20, 2012 - 8:13 pm

Mia, it’s wonderful, isn’t it? A very effective sunscreen, I’m sure you’ll like it. 🙂

jaya March 27, 2012 - 5:53 am

hey, i want ur advice,

i dont know first we apply the moisturzer or sunscreen?

i use lakme sunscreen and moisturzer. i want to apply fairness cream also.

please reply to me step by step to apply the cream.

beautifulwithbrains March 27, 2012 - 6:25 am

Jaya, as a general rules, you should apply products with a lighter texture first and those with a heavier texture last. However, if you’re using a chemical sunscreen, it’s best to apply that before moisturizer as it needs to get into contact with the skin to be really effective.

Jeena March 27, 2012 - 2:07 pm

please tell me the order for applying these:-

moisturizer, fairness cream, sunscreen, foundation 🙂

beautifulwithbrains March 27, 2012 - 6:44 pm

Jeena, didn’t you get my email? Foundation should be applied last, in any case. 🙂

Jeena April 9, 2012 - 2:57 pm

wat about others???

beautifulwithbrains April 9, 2012 - 6:43 pm

Jeena, as a rule, you apply the product with the thinnest consistency first and that with the heavy consistency last. The only exception is chemical sunscreen that should be applied first on bare and clean skin. Foundation, which is a cosmetics, not a skincare product, goes last. Hope this helps.

Jeena April 15, 2012 - 9:45 am

thank u……………………………..a lot..

beautifulwithbrains April 15, 2012 - 7:03 pm

You’re welcome. 🙂

joana March 29, 2012 - 1:37 am

Hi, I used elizabeth arden moisturizer first then followed by neutrogena with moisturizer(normal/oily) with spf 30. then after 4 hours, heaps of pimples came out to my face.. i dont know what happened… i dont know if that is an allery or what..

beautifulwithbrains March 29, 2012 - 6:11 am

Joana, I’m sorry to hear that. It sounds like you had a bad reaction to one of the products. Were you using them for the first time?

Jeena April 9, 2012 - 3:02 pm

Dear beautifulwithbrains,
my skin is normal. but my friends tell me that walking in sunlight after applying the fairness cream makes my skin appear dark and dry….please suggest me some ways to prevent this…….please….. <3

beautifulwithbrains April 9, 2012 - 6:28 pm

Jeena, I have no idea of what cream you are using and what ingredients it contains, so I’m not sure why it darkens your skin. My guess is that it contains ingredients that make it more susceptible to the sun rays so I’d suggest you always wear a good broad-spectrum sunscreen before stepping out of the house. Hope this helps.

Cheryl April 12, 2012 - 11:13 am

Hi, great information! May I make one follow up suggestion for everyone? Please make sure to apply sunscreen to your ears. I am 48 years old, and last year had most of the cartilage removed from my left ear due to skin cancer (I’ve had 3 skin cancer surgeries in the past 4 years). The scary part is that none of my cancers looked “scary,” simply dry skin. Thanks for allowing me to get on my soap box 🙂

beautifulwithbrains April 12, 2012 - 5:49 pm

Cheryl, thanks a lot for your comment and sharing your experience with us. I’m sorry you had to go through that it’s awful and I hope you’re fully recovered now. Thanks for the remainder, I’m sure it will help other people see how important it is to apply sunscreen on the ears too. 🙂

daniel May 2, 2012 - 9:42 am

Hi, m a 17 year old boy, I think I have a oily skin. I have lost my fairness since I spend my time playing football. Could you please list out what should I apply to regain my fairness, not only for face even for hands and legs also. If possible list out the products for dry skin also.

beautifulwithbrains May 2, 2012 - 8:14 pm

Daniel, hi. Did you wear sunscreen while playing football? Cos it seems to me that your skin is simply tanned, so it will go back to normal on its own, but wearing a sunscreen daily would prevent it from happening again.

What products for dry skin do you want me to list?

daniel May 3, 2012 - 2:20 am

will a sunscreen alone work the best. It’s been 1 month and i hav found vry little change. I hav been using lakme sunscreen (spf 24) since 1 month.

beautifulwithbrains May 3, 2012 - 8:27 pm

Daniel, if your skin is tanned, sunscreen should help. Maybe try using one with a higher SPF. I’m not really sure what else could cause your skin to darken..

