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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ayushi jain April 11, 2014 - 5:47 pm

n I apply layer of glycerine with rose water n then sunscreen ..will it make my colour dark??

Gio April 12, 2014 - 6:23 am

Ayushi, glycerin does NOT make your skin darker. If it did, that would happen to everyone, considering how widespread its use is. The culprit is likely to be your sunscreen. Are you applying enough? And what UV filters does it contain?

ayushi jain April 12, 2014 - 4:46 pm

spf 15 sunscreen I use n a layer of glycerine dat keeps me moist..n in summer too I use a layer of glycerine with rose water ..will it make my colur dark??

Gio April 12, 2014 - 8:01 pm

Ayushi, as I’ve already told you several times, glycerin does NOT make your skin colour darker. Glycerin is NOT the culprit.

Imo, the sunscreen is. SPF 15 is probably too low to provide adequate protection for your skin type, so I’d recommend you switch to SPF30.

ayushi jain April 13, 2014 - 7:17 am

ohk thanku gio so much ..n answering my question so frankly..now can you recomnd me something to be fair and glowing I’ll be very thankful

Gio April 13, 2014 - 7:42 am

Ayushi, you’re welcome. If you’re planning to use an exfoliant with Salicylic Acid (my favourites are from Paula’s Choice), then that would make your skin brighter too. Salicylic Acid is able to exfoliate both inside the pores, where it removes the gunk that’s causing breakouts and pimples, and the surface of the skin, where it removes the dark and dull skin cells on top of it, revealing the brighter and fairer ones underneath.

ayushi jain April 13, 2014 - 3:01 pm

exfoliant mean face wash or cleansing milk ??can u give me brand??

Gio April 13, 2014 - 8:52 pm

Ayushi, a fash wash isn’t a face wash and it isn’t a cleansing milk. It is a product designed to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin.

I don’t know where you live and what brands are available in your area, so it’s difficult to recommend something. My favourite exfoliants are from Paula’s Choice. Can you buy those in your country?

ayushi jain April 13, 2014 - 3:03 pm

can u suggest me anyother thing to improve complextion??

Gio April 13, 2014 - 8:55 pm

Ayushi, I don’t know how young you are, but you could use a product with retinoids (forms of Vitamin A, such as retinol). Just don’t apply it together with the exfoliant. Use the exfoliant during the day and retinoids at night.

ayushi jain April 14, 2014 - 3:18 am

Icompleted 17 today n can I use pure retinol ??n where it is available on medical shop??

Gio April 14, 2014 - 8:35 pm

Ayushi, retinol products tend to be pricey, and if you’re only 17 you may not need them yet. But of course, you can use them anyway if you like. I wouldn’t use pure retinol as that will be too harsh for skin. Is Olay (or Oil Of Olaz) available in your country? They have some products that contain retinol and they aren’t too expensive.

ayushi jain April 14, 2014 - 7:23 am

n gio u know my skin doesn’t remains fair till long y this happens??

Gio April 14, 2014 - 8:39 pm

Ayushi, I think it’s the sun that’s darkening it. Try using at least SPF 30 and, if you spend a lot of time outdoors, reapply it every 2 hours.

anjali May 23, 2016 - 10:58 am

mam can we use aloevara gel after applying sunscreen (sunprotek spf30). thanks

Gio May 23, 2016 - 9:18 pm

Anjali, yes, I don’t see any problems with that.

Rachel September 16, 2018 - 7:37 am

I applied aloe vere gel ovet sunscreen (Lotus herbal’s) & it causes serious inflammation to my skin immediately, thanks to it that I didn’t applied the gel to whole face till then. It may be individual to a person, but I would yet always recommend a patch test 1st- applying one product, to smaller area of skin, over other & observe for any inflammation signs. If test goes fine, you can apply the product wholly because everyone’s skin is different & recommendation from one must not be applied to person with other skin.

dishu June 11, 2016 - 9:00 am

how can I re-apply sunscreen….. indoor aur outdoor

Gio June 12, 2016 - 1:34 pm

Dishu, it doesn’t matter where you are, just apply another layer on your face.

ayushi jain April 15, 2014 - 11:39 am

ohk thanku gio ..for tolerating me

Gio April 15, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Ayushi, you’re welcome. Glad I could help.

ayushi jain April 15, 2014 - 2:36 pm

gio I’ll suffer wid ny other problem in future will u help me??

