Why You Should Apply Sunscreen First

Episode #75 / Aug 26, 2009
While we believe that in order to get the best protection from the sun possible, you should apply your sunscreen first, a lot of people ask, "why?" Dr. Schultz explains.
Anson Ng on August 27, 2009 at 12:22am

Thank you so much for answering my question!!!

Ann Longmore on August 31, 2009 at 10:55pm

Thank you very much -- I have always worried about this and never found any advice on the topic (now I know I have been putting stuff on in the WRONG order!).

Neal Schultz, M.D. on September 3, 2009 at 4:26pm

As I know that this is a very complex subject, and people have asked follow-up questions not only on DermTV but other forums as well, I wanted to provide a more in-depth discussion, which I've done in the form of an article (I thought it was a more appropriate vehicle than a short video). You can read it here: http://www.dermtv.com/questions/why-applying-sunscreen-first-provides-be...

Sarah on May 24, 2010 at 4:43pm

I have recently changed my skincare routine. In the past I would use my cleanser, followed by my face moisturizer that contained a sunscreen of at least 30SPF. I now use a cleanser, a toner everyday (or every other if my skin is dried out) a serum, and then finally my facial moisturizer which contains an SPF of only 15. For my eyes I use an eye serum, a 100% mineral filter SPF of 30, and then an eye cream to help fight aging.

What I am concerned about is that I have noticed since it has warmed up, I have gotten a pinkish hue on my face from the sun. In the past I wouldn't have this problem. I am wondering if it would be either from the not having the sunscreeen put on my face first to fully absorb into my skin, or bc of the added products I am now using. I have however noticed on my eyes where I wear my sunscreen are a much lighter shade and not burned like the rest of my face. Could my SPF not be high enough to give my skin adequate protection?

I am almost 27 years old, and have blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. So your typical case of someone who burns very easily. I am very concerned with protecting my skin and to prevent anti aging. If you could could help me out with what I am doing wrong I would be forever greatfull.

Love DermTV! I stumbled upon it one day and watch it all the time. Thanks!

Neal Schultz, M.D. on May 24, 2010 at 4:43pm

@Sarah: You make a compelling case for the importance of applying sunscreen BEFORE any other products.

When you applied your face moisturizer that contained a sunscreen of at least 30SPF, you had no problem. Now that you apply a serum before your sunscreen (which also has a lower SPF) it sounds like you are getting a sunburn.

The most common mistake women make with skincare products is not applying their sunscreen first . This is especially important for your very fair skin that burns so easily.