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Written By Chloe Taylor

How Long Should I Wait to Apply Sunscreen After Moisturizing


Besides, using moisturizers and applying sunscreen is also very important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. A good moisturizer can nourish your skin and keep it hydrated.

However, a good sunscreen with SPF can protect your skin from different issues like skin damage, premature aging, and even skin cancer.

My clients often ask me about what should be the waiting period to apply sunscreen after moisturizing.

So, this article is for my beloved clients, friends, and readers who want to know if are there any hard and fast rules for the waiting game.

What is the Importance of Sunscreen?

Knowing the importance of using sunscreen can only motivate you to make it a crucial part of your tanning regime. As most of you know UV rays are of 2 types, and they are UVA and UVB.

UVA rays mostly cause premature aging, wrinkles, and fine lines. On the other hand, the UVB rays lead to sunburn. In extreme situations both these UV rays can cause skin cancer (melanoma).

Slathering on SPF 30 or higher provides your skin with the armor it needs against the sun’s rays while tanning. A sunscreen reflects or absorbs the UV rays and creates a barrier between your skin and the UV rays. Thus, it prevents UV rays from penetrating your skin.

So, it is very important to use sunscreen even if you are tanning indoors or tanning outdoors even on cloudy days. Check out my post on some best sunscreens for indoor and outdoor use on Best Sunscreen for Tanning at the Beach.

Can You Combine a Moisturizer and Sunscreen?

Some people may wonder what’s wrong with combining sunscreen and moisturizer and use it together. People who follow a busy schedule and are always in a hurry often mix both products and use them to save time.

However, combining a moisturizer and sunscreen is not a very good idea. It may save you time but, can result in formulas not working as tested and may not provide the needed protection to your skin.

However, if you do not want to put much effort into the process then, it is better to use a moisturizer that contains SPF.

There are different moisturizers with SPF available in the market. These products are formulated to both hydrate your skin and protect it from harmful UV rays.

Moisturizers with SPF can be a good option for you if you forget to apply sunscreen in the morning someday. A moisturizer with in-built sunscreen will perform two skincare steps at once.

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When Should You Apply a Sunscreen?

Apply sunscreen as the last step in your skincare routine. So, it should be used after applying a moisturizer. However, if you are using a chemical sunscreen then, apply it before using a moisturizer.

As chemical sunscreens need time to get absorbed by your skin and show the desired result so, applying it before using a moisturizer can be effective.

However, if you are using a physical sunscreen then, always use it after applying a moisturizer.

These sunscreens can create a barrier between your skin and the sun and can be equally effective without the need to be absorbed by your skin.

What Should Be the Waiting Period After Moisturizer to Apply Sunscreen?

Following the waiting time is important to get that desired result. after you have slathered on that premium moisturizer, and now you are eager to seal the deal with sunscreen.


According to various sources, it is recommended to wait around 20 to 30 minutes after applying a moisturizer before reaching for that SPF goodness.

This waiting period allows the moisturizer to get fully absorbed by your skin and thus, prevents dilution of the sunscreen.

Applying sunscreen just after moisturizer, may not be as effective as it should be as the moisturizer can dilute and make the sunscreen less potent.

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Can You Apply a Moisturizer Over Sunscreen?

When you are using a chemical sunscreen then, it should be applied before using any moisturizer. As chemical sunscreens need time to get absorbed and come up with the desired result so, applying it first is always recommended.

You should wait for at least 15 minutes to ensure your skin is prepared and ready for the sunscreen to do its job effectively.


Using sunscreen is an essential part of your skincare routine and you should never neglect it. the golden rule is to let your moisturizer set the stage for about 20 to 30 minutes before letting the sunscreen steal the show.

A luxurious moisturizer nourishes, hydrates, and primes your skin. however, sunscreen ensures that your skin gets the protective shield of SPF.

Always use a chemical sunscreen before applying any moisturizer to make it completely absorbed by your skin and show that effective result.

do remember that skincare is a personal journey and each product plays a crucial role. So, you should always understand your skin needs and follow the right skincare routine to make your skin glowing and healthy always.

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Chloe Taylor

Hey there, I am Chloe Taylor, your trusted tanning expert. Dive into expert tips, product reviews, and skincare advice to unlock the secrets of a radiant tan. Also, join me in achieving that sun-kissed glow while safeguarding your skin, which can leave you feeling your best.

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