Gio April 15, 2014 - 8:22 pm

Ayushi, of course! 🙂

The Starting Off Project: Week one - Skincare | My great Wordpress blog May 12, 2014 - 3:16 pm

[…] this is something that I am still working on getting right. If you want to read more about SPF here is a really interesting article about SPF and moisturiser.So here is a very brief guide to the […]

Shreyas May 28, 2014 - 6:04 pm

Hi Gio. Currently am taking medication for acne. I use Nuface Sunblock Lotion (SPF 30+) in the morning. Benzac AC 5% in the evening and A-ret gel 0.1% in the night. The Sunblock I use makes my face look too oily. So which other sunblock can I use instead of Nuface lotion? I am male (age: 23 yrs)
Here is a list of sunscreens available in my country.
1. Lotus 3 in 1 Matte Lock Daily Sunblock SPF 40
2. VLCC Matte Look sunscreen lotion SPF 30 with Pineapple extracts.
3. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer dry-touch sunblock SPF 50+.
4. VLCC sweat free SPF 40
5. Suncote Gel SPF 30
6. Ranbaxy Suncros Gel SPF 26
7. Lotus herbals safe sun UV screen matte gel PA+++ SPF 50 (SPF 40)

Gio May 28, 2014 - 7:58 pm

Shreyas, hi. It’s difficult for me to say which one wouldn’t make your skin too oily because I have never used these sunscreens and am not familiar with their textures. I’d recommend, if possible, that you try to get samples to see how their work for you. Or, failing that, look for reviews by people who have used them and can tell you what their textures feel like on the skin. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

Shreyas May 29, 2014 - 4:21 am

But can you tell me if gel based lotion is good for me or the creamy ones? I read in a few articles that oily skins should use gel based lotions. Is it true? and I have whiteheads on my nose. Does using a Matte look sunscreens make the whiteheads more visible??

Gio May 29, 2014 - 9:34 am

Shreyas, yes, gel-based lotions are best for oily skin. Usually, the more lightweight the consistency, the better. Thicker formulas can clog pores, so you should avoid them. And no, they shouldn’t make the whiteheads more visible.

Shreyas May 29, 2014 - 4:44 pm

Thank you Gio

Gio May 29, 2014 - 6:37 pm

You’re welcome. 🙂

rshar June 24, 2014 - 9:17 pm

Hey Shreyas,

I am not sure which sunscreen you bought finally, but I would recommend Lotus herbals matte gel SPF 50. I have been using it for the last two weeks. I have combination and acne prone skin. It keeps my face oil free easily for 6+ hours and it hasn’t caused any acne so far.

Shreyas December 9, 2014 - 3:26 am

Thank you Rshar.

Sheena June 4, 2014 - 9:38 am

I’m currently using a whitening moisturizer but it doesn’t have any SPF.

Now I just a bought a sun screen that is suited for all skin types. So I was wondering, should I still apply the sun screen first or the moisturizer?

Gio June 4, 2014 - 12:39 pm

Sheena, if the whitening cream is used to treat hyperpigmentation, then it would be best to apply that first. For best results, follow it up with a zinc oxide-based sunscreen that can be used after moisturizer without compromising its efficacy.