Barb May 16, 2012 - 4:58 pm

I use Bananna Boat SPF 50, have very dry skin and am a blonde with very fair complexion. I find that other sunscreens dry my skin (especially Neutrogena) so much that it actually burns. The Bananna Boat is a broad spectrum chemical cream but after using it a while it also seems to dry my skin. Therefore, I have started applying my moisturizer (Revlon Eterna 27 w/ Progenitin) first, letting it set, and then applying the sunscreen. I worry that I’m going against most advice but sunscreens on my bare skin seem to really dry it out. I’m not a sun worshipper so my needs are just the normal outdoor errand -running, going to the gym, etc. I love the Eterna 27 and would be a prune without it. Any advice????

beautifulwithbrains May 16, 2012 - 8:35 pm

Barb, I’m sorry you have such a hard time finding a sunscreen that doesn’t dry your skin. It’s not really a good idea to apply moisturizer before a chemical sunscreen as that’s gonna compromise its efficacy. Have you tried doing the opposite, applying sunscreen first, let it set and slather moisturizer on afterwards?

Barb May 16, 2012 - 9:17 pm

I have but I always feel like I’m compromising the sunscreen by putting the moisturizer over it. Is the secret letting the sunscreen set for 20-30 minutes before applying the Eternal cream??? Thanks for your help.

beautifulwithbrains May 17, 2012 - 6:15 am

Barb, you won’t be compromising the efficacy of the sunscreen if you apply moisturizer on top of it, just as long as you allow it to set first. It’s applying moisturizer before sunscreen that makes it less effective because chemical sunscreen agents need to be absorbed by the skin to be “activated” and do their job. Because of it, any product applied before sunscreen can compromise its absorption and thus its efficacy.

Amy May 19, 2012 - 12:01 am

After applying sunscreen, how long should I wait to apply the moisturizer?

Is it ok to apply just the sunscreen and skip the moisturizer since it might be too much for an oily skin?

beautifulwithbrains May 19, 2012 - 6:07 am

Amy, usually you should wait for the sunscreen to absorb completely before applying moisturizer. And yes, if you feel that sunscreen is enough for you, you can skip the moisturizer.

Amy May 23, 2012 - 10:36 pm


beautifulwithbrains May 24, 2012 - 5:56 am

You’re welcome.

nelly May 22, 2012 - 9:22 am

i have started using Avene sunscreen spf50 since past 2 days. i apply a moisturiser first and then the sunscreen . Im i goin right way ? also i wanted to know if this sunscreen work well if not which one would u suggest me?
i have a dry skin and have got tanned

beautifulwithbrains May 23, 2012 - 8:56 pm

Nelly, do you mean the Avene High Protection Mineral Cream SPF50? That is a very good sunscreen. It contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide which work by creating a “shield” on the skin that scatters the sun rays away from it, so it can be applied either before or after sunscreen, whatever you prefer.

nish May 22, 2012 - 7:58 pm

hey beautifulwithbrains…….. just wanna say u’r doin a great job ……i have all the answers to the questions tat i wanned to ask without askin them…..pcdt

beautifulwithbrains May 22, 2012 - 8:43 pm

Nish, aww thanks. I’m glad you find my blog helpful. 🙂

Amy May 23, 2012 - 10:42 pm


I just went to a dermatologist for my moderate acne on face. She prescribed ZIANA (clindamncin phosphate 1.2% and tretinoin 0.025%) Gel. It costs $500 but i got it for free since i have insurance and the coupon the doctor gave me. Anyway, my question is that i also just started using the cleanser the doctor gave me and i don’t seem to have more breakout on my skin and the old acne is healing somewhat so should I use this gel also or not? my skin feels so soft now and after using this gel, it will be dry and peeling off skin as per the reviews and what the doctor said. im confused whether to use this gel or not! plz advise.

beautifulwithbrains May 24, 2012 - 8:51 pm

Amy, hi. Wow, that’s one expensive gel! Wasn’t there a cheaper option? Oh well, at least you got it for free. Anyway, if your dermatologist has prescribed you the gel, then I’d use it. I know you’re worried about the peeling, but that’s normal when you use tretinoin. Your skin needs to get used to it but after a few days the peeling should stop.

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