About once a week someone asks me when we are going to do a moisturizer with SPF in it – I always give the same answer – Never.
I spent a decade in an outdoors job which meant spending six hours a day outside in the sun and wind, everyday, all year around – not once did I think it a good idea to head out for the day protected only by a moisturiser with SPF in it. Don’t get me wrong I wore plenty of moisturiser and I wore plenty of sunscreen but just never from the same bottle.
My reasoning is simple; adding sunscreen to a moisturiser lessens the effectiveness of both products. They are in fact different products designed to fulfill different roles. They can of course work together to great effect, but when used in conjunction with each other and only when applied separately, not premixed into the same product in some misguided attempt for efficiency and speed.
Moisturisers are designed to nourish and protect the skin by regulating the skins natural levels of amino acids, salts and water. The moisturiser locks in these great natural resources and forms a covering over the skin cells that refracts light, giving skin a protective barrier but also creating a healthy translucent glow.
A great face moisturiser should be delicate, refined, like an artist that works to embellish the natural advantages of your skin. A sunscreen by comparison is a brute, designed to block & protect you from the suns harmful rays.
Chemical sunscreens absorb the harmful rays whilst physical sunscreens block out harmful rays – both have been proven to be effective. A broad-spectrum sunscreen simply means it protects against both UVA & UVB, which is what you want. Chemical sunscreens need to be on the surface of the skin to be effective. Physical sunscreens that block the sun sit on top of the skin like a protective barrier.
My argument is that I do not want the chemicals or heavy oils from sunscreen mixing with my natural moisture and skin protection. I want the moisturiser to get a chance to do its job, to help trap in my natural moisture and to create a barrier that will act to even out my skins oil production and create a healthy looking skin surface. Once the moisturiser has had a chance to do its job then I will apply I sunscreen on top.
My preference is always for a physical sunscreen that utilizes Zinc as a base to block the sun. This combination I find highly effective and I get the best of both worlds, healthy great feeling skin from my moisturiser and great effective sun protection from my sunscreen.
So I say don’t take short cuts – use a great moisturiser to make your skin feel soft and youthful, then protect it with a great sunscreen (natural if possible) if you are heading out into the sun.
“I scrounged around for the next couple of years, trying to get the scam on the human race and just where the hell I fitted in - I discovered there were no openings.”