Niharika July 12, 2014 - 9:03 pm

Hey plss help me out?? M 19 n my clg s abt to start.. I need a fairness cream bt i want to save my skin frm tanning too.. N d problm s if i use sunscreen thn it doesnt wrk as fairness cream n if i use fairness cream thn it doesnt wrk as sunscreen,, wot should i do nw ??,,

Gio July 13, 2014 - 7:38 pm

Niharika, was a clg? Anyway, it seems that you would need to use two products, a sunscreen followed by a fairness cream. Or you can use a sunscreen during the day and a fairness cream at night. Hope this helps.

Juhi Das April 27, 2019 - 2:34 pm

Can I mix aloevera gel with sunscreen to lather the sunscreen smoothly on face as the sunscreen which contain zincoxide a little bit dry..

Gio May 31, 2019 - 1:13 pm

Juhi, no, no, no! Never mix anything with sunscreen or you’ll dilute its sun protection. If you don’t like the texture, just switch sunscreen.

katie August 23, 2014 - 1:30 am

am using fairness cream that lacks sun screen and moistrizer then my sunscreen is mixed on moisturizer.what should i apply first the fairness cream or the sunscreen/moisturizer?

Gio August 23, 2014 - 5:03 am

Katie, you should never mix your sunscreen with your moisturizer! If you do, you dilute it and reduce its effectiveness. I’d say, start by applying the fairness cream first.

After that it depends. If your sunscreen contains only Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide, you can apply it after moisturizer. If, instead, it contains other sunscreen agents, such as avobenzone or mexoryl for instance, apply it a couple of minutes after the fairness cream and then slather on moisturizer.

aishwarya December 1, 2014 - 10:21 am

Is it ok to use moisturiser with spf 15 or 20 after cleansing and then applying your regular sunscreen with spf 40 or 50 before stepping out? i’ve heard we need to apply sunscreen even indoors so choosing moisturiser with sunscreen sounds better but its spf is not enough so that i get tanned easily in hot weather when going out. or is it better to use day cream before sunscreen? plz help

Gio December 1, 2014 - 6:49 pm

Aishwarya, it depends on the UV filters your sunscreen contains. If it contains only Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide, you can apply it either before or after moisturizer. Whatever you prefer. If it contains other UV filters, such as avobenzone and octinoxate, apply sunscreen first. 🙂

neha December 8, 2014 - 11:45 am

I m vry vry sad……
I use sunscreen…..bt in winters my skin become very dry using only sunscreen….
Skin looks wrinkled and also can u suggest me any good sunscreen for dry skin available in india….
What should i do….i m vry sad
Plzz help me

Gio December 8, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Neha, don’t be sad! Just apply moisturizer after sunscreen and the dryness will disappear. Hope this helps. 🙂

Elizabeth January 21, 2015 - 8:18 pm

I’ve been wanting to use a tinted moisturizer for a while now, but I heard that it can destabilize my sunscreen. I use La Roche SX which contains abovenzone and mexoryl. I really don’t want to stop using this product.. Do you have any suggestions on certain types of tinted moisturizer I should use? I’m also looking for a sheer tint if that helps:)

Gio January 21, 2015 - 9:37 pm

Elizabeth, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are used to give foundations and tinted moisturizers their colour and UV protection, can degrade avobenzone. But it is unclear yet how fast this happens. Also, if these ingredients are micronized or coated, no degradation should occur at all. It would be best to choose a tinted moisturizer without these two ingredients, or just reapply the sunscreen more often. Hope this helps.

Athu January 28, 2015 - 4:56 am

Hi I have Neutrogena sunscreen,neutrogena moisturiser,neutrogena fine fairness cream & neutrogena fine fairness serum. So,In what order should I wear these daily to get their respective benefits? and at night if I wear just the neutrogena night cream,will it be enough ?

Gio January 28, 2015 - 9:05 pm

Athu, what UV fiilters does the Neutrogena sunscreen contain? If only Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide, apply first the serum, then the fairness cream, then the moisturizer, and finally the sunscreen.

