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The struggles of oily skin are limitless. Finding the right products for oily skin types can be a hassle, whether it’s moisturizers, cleansers, or makeup products. The same applies to sunscreens.
Applying layers of moisturizer over sunscreen sounds like a bad idea, especially if you have oily, acne-prone skin. Most people wonder, “Can I skip moisturizer and use sunscreen for oily skin?” Let’s find out.
You can skip moisturizer if your skin feels too greasy and your toner contains moisturizing ingredients. However, it’s best to apply moisturizer (even if you have oily skin) to create a barrier that protects your skin. Don’t forget to choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic sunscreen for oily skin.
It’s quite obvious that you wouldn’t want to slather your face with moisturizer and sunscreen when your skin is on the verge of breaking out. If that’s the case, then this article is for you. Let’s learn all about sunscreen for oily skin!
Sunscreen prevents exposure to UV rays from the sun, reducing the risk of skin cancer and related skin problems. On the other hand, moisturizer is a staple in most skincare routines, hydrating your skin and giving it a supple appearance.
Moisturizers are formulated with emollients, ingredients known for moisturizing the skin. They form a layer on top of the skin, preventing moisture from escaping skin cells. ~ American Academy of Dermatology Association
Sunscreen also forms a layer on the dermis, preventing UV rays from penetrating the skin.
Therefore, both products are equally important, especially in a daytime skincare routine. Even if you have oily skin, you need both products for maximum protection against the sun.
You can use your sunscreen as a moisturizer if it contains ingredients such as ceramides, emollients, and humectants. If your sunscreen ingredient label mentions these ingredients, you can replace it with a moisturizer.
The end goal is to prevent moisture loss and keep the skin refreshed and hydrated. However, not all sunscreen brands will contain hydrating ingredients.
This depends on the ingredients of your sunscreen. If you have oily skin and you’re using sunscreen with humectants, emollients, and ceramides, you don’t need to use a moisturizer separately.
However, If you’re using a light sunscreen that does not contain enough moisturizing ingredients, you must include a hydrating cream in your skincare routine.
Note: When selecting a sunscreen, carefully scan the ingredient labels for moisturizing ingredients. You don’t need a moisturizer if your sunscreen contains hydrating ingredients.
Should you skip moisturizer and use sunscreen instead? Let’s find out what people have to say.
Most people with oily, acne-prone skin prefer a sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast or make their skin appear shiny. The oiliness gets worse when one puts on makeup over sunscreen.
As a person with oily skin, I would recommend using a matte sunscreen. It ensures your makeup doesn’t appear shiny, it’s long lasting, and doesn’t cause your skin to break out. Another tip is to pick a product with a slight tint. This prevents the white cast from forming.
If you’re looking for a sunscreen that doesn’t cause acne flare-ups and fits in your budget, go for Neutrogena Clear Face SPF 30.
But can you skip moisturizer and use sunscreen instead? Yes, you can, if you use a moisturizer with SPF. One of the best products to try in this category is the SCINIC Enjoy Super Mild Sun Essence SPF50+ PA++++. It doesn’t contain alcohol, doesn’t form a white cast, and keeps your skin hydrated and refreshed after application.
You can skip moisturizer and replace it with sunscreen if you have dry skin. But that depends on the composition of emollients present in your sunscreen. It’s best not to skip moisturizers, particularly for dry skin types because hydrating ingredients are vital for excellent skin health.
Moisturizers and sunscreen work hand in hand to protect dry skin from harmful UV rays that may damage or darken the skin. Moisturizers are required to maintain skin quality and prevent dryness.
The main purpose of a moisturizer is to keep your skin hydrated and refreshed. So, skipping it will cause your skin to dry out, and it will get worse if it’s winter, or the humidity is low. In extreme cases, your skin will start to flake and appear dry.
Here’s what happens to your skin when you skip moisturizer:
- Wrinkle and fine lines: when your face starts to dry out, the wrinkles and fine lines which were once concealed will become more visible.
- Breakouts: even if you have oily skin, skipping moisturizer will make acne worse and the dryness will cause your skin to break out more often.
- More vulnerable skin: moisturizers form a protective layer on the skin without which harsh products are more likely to cause redness.
- Cakey makeup: without moisturizer, the concealer will stick onto dry skin and make fine lines and imperfections more visible, giving your makeup a patchy appearance.
