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Moisturizer vs. Sunblock

Posted by Benjamin Esfandi on
Moisturizer vs. Sunblock

Moisturizer and sunblock are two essential elements of a daily skin routine, but a lot of people don’t know if you can swap in one for the other. Can sun block hydrate your skin? Can moisturize double as “real” sunblock if it has SPF in it? In this blog, we’ll break down what you need to know about these products, so you can do what’s best for your skin.

What is Moisturizer?

Moisturizers — also known as emollients — are mixtures of chemical agents. These agents are designed to make the external layers of the skin (epidermis) softer and pliable. They can increase the skin’s hydration by reducing evaporation of the skin’s water content. Moisturizers can be commercial products sold for both cosmetic and therapeutic uses or common pharmaceutical ingredients.

What is Sunblock?

Sunblock — also called sunscreen, sun cream, suntan lotion, etc. — is a product that helps to absorb and reflect the sun’s ultraviolet radiation before coming in direct contact with the skin. Sunblock helps to protect the skin from sunburn. Sunscreen doesn’t allow the radiation of the sun to penetrate the skin as the chemicals and ingredients block the path of radiation.

Some sunblock will have tanning powders in them which allow the skin to darken but do not provide the necessary protection to UV rays. As a result, it’s important to read the label and understand the chemical components of any sunblock.

Similarities Between Moisturizers and Sunblock

There are a few key similarities between these two products, which is why they are commonly mixed up. Moisturizers and sunblocks both protect the skin. There are a variety of types of each, so you have several to choose from. Additionally, you’ll often see moisturizing products in the form of soft white cream, and sunblocks are often sold in the same lotion form (although it also comes in many others). 

Differences Between Moisturizers and Sunblock

Both products protect the skin. However, moisturizers are intended to protect the skin from dryness and oiliness while sunblock is intended to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Moisturizers are normally preferred during any season and in dry climates. Sunblock is used during summertime and in hot climates.

Moisturizers will come in the form of soft white cream. They can be thick or thin depending on the type. Sunblock products are sold in a variety of forms — lotions, creams, gels, oils, sprays, sticks, lip balms, etc. Both moisturizers and sunblocks can be obtained with a physician’s prescription depending on the strength.


Which Product Should You Apply First?

When you’re using both sunblock and moisturizer in your skin routine, you may wonder which one needs to be applied first for best results. It all comes down to whether you’re using a chemical or physical sunblock.

  • Chemical: These products sit on the skin or block rays using chemical UV filters
  • Physical: Often known as mineral sunscreen, these work to create a physical barrier on the skin that shields it from the sun’s rays

If you’re using a chemical sunscreen, you should apply it before your moisturizer to allow it to penetrate your skin to provide protection. However, if you’re using physical sunscreen, then you should apply it after your moisturizer.

Final Thoughts

If you’re ready to maximize protection for your skin, start using a daily sunblock and moisturizer. Check out our scalp products for bald men and come back for more helpful information each month.

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