If the sunscreen contains other UV filters, such as avobenzone or mexoryl, apply first the serum, then sunscreen, then the fairness cream, and finally the moisturizer. Hope this helps.

henry March 7, 2015 - 2:54 am

Hi Geo,

I have doubt .. after sun cream I can apply ponds powder in my face … is it not problem if I apply . Tell me pls

Gio March 7, 2015 - 9:22 pm

Henry, hi. You should be able to apply it without problems. 🙂

Samy March 17, 2015 - 10:30 am

Hi Gio,

Can you please suggest me some good pore minimizer & Sunscreen as i have oily skin.



Gio March 17, 2015 - 8:11 pm

Samy, hi. Are you using an exfoliant with salicylic acid? That should help reduce the appearance of pores. You can find my favourite sunscreens for oily skin here: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/what-are-the-best-sunscreens-for-oily-skin/ Hope this helps.

Leyla April 13, 2015 - 5:22 am


I’m currently using invisible zinc tinted moisturiser but I find it easier to blend it in part moisturer part sunblock.
I’m off chemical sunscreen. I was told it does more damage your skin.
I have dehydrated skin and I need to moisturise religiously.

Gio April 13, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Leyla, I wouldn’t products with SPF. You are diluting the sunscreen, and therefore not getting the level of SPF stated on the bottle.

I wouldn’t say chemical sunscreens are bad for skin. That’s usually what companies that make sunblock claim because the ingredients in sunblocks are thicker, harder to spread, and leave a white cast behind. Not everyone likes them, so some companies try and make the other options look bad. But there’s no scientific proof that chemical sunscreens are bad for skin. But if you like zinc oxide based sunscreens, by all means, keep using them. They are my fave too, but that doesn’t make the others bad.

shynia April 16, 2015 - 11:27 am

hi… i’ve an acne prone skin.. i’ve been advise to use lakme 9 to 5 hydrating sunscreen and then lakme perfect radiance whitening day cream.. but my skin become oily. i dn’t knw why… plz help me

Gio April 19, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Shynia, hi! The sunscreen you are using is probably too rich for your skin type. Try switching to something with a lighter texture. Hope this helps.

lovely May 22, 2015 - 6:24 am

Hi I am lovely I have some questions to ask you I use Himalaya fairness cream and when I am exposed even to little sunlight iam getting tanned….what is the best sunscreen in low cost….so please suggest me can Himalaya fairness cream can be used?

Gio May 24, 2015 - 3:29 pm

Lovely, are you using it with sunscreen? That should prevent the tan. My favourite cheap sunscreens are from Neutrogena. I hope the brand’s available in your country.

lovely May 22, 2015 - 6:27 am

Ha,…I forget asking another question I have small pimples group on my forehead suggest me natural homemade tips for them plzz

Gio May 26, 2015 - 2:56 pm

Lovely, the only natural remedy I know that works for pimples is tea tree oil. Its concentration must be about 5% to work well.

pavithraa May 24, 2015 - 5:12 am

Hi I’m using vlcc matte look screen lotion wit pineapple extracts spf 30 pa++.this makes my skin too oily and darken.I’m having doubt whether im using it in a correct way or not so pls guide me and help me to improve my skin tone

Gio May 24, 2015 - 3:46 pm

Pavithraa, if its too oily, it probably isn’t suitable for our skin type. I’d recommend you try something with a lighter texture.

Santosh Kumar Samal June 30, 2015 - 4:41 am

Hey GIO I am Santosh and I live in India.I have a problem that their are pimple marks left on my face and it looks really odd can you plz help me with this…

Gio June 30, 2015 - 9:15 am

Santosh, hi! I’m sorry to hear about your problem. Try using an exfoliant with glycolic acid. It should help.

Hemalatha Natarajan July 6, 2015 - 8:07 am

Im from india.
Is it ok to use only sunscreen (lotus sunscreen) and not use a moisturiser, i have oily skin by the way!

Gio July 6, 2015 - 8:15 am

Hemalatha, yes, if you have oily skin it is ok to use only sunscreen.

