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Unveiling the Secret to Perfect Skincare: Sunscreen or Moisturizer – Which One Comes First?

sunscreen before or after moisturizer

We all know the importance of using sunscreen.


Not only does it protect the sensitive skin on our faces from burning, but it also prevents fine lines and premature aging.


So, where does sunscreen fit in the order of our daily skin care routine – should we apply sunscreen before or after moisturizer?


In this short guide, we’ll answer this question along with other common queries to help you get the most benefits possible from your sun protection products and how to apply your sunscreen in the right order.


Types Of Sunscreen

Firstly, it’s essential to know there are two different types of sunscreen available: chemical and mineral. Both work in different ways, determining which point of your skin care routine you should apply them.


Chemical Sunscreen

As the name suggests, chemical, or physical sunscreen, contains a fair amount of active chemical ingredients, often up to 12. This is worrying as some chemicals used in these sunscreens, such as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, can disrupt your hormones.


What’s more, these chemicals absorb into the top layer of your skin and react with it to help absorb and filter out the sun’s damaging UV rays. As chemical sunscreens need to be absorbed into the skin to work, you should apply them 20 to 30 minutes before going out into the sun.


Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreens are a more natural alternative, made from zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and other ingredients. These mineral-based ingredients are much gentler on your skin and thus, are seen as a safer option.


Mineral sunscreens don’t absorb UV rays into your skin, unlike the chemical versions. Instead, they work as a barrier between the skin and the harmful UV radiation by reflecting them away. Mineral sunscreens are thicker than chemical ones and usually come as a cream rather than a spray.


Difference Between Sunscreen and Moisturizers

Moisturizers and sunscreen have different uses and should not be used interchangeably. For example, moisturizers hydrate skin, whereas sunscreen protects it from harmful UV rays.


While it’s true that some moisturizers contain SPF protection, it is usually much lower than the protection sunscreens provide. Therefore, the added SPF protection in moisturizers may not be enough to protect many people’s skin.


Should You Apply Sunscreen Before Or After Moisturizer?

Whether you apply sunscreen before or after moisturizer, a general rule to follow is you should apply your sunscreen after your moisturizer.  


If using a chemical sunscreen, it’s important to note that chemicals need to penetrate the skin to work. Therefore, it’s best to allow time for your moisturizer to dry. If applied too soon, the moisturizer could create a barrier between the sunscreen and your skin, preventing it from working.


However, for mineral sunscreens, it’s the opposite. You can immediately apply your mineral-based sunscreen choice after moisturizer since this sunscreen does not absorb or react with the skin.


How Long To Wait Between Applying Sunscreen And Moisturizer?

There is no specific waiting time required between applying the two products. Instead, you should simply wait for the moisturizer to fully absorb before applying sunscreen, which is usually only a minute or so.


Can I Mix Sunscreen With Moisturizer?

It is generally not recommended to mix both products together. Combining them could stop them from correctly working as they are specially formulated.


That being said, daily sunscreens like Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 include moisturizing ingredients like jojoba and avocado. In these cases, our sunscreens also double as a moisturizing lotion.


Fitting Sunscreen Into Your Skincare Routine

So, where does sunscreen fit into your morning skincare routine? When using sunscreen, the best way to apply it is after all your other skin care products, such as cleanser, toner, and daily moisturizer. Additionally, you should apply eye serums and creams before using sunscreen in the final step.


  • Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing SPF 30 – Filled with ingredients that will protect your skin from the sun, our SPF 30 doubles as a moisturizing lotion that dries completely clear. Making it perfect to use before any outdoor activity or as a primer under your favorite makeup products.



  • Black Girl Sunscreen Make It Matte™ SPF 45 – Black Girl Sunscreen’s lightweight, gel formula protects against sun damage leaving no white residue and a mattifying finish for oily skin. Make it Matte is a broad-spectrum SPF 45 infused with ingredients such as aloe, squalene, and shea butter that help moisturize, soothe and heal your skin.




  • *Bonus* Make It Pop™ Sun Gloss – A revolutionary sun gloss for protected, glossy, and poppin’ lips. Formulated with Broad Spectrum SPF 50, hyaluronic acid, tripeptides, and jojoba. This sun gloss will make you feel good and look good while protecting your lips from the sun.


In most cases, Black Girl Sunscreen should always be the outermost layer with no other products on top of it. To apply it over makeup, we recommend using a beauty sponge. Also, Black Girl Sunscreen products can be used as a primer.