Is Moisturizer With SPF Sufficient? three Dermatologists Weigh In

Is Moisturizer With SPF Enough? 3 Dermatologists Weigh In

Here's the thing: yes, you can use a moisturizer slash sunscreen effectively, provided you use enough of it. Angelo Landriscina, M.D. (Or maybe a nickel-sized dollop if you need a visual representation.) Also, make sure you reapply every two hours for optimal protection – whether you're using a sunscreen or sunscreen .

Many have raised concerns that a moisturizer might dilute the SPF component and make it less effective. Board-certified dermatologist Jeanine Downie, M.D., says, "I definitely feel that moisturizer combined with sunscreen reduces the effectiveness of sunscreens." Although it may be less about the formula itself and more about user behavior, SPF moisturizers aren't typically as water-resistant, so they may not work as well if you swim or sweat. Perhaps this is where moisturizer sunscreen has its diluted reputation – it can lose its effectiveness when it comes to water.

But the product itself, says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., isn't that much of a problem. Finally, many sunscreens on the market contain emollients for a creamier application (especially for sometimes chalky mineral sunscreens) and antioxidants to soothe inflammation – also known as ingredients that you can find in your daily moisturizer. "There is a spectrum in how moisturizing the formulations are and what other actives there are, like antioxidants," adds King. "As long as there are humectants, emollients and occlusive agents, the formulation will be moisturizing." These ingredients usually do not dilute standard sunscreens (albeit in lower concentrations). So why would they make a less-than-outstanding moisturizer sunscreen?

In addition, every product on the market with sun protection factor must be adequately tested before this number is noted on the label. King says, "It's not like you took a sunscreen with a specific SPF and then diluted it with a moisturizer – the finished product needs to be tested to determine its SPF."

The tricky thing is with makeup: half a teaspoon of tinted moisturizer or SPF foundation is a lot of the product, and you might not want that much base coverage. That's all fine, but in this case you should use suitable sunscreen underneath.


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