Hemalatha natarajan July 6, 2015 - 8:18 am

Thanks a tonne! I was really confused abt it

Gio July 6, 2015 - 1:32 pm

You’re welcome.

Bank July 8, 2015 - 8:02 pm

Hii,I want to know that after using sunscreen do we have to remove it daily just like makeup?
And my sunscreen contains paraben is it a problem?

Gio July 9, 2015 - 7:13 am

Bank, hi! Yes, you still need to remove sunscreen every day. And no, parabens are not a problem.

Blair July 22, 2015 - 2:59 am

I’ve heard that leaving sunscreen in the car can degrade the ingredients/chemicals and alter its protection. I had mine in a suitcase in the car for half the day and when I took it out is was pretty warm. Is it still okay to use?

Gio July 22, 2015 - 5:46 am

Blair, it’s hard to say without seeing the sunscreen. Leaving it in the car for hours reduces its effectiveness indeed, but I think, if you only did so once, the damage was minimal. Did the consistency/smell/colour change at all? If not, I’d still use it, but reapply it more often, just to be on the safe side.

Blair July 22, 2015 - 5:50 am

The consistency was slightly less thick, but went back to normal once it cooled down. The color and smell didn’t change…

Gio July 22, 2015 - 8:08 am

I don’t think you did much damage then. It was only the once, wasn’t it? Cosmetics are tested to make sure they remain stable and effective even in hot temperature. But when they are continually exposed to too much heat, they still break down.

Blair July 22, 2015 - 5:11 pm

Yes it was just once. Thank you!

Gio July 22, 2015 - 5:34 pm

My pleasure.

prapti July 23, 2015 - 1:12 am

Hi I am from Nepal .. I am too much worried about my skin… I have got pigmentation on mah skin since last 3 years and it became a big problem for me… i am using medicated sunscreen of fixderma.. and recently I am wearing Olay cream ….. can you suggest me how can I get rid of pigmentation….plzz

Gio July 23, 2015 - 9:38 am

Prapri, sorry to hear about your problem. How severe is it? If it is quite light, you can try a product with hydroquinone. Its concentration in over the counter products is quite low, so if you need something stronger, or would like to try glycolic acid peels, you should consult a dermatologist.

Hannah July 26, 2015 - 3:44 am

Hi there! I have these windows in my bedroom that I cover up with a few blankets to help keep the heat and sun out. If there isn’t any visible light shinning through the blankets does that mean there is no uv rays going through too? Just wondering:)

Gio July 26, 2015 - 10:16 am

Hannah, hi. I believe the blanket help keep most of it out, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. 🙂

rajni August 1, 2015 - 2:57 pm

Hy mam i am a Indian girl and my hand,back is darkest even my face due to suneffect what can I do kindly suggest best solution and my forehead is little dark plzzzz……… Mam give me fastest solution.

Gio August 1, 2015 - 3:20 pm

Ranji, what do you mean with your skin is darker due to suneffect? Are you tanned? If so, you’ll just have to wait for it to disappear. If you have dark spots, instead, try an exfoliant with glycolic acid. It should help lighten your skin.

Ruth August 24, 2015 - 2:05 pm

Hey Gio,
I’m almost 17. I would like to ask you if it’s necessary for me to wear sunscreen? I go to high school and the temperature here remain between 34 °C to 38 °C during summers? I have combination skin. Can you recommend me some brand which I can use, I live in Pakistan. Help please!

Gio August 24, 2015 - 8:28 pm

Ruth, oh yes, you should use sunscreen too. It’s never too early to start. You’ll age a lot better and more slowly if you do. Mmm, I’m not sure what brands are available in Pakistan. Do you have Neutrogena and Burt’s Bees? They make some great sunscreens. So does Sunumbra, and they ship worldwide. Hope this helps.

Ruth August 25, 2015 - 2:00 pm

Yes, it helped! Thank you. What spf should I use ?

Gio August 25, 2015 - 7:23 pm

You’re welcome. I’m glad it helped. SPF30 should be enough.

