Can sunscreens double up as moisturizers?
I’m not sure if this comes as a surprise but I don’t use a moisturizer in the day at all. On a daily basis, I apply a vitamin C serum on my face and sunscreen after cleansing my face. Is that sufficient? Well, yes for me. I have a combination skin type with quite an oily T-zone. I’ve found through experience that using a moisturizer with a sunscreen doesn’t work well. My face felt so heavy with all the moisturizing ingredients plus makeup and so I’ve been skipping that step for quite awhile now.
Sunscreens already contain moisturizing ingredients
Moisturizers are great by itself to increase the skin’s water content, protect the skin and make the skin appear smoother. They are a beauty essential and they are mostly based on three types of ingredients: humectants, emollients, occlusive (very often emollients have occlusive properties as well). However, if we look at most of the sunscreen on the market now, they already contain some combination of humectants and emollients, as well as other ingredients. My Keys Soap Solar Rx Sunscreen for example, comes with 10% shea butter on top of a combination of avocado oil, carrot seed oil, black cumin oil and vegetable glycerin.
Skip the moisturizer or opt for a humectant based lotion
Hence, unless your sunscreen does not contain sufficient moisturizing contents, or your skin is extremely dry or if you’re going through a winter spell, then you might want to consider skipping the moisturizer especially if you feel your skin has been laden with too much stuff. Alternatively, you might want to use a lighter lotion based on humectant moisturizing ingredients. For reference purpose, you might want to refer to the following table to get a better understanding on the three types of moisturizing agents and find out what your sunscreen already contains.
|Types of moisturizing agents||Texture & common ingredients|
Increase the water content by attracting natural moisture from the dermis into the epidermis.
|Don’t feel greasy on the skin. Best humectant active ingredients are glycerin, sorbitol, urea, lactic acid and hyaluronic acid and others.|
Create a protective barrier that prevents the moisture present in your skin from evaporating.
|Can clog pores & are generally not recommend for those who are prone to blackheads or breakouts. Ingredients commonly used as emollients are petrolatum, lanolin, butyl stearate, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum.|
Create an oily barrier on the surface of the skin which slows the natural evaporation of water from the surface of the skin.
|Heavy and greasy on the skin and can cause breakout to those who are acne-prone.Common occlusive ingredients include petrolatum, mineral oil, siloxanes (dimethicone, cyclomethicone), paraffin, beewax, and various vegetable and animal fats like lanolins, cocoa butter, jojoba, olive and almond oils.|
Moisturizer with sunscreen?
Moisturizer with sunscreen?
And what about moisturizers that contain sunscreen? Some people might think this is a better option. Well, I’m not too keen on the idea because most of the time, the sunscreen protection factor is low. Plus the sunscreen active ingredients may not be sufficient. Hence, my preference is to go for a good sunscreen that also has moisturizing capabilities.
Sunscreen first or moisturizer first
Oh, I forgot to add that by using a sunscreen that doubles up as a moisturizer, you also take the headache out of when to apply sunscreen in the order of our skincare regime. As mentioned in my earlier entry sunscreen before or after moisturizer, if you’re using a chemical sunscreen which absorbs UV rays and neutralize them in the skin tissues, then you have to apply it clean, bare skin first because in order to be effective, it must interact with our skin cells.