Tip: If you have oily, acne-prone skin, pick a light gel-based moisturizer that doesn’t clog your pores. ~ Jason A. Clark, MD, FAAD, Atlanta-based dermatologist
If your face appears greasy and shiny after applying sunscreen, you’re not alone. It’s the formula of sunscreen that causes this to happen. Sunscreen contains ingredients that block and scatter the sun’s rays from the skin’s surface.
But these ingredients also cause the skin to become oily. When these ingredients bounce off the sun’s rays from the skin, it accelerates the production of sebum, making the skin look shiny and oily.
Tip: To avoid the oiliness, pick a mineral sunscreen instead. It contains ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which block the sun’s rays without making the skin oily.
Sunscreen is an important part of daytime skincare. It’s essential for all skin types, whether you have oily skin, dry skin, or combination skin. Here are some tips to choose the right sunscreen for your skin:
Pick a Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum Protection
AAD recommends using a sunscreen labeled “broad-spectrum” protection because it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
Most sunscreens offer protection against UVB rays that cause sunburn or skin cancer. UVA rays lead to skin cancer as well as premature aging.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or Higher
SPF number determines the level of protection the sunscreen offers against UVB rays.
Greater the SPF number, the higher the protection. As the SPF number increases, the smaller the difference becomes.
So, an SPF 15 sunscreen will block 93% of the UVB rays. As the SPF number increases to 50, this level of protection increases to 98%. SPF 100 sunscreen filters out 99% of UVB rays.
Note: No sunscreen offers 100% protection which is why AAD recommends picking a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher for maximum protection.
“Water Resistant” Sunscreens are not “Waterproof”
Manufacturers are prohibited from claiming that their sunscreens are waterproof. If product labels claim to be “sweatproof,” the manufacturer must specify how long they last.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you head outside. It takes approximately 15 minutes for it to fully penetrate the skin. If you apply sunscreen once you are outside, it won’t offer maximum protection to your skin.
The optimal quantity of sunscreen required is about an ounce, enough to fill a shot glass. This is enough to fully cover the body. Apply it to your back, legs, arms, ears, neck, and face.
Tip: For maximum protection, reapply sunscreen every two hours during the day.
Possible Steps You Need to do While Applying Sunscreen Properly:
Step 1: Pick the right sunscreen
Picking a sunscreen is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Don’t pick a sunscreen just because a beauty influencer on Instagram told you so. Instead, consider your lifestyle, i.e., how often you go outdoors.
- Apply the sunscreen twenty or thirty minutes before you step outside.
- Your sunscreen should be the length of the second finger joint.
Step 2: Use your fingers to apply the sunscreen
Use your fingers to apply the sunscreen instead of your palm. This will ensure an even application. Apply it on the right and left side of your face first, then on your forehead, nose, and chin.
Step 3: Final Touches (tap away the excess)
Once you’ve applied an even layer on your face, gently tap away the excess with your fingertips. Continue to tap until the white cast has faded away.
Mineral sunscreens are the best for oily skin because they’re lighter on the skin compared to the active ingredients present in chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which are least likely to irritate oily skin.
Many anti-acne creams and products lead to photosensitivity which is why it’s important to apply sunscreen if you have oily, acne-prone skin. Photosensitivity makes your skin more vulnerable to UV rays which can damage the skin.
Can I use sunscreen at night?
Using sunscreen at night doesn’t damage skin, but it’s not recommended because SPF may enlarge your pores, making it more susceptible to skin problems like acne.
Can we use toner before sunscreen?
Use toner before applying moisturizer. A moisturizer must be the last product you apply to your face followed by sunscreen. Plus, toners are formulated to remove remaining residue which means they must be applied right after cleansing.
How much SPF sunscreen is best for oily skin?
AAD recommends picking a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more to protect your skin from UV rays. But it’s best to pick one with SPF 50 to guarantee your safety.
Can I mix moisturizer and sunscreen?
Mixing moisturizer and sunscreen is not the best idea because they’re very different products with different formulas. Plus, if you want sunscreen and moisturizer in one product, simply pick a hydrating cream that contains SPF.
Can sunscreen be used daily?
Yes, sunscreen should be a skincare staple that you use daily before leaving the house. Most dermatologists recommend using SPF to block harmful UV rays, preventing skin cancer.
So, at the end of the day, both moisturizers and sunscreens are an important part of daytime skincare. But, if you’re not a fan of slathering two different products on your oily skin, you always have the option of using SPF moisturizers. I hope this article clarified the difference between moisturizers and sunscreen and their importance for people with oily skin.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.