Van Luong September 19, 2015 - 5:43 pm

Thanks so much for all your information. I have a chemical sunscreen and an aloe vera gel ( i think it’s like a moisturizer). Should i apply the sunscreen before or after thr aloe vera gel? After reading your post i firgure my sunscreen is chemical sunscreen

Gio September 19, 2015 - 6:47 pm

Van Luong, you’re welcome. How lightweight is the gel? If very lightweight, you can apply that first, wait a few minutes for your skin to fully absorb it, and then follow up with sunscreen. If the gel has a thick texture instead, apply sunscreen first.

swara October 21, 2015 - 1:44 am

Hi, This is swara , before I was using fair and lovely and few of my frnds told me tat it contains a bleach so i switched to himalaya fairness cream but once or twice I applied tat creams , my skin seems dark so can suggest me a good fairness cream

Gio October 21, 2015 - 8:14 pm

Swara, hi. Sorry to hear about your problem. You can check out my favourite fairness creams and lotions here: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/7-ways-to-treat-hyperpigmentation/.

Hope this helps.

Sandhya November 14, 2015 - 11:10 am

Hi Gio,
I have an oily skin, that becomes stretchy and flaky without a moisturiser. Suncote gel spf 30 is the only moisturiser that suits my skin. But I find my skin very dry.So should I apply a moisturiser before sunscreen or after sunscreen. Please help.

Gio November 14, 2015 - 1:01 pm

Hi Sandhya. sorry to hear about your skin problems. Yes, definitely use a moisturizer, and apply it after the Suncote gel. Hope this helps.

Sandhya November 14, 2015 - 2:18 pm

Thanks Gio. 🙂

Gio November 14, 2015 - 3:56 pm

My pleasure.

Pradip December 4, 2015 - 12:11 pm

Hiiii…..can i apply talcum powder after applying moisturizer. Is there any side effect?….plese tell me

Gio December 7, 2015 - 8:14 am

Pradip, hi. Yes, you can, and no, there is no side effect.

Pradip December 14, 2015 - 4:21 am

Thanks for reply…☺

Gio December 14, 2015 - 8:34 am

You’re welcome.

siri December 12, 2015 - 8:08 am

Hi…… can I use Dabur rose water before applying sunscreen lotion, iam 35 years old, my complexion is fair, now a days changing darker, please suggest me for fairer complexion

Gio January 25, 2016 - 8:38 am

Siri, yes, you can. I’d also recommend to exfoliate with glycolic acid, and use a vitamin c serum. They help brighten skin too.

Sandhya December 15, 2015 - 5:29 pm

Hi Gio,
As you suggested I tried applying moisturiser after applying suncote gel, but since the skin is sticky after the application of suncote gel i,’m not able to spread the moisturiser. Also, whitish cast is left. How should o use moisturiser with sunscreen?please help

Gio December 16, 2015 - 7:53 am

Sandhya, are you applying the moisturizer straight away? You should wait a few minutes, until the stickiness disappears. As for the white cast, there’s nothing that can be done. The best sunscreen ingredients leave one. But you may switch to a tinted formula, like Sunumbra Sunkids SPF40. Hope this helps.

Sandhya December 16, 2015 - 3:51 pm

Thanks Gio, I usually wait for 10 -15 mins after the application of sunscreen and then apply moisturiser. I use clean and clear moisturiser. The white cast begins to appear once again after the application of moisturiser and disappears in 10 mins. Am I applying it right? Please help

Gio December 17, 2015 - 12:29 pm

Oh, I see. Yes, you’re doing it right. It’s just that, sometimes, some products just don’t work that well together. Maybe you can try something else?

Sandhya December 17, 2015 - 4:54 pm

Oh is it..thanks for ur reply Gio. can u please suggest a moisturiser and sunscreen that goes well together.

Gio December 17, 2015 - 7:26 pm

I use Sunumbra Sunkids 40 with Olay Total Effects. They work very well together. Hope it helps.

