Should I put my primer on before or after sunscreen?


  • According to my dermatologist the sunscreen goes on first.
  • Okay, thanks!
  • The type of sunscreen dictates the order.  If it is a chemical (PABA avobenzone, etc) or combined (physical & chemical sunscreens) sunscreen, you should apply if before your moisturizer and it absorbs the UVA/UVB and breaks it down.  A physical (zinc oxide - best, titanium dioxide) should be applied after moisturizer but before makeup, including primer.  If you find a physical sunscreen that contains silicones, you may find that it doubles as a primer.  I love Sanitas Solar Block (SPF 27) for this purpose.
  • TwoBirds: I'm not sure I follow you - are you suggesting that moisturizers "break down" UV absorbers? If so