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How Long After Moisturizer to Apply Sunscreen?

Jason Park
Published by: Chung-Ae
Last updated:

Applying sunscreen after moisturizing, that’s what I do every single day.

My skin has improved significantly since I’ve done that. It protects your skin from sun exposure while also keeping your makeup in place.

Generally speaking, sunscreen should be applied 18 to 22 minutes after the moisturizer. By doing this the sunscreen will be optimal to protect your skin from the sun. Because of the active ingredients, you’ll notice a huge difference.

For environmental factors, it’s important to wait at least 15 minutes. Or do you want to purposely damage your own skin?

In this article, you’ll find out when to apply sunscreen, how long it lasts, and the benefits.

Let’s get started.

Should You Apply Sunscreen Before or After a Moisturizer?

Applying sunscreen should always be done after using a moisturizer. It should be the last product to use on your face.

When sunscreen is applied as the last product, it protects the skin from harmful rays.

Using a sunscreen that’s 50+ is a must. The sun’s rays are very strong and can cause permanent damage to the skin that may not be obvious for years.

Sun damage can be severe when sunscreen is applied before a moisturizer.

So to keep it easy your skincare products should be applied as follows:

  1. Wash your face first
  2. Toner
  3. Essence or Serum
  4. Moisturizer
  5. Sunscreen

These are the 5 products you need for a good daily skincare routine.

How much sunscreen you need depends on the skincare product using. But an easy rule to follow is the 2 finger rule.

Yes, the 2 finger rule.

The 2 finger rule explained:

Using sunscreen should be done once a day using the 2 finger rule. It’s bascially using as much as 2 fingers to apply sunscreen.

No more. No less.

This helps with the amount you apply. You can’t apply too much using the 2 finger rule, while also not applying too little.

It’s extremely important to follow this because people with sensitive sunscreen can experience irritation when applied too little.

And when you apply too much sunscreen it’s can get very oily.

So keep in mind, always follow the 2 finger rule when applying sunscreen.

How Long Does the Sunscreen Last?

Sunscreen lasts for about 2 to 3 hours depending on the brand. Generally speaking, sunscreen should be reapplied every 4 hours. However, this is not viable for everyone, therefore people only apply sunscreen once a day.

Applying it multiple times will definitely improve the skin. But since not everyone has the time to do this, it can be quite difficult.

The sunscreen’s ability is to protect your skin up to 4 hours max. The natural active ingredients, which are scientifically proven, have shown that reapplying sunscreen will massively improve the skin. [1]

There is a broad spectrum of sunscreen on the market. Some say that it lasts up to 8 hours.

But this often isn’t true.

Though it’s important to keep in mind that everyone has a different skin type, therefore having different needs.

Some people don’t need sunscreen at all, while others do need it.

It all depends on how much more protection you want. However, it is recommended to add sunscreen to your daily routine.

Preventing your skin with sunscreen is always better than curing it.

Do You Need to Moisturize Under a Sunscreen?

No, it’s not necessary to moisturize under sunscreen. Applying sunscreen only will do the job. Depending on your needs, it might be recommended to apply to moisturize under sunscreen.

Applying moisturizer under the sunscreen protects exposed skin. You can ensure that your skin won’t get damaged when you apply both products.

Using both products can be very beneficial.

But it’s also more expensive, so think about the different kinds of products you are going to use.

For some it’s necessary, for others it’s not.

Should a Chemical Sunscreen Be Applied Before or After a Moisturizer?

A chemical sunscreen should always be applied after a moisturizer.

Applying sunscreen after a moisturizer makes the skin more smooth. It’s important to apply sunscreen after a moisturizer because it can cause irritations if applied before.

Especially for people with sensitive skin, this is important, don’t let the harmful UV rays damage the skin.

Putting sunscreen on while wearing makeup might not be a good idea.

Sunscreen should always be applied under the makeup.

Don’t make the mistake of wearing sunscreen after applying makeup.

I’ve done this many times in the past, where my skin got very irritated, so I don’t recommend anyone doing it.

Most people tend to apply it before the makeup, which makes it safer and better for your overall skin.

The Benefits of Using a Moisturizer and Sunscreen

There are many benefits when it comes to using a moisturizer and sunscreen. Some of the benefits include:

  • It keeps your skin looking young and healthy.
  • It protects the skin against harmful UV rays.
  • Reduces the chance of developing cancer.
  • Moisturizing your skin is always beneficial, so both products are amazing for your skin.

These are just a few benefits, but I noticed from my own experience that my skin feels more healthy and smoother.

In the long run, this has a major impact on the skin. You might not be noticing it at first.

But if you apply SPF consistently for about 2 to 3 months. You will definitely see results. At first, I was also a bit skeptical about applying both.

Asking myself: Do I really need both?

But after using it for a few months, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin. I was using SPF 30 back then, now I switched to SPF 50.

Using SPF 50+ is by far one of the best sun protection products you can get. Not only does it protect the skin very well against UV rays.

It also gives that extra layer of moisturization, which I loved. You can feel it once you go out on a very hot day, while the sun is shining.

So give it a go, use both products and chances are, it will massively improve your skin.


Applying sunscreen should be done after 18 to 22 minutes, depending on your needs. A moisturizer should always be applied after you’re done with the sunscreen routine.

Applying both products might seem a bit excessive but it’s will improve your skin FAST. Give it a go and you know what they say. “good things come to those who use a moisturizer and sunscreen“.

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    About The Author

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    Hi, I'm Chung-Ae. I love Korean skincare products and Kpop! My favorite Korean beauty brands are Innisfree and Etude House because they offer a lot of affordable products with good quality ingredients.

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