Sandhya December 19, 2015 - 2:24 pm

Thanks Gio …will try them…:)

Gio December 20, 2015 - 8:43 am

My pleasure. Glad I could help.

Renu January 25, 2016 - 6:54 am

Should we use both facewash and cleanser daily? If yes, what should be their sequence?

Gio January 25, 2016 - 8:39 am

Renu, if you’re using a facial cleanser, you don’t need face wash too. They do the same thing, really.

Renu January 25, 2016 - 9:17 am

Thanks GIO….

Renu January 25, 2016 - 9:36 am

I have one more question.. Is there a difference between moisturizer and moisturizing cream?

Gio January 25, 2016 - 3:47 pm

You’re welcome. And no, there isn’t. 🙂

priya January 29, 2016 - 2:17 pm

Amway products are safe for skin?

Gio January 29, 2016 - 3:34 pm

Priya, I’m not familiar with this brand, but I believe they are safe. There’s always the chance something in there may irritate skin, but I highly doubt they contain anything toxic or dangerous.

priya January 31, 2016 - 7:04 am

please tell me, how would we know that our skin belonging which category i.e Dry, oily,combination,sensitive.

Gio January 31, 2016 - 8:15 am

Priya, your skin sort of tells you. You have to look for the symptoms. For example, dry skin is tight and flaky, while oily skin always shiny and prone to breakouts. I’ve written a post about identifying your skin type. You can find it here: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/2008/06/09/how-to-identify-your-skin-type/

Tere February 14, 2016 - 9:23 pm

Chemical sunscreen DOES NOT need to be applied before moisturizer (it does NOT activate on contact with skin – it interacts with the UV-radiation WITHOUT any skin contact). In fact, IT DOES MORE DAMAGE than the other way around.
The reason for that is that the interaction with UV-light breaks the compound (the very ingredient that protects you in chemical sunscreens) down into free radicals WHICH also cause skin and DNA damage.
What that means: if you put moisturzer BEFORE sunscreen, you have less skin contact with the created free radicals = less skin damage. (That’s also the reason why esp chemical sunscreen needs to be reapplied – the protective compounds break down.)

Gio February 21, 2016 - 6:01 pm

Tere, you make some valid points, but may I ask you where did you get your information from? I got mine from dermatologist Neil Schultz, but I’m very curious to see evidence to the contrary. Thanks!

Aisha Mirza February 16, 2016 - 11:46 am

I apply Revlon’s Moisturizer and my skin is like really dry. Specially, in winters. But, I haven’t started using a sunscreen. & I’m also stucked at the question whether to apply sunscreen first or moisturizer? Really need help!!!

Gio February 21, 2016 - 1:04 pm

Aisha, get a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide (it’s the most effective), and apply it last, after moisturizer. Hope this helps.

nto February 17, 2016 - 5:01 pm

Hey Gio,
I’m in south africa , working on the sun daily basis what should I use to prevent sun ?

Gio February 17, 2016 - 7:57 pm

Nto, definitely a zinc-oxide based sunscreen. It offers the best protection against UV rays.

Atis February 20, 2016 - 12:13 pm

Hi thanks for the good advice. Please what can I use to correct smile lines from nose to mouth

Gio February 21, 2016 - 10:39 am

Atis, you’re welcome. Definitely a retinol serum or moisturizers. One of my faves is Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate For Deep Wrinkles.

pooja April 23, 2016 - 12:34 pm

Hiiiii gio, acnemoist Is suitable for skin?????

Gio April 25, 2016 - 10:32 pm

Pooja, yes, it is.

Inka April 25, 2016 - 1:19 am

Hello Gio,
Sorry for the long post
I’m 16 and I’ve had melasma (hyperpigmentation) on the skin area of my chin since forever. And since I don’t want to do any unnecessary treatment (like chemical peeling) yet if possible, I’m planning to buy day/night cream to even out the color of my skin (or so it says in the advertisement). The problem is that the day cream only has spf 20, which is lower than the sunscreen I usually use (spf 30). I usually only apply sunscreen, wait it out a bit, and then apply face powder. As for the night cream, I don’t know if it’d really treat my hyperpigmentation and I don’t want to waste my money on it if it wouldn’t make any difference to my appearance. I intend to buy only one cream, cause it’s really expensive. Do you think I should buy day cream or night cream? If day, would applying sunscreen before/after it reduce its effectiveness? My sunscreen has no titanium dioxide nor zinc oxide so I’m guessing it’s chemical(?)
And also, I’m sorry if this is unrelated to the article, but do you think using day/night cream would actually treat hyperpigmentation? Seeing as there are no hydroquinone in the ingredients (or maybe they state it in some other way and I couldn’t tell).
Thank you for your help. The article is really educational too:)

Gio April 27, 2016 - 8:34 pm

Inka, glad you enjoyed the article, and sorry to hear about your problem. Some creams can help treat hyperpigmentation, but, without seeing the ingredient list, it’s impossible to tell for sure. Can you tell me which products were you thinking of buying, so I can check them out for you?

Margie May 22, 2016 - 2:28 pm

Hello Gio! Im using Pond’s non oily day cream (it says it’s a light moisturizing cream with a powder finish). Do i put sunscreen before OR after it? Thanks! Also, if i try using face powder with spf do i need to use sunblock even when im just indoors?

Gio May 23, 2016 - 9:52 pm

Margie, it depends. Do you use a mineral or chemical sunscreen? If mineral, use it after the cream. If chemical, before.

That depends. Face powders with SPF don’t provide adequate protection, but, as long as you don’t stay near any windows for long, you should be fine.

Margie May 24, 2016 - 3:46 am

im using sunblok with zinc oxide. so i should apply it after the cream even when it has powder finish? doesnt it make the powder finish not effective anymore

Gio May 24, 2016 - 10:54 pm

Margie, I would apply it last, yes.

Margie May 25, 2016 - 4:35 am

Thank you so much! One last question. Whenever i had pimples, it will always be big. Im worried that whenever i use my facial wash, toner, moisturizer, sunscreen, or any other face care do i apply it on my zits? for example i use my toner, do i also include toning my zits? im worried that it would pop all of a sudden because it was touched.

Gio May 29, 2016 - 1:07 am

My pleasure. I know people who do, and pimple who don’t. If you’re concerned, don’t. It’s such a small area, you won’t cause any harm by not toning/moisturizing/etc it. The only exception are things like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and other exfoliating and anti-pimple treatments that can help get rid of them. You need to apply hose on the zits, obviously!

Arteezy July 27, 2016 - 7:47 am

So I can apply sunscreen on top of my regular daycream?also how much time gap should I keep between them?and can you suggest some good day and night products for dark circles and thicker eyebrows??

Gio July 31, 2016 - 6:06 pm

Arteezy, if your sunscreen is mineral-based, yes, apply it on top of your daycream. Just wait until the cream has fully absorbed though.

For thicker eyebrows, just use a brow pencil. As for dark circles, do you know what they are caused by? Hyperpigmentation? Blood pooling under the skin? Different causes require different treatments and I can’t recommend one if I don’t know what I’m dealing with.

mini August 26, 2016 - 12:20 pm

hello mam
what the distinguish between moisturize and sunscreen pls tell me nd my skin is oily so what can i apply 1st moisturize or sunscreen nd which brand is best for oily skin type

Gio August 28, 2016 - 9:35 pm

Mini, sunscreen protects your skin from the sun and prevents wrinkles, sun spots, and cancer. Moisturizer keeps your skin soft and hydrated.

Check out this post for my fave sunscreens for oily skin: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/2013/05/07/what-are-the-best-sunscreens-for-oily-skin/

The first three should be applied before moisturizer, the last one afterwards.

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