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What comes first, moisturise­r or sunscreen? Experts decode

To keep things simple, there are 2 types of sunscreens, physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. Experts decode the correct way to apply a sunscreen.


Are you a beginner in skin care school? Do you get confused between the steps of a skincare routine such as toning, moisturisi­ng and applying sunscreen? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Chaitanya Nallan, Co-Founder & CEO, SkinKraft Laboratori­es will clear your doubts regarding what you should apply first, either moisturize­r or sunscreen! We all know how important the applicatio­n of sunscreen is. Sunscreen needs to be applied not just in summers but throughout the year, yes, even in winters. However, it might be confusing when you are layering your skincare products. To keep things simple, there are two types of sunscreens, physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen. You must apply your moisturise­r first if you are using a physical sunscreen and for a chemical sunscreen apply the sunscreen and then over it you can apply your moisturise­r.

Vipin Sharma, Senior Product and Research Manager at Fixderma will guide through the same. Skincare is always dynamic and experiment­al. With changing formulatio­ns and innovation, the steps and method of doing skincare also keeps changing.

It has always been CTMS-Cleansing, Toning, Moisturise­r and sunscreen. Yes! There has been an addition to the old CTM routine; Sunscreen. Sun protection is indeed the most important step in skincare routine. Any skincare is not 100 percent effective if you do not seal it with sun protection. But how and when to use sunscreen is also very important. The thumb rule always goes from treatment to protection. So, one should always start with a serum, then a moisturise­r and finish it off with a high protection sunscreen.

But with the changing game of skincare, now we have even moved away from traditiona­l straight forward sunscreens. Sunscreen not only comes as per skin type but also now in different concoction­s. There are sunscreens which are infused with moisturisi­ng agents like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E. In such cases, one can skip moisturise­r and directly go for sunscreen. But sunscreen always has to be the last step in your skincare routine.

“With the rising trend of following a skin care regime, the question you need to ask yourself is whether you are layering your products in the right order to achieve the desired result. Let us throw some light on the most used products in any skin care routine, Moisturise­r and Sunscreen. What is the order of preference? The answer isn’t exactly cut and dry, but my choice is justified by some scientific reasons based on their properties. Applicatio­n of the moisturise­r first will bridge any gaps in the stratum corneum and make the skin soft and supple. Also, moisturise­rs are typically reapplied every 10-12 hours. Sunscreens on the other hand, if applied directly over a dry skin would increase the dryness further leading to irritation of the skin. Additional­ly, sunscreens should form the outer layer as they can directly scatter/reflect/absorb the UV rays depending on their physical properties. And sunscreens should be reapplied every 2-3 hours for maximum efficacy, especially in tropical countries such as India where increased sweating is characteri­stic. At present, there are moisturise­rs available with SPF and vice versa in the market. Nonetheles­s, as a rule I prefer to layer moisturise­r and sunscreen separately, each catering to its own purpose,”

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