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Why Your SPF Moisturizer May Not be Protecting You

Streamlined skincare routines may be trending, but there is one step that dermatologists universally agree should never be skipped: sunscreen. Applying an SPF 30 sunscreen – even in winter – is derms’ gold standard step for preventing skin cancer and premature aging.

Using a moisturizer with SPF can seem like a quick and easy way to protect your skin on a busy morning, but you may not be getting the level you think you are. The best way to protect and moisturize in a single step is to opt for a sunscreen with skincare benefits – such as our Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen – as opposed to a moisturizer with sunscreen. Read on to learn why.

SPF is Regulated Differently

Products marketed as sunscreens have to abide by stringent FDA regulations pertaining to the active sunblock ingredients. The FDA decides not only which active ingredients are approved to provide SPF protection, they also require broad spectrum protection as well as specific tests to determine whether the product is actually providing the level of protection it claims.

Moisturizers also don’t have to adhere to the same rules and therefore may not provide the level of protection you would expect.

How Much You Apply Matters

Even if your moisturizer with SPF provides adequate protection, you may not be applying enough to get the full benefit of your SPF. Dermatologists recommend applying at least two finger lengths of sunscreen spread evenly throughout your face to ensure that you’re getting the full benefit of your SPF.

In addition, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen to any areas of skin that are exposed, including your face, jaw, neck, and the backs of your hands.

When was the last time you applied that much moisturizer?

Which Comes First – Moisturizer or Sunscreen?

The order in which you apply your skincare products also matters. For the best protection, you’ll want to apply sunscreen as the final step in your morning skincare routine after your moisturizer. Imagine your moisturizer as a tee shirt and your sunscreen as a jacket. Wearing the jacket underneath the tee would make both work less effectively. A mineral sunscreen works the same way. It functions as the outermost protective layer, blocking the sun’s damaging rays before they can get to your skin.

Learn the right way to layer your skincare

The Single Product Solution

If you’re trying to streamline your morning routine, the best solution is to opt for an SPF 30 sunscreen that also has hydrating benefits such as our Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen. Our new and improved formula natural, reef-safe zinc to provide instant, invisible broad spectrum protection with no white cast. Meanwhile ectoin quenches and strengthens the skin barrier while sugarcane derived squalane mimics your body’s natural moisture to deeply hydrate.

Even better: our Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen can be used in place of makeup primer to ensure a smooth, even application and further streamline your routine.

Christine Tusher
Christine Tusher Writer and expert
As a lifestyle writer and journalist, I love sharing my passion for ocean conservation and obsession with clean beauty. I’ve tried almost every trend and ingredient, and Biossance’s science-backed formulas are the only ones that consistently calm my reactive skin and make it smoother, clearer, and healthier. I’m so excited to be on this journey of skincare innovation with Biossance, and to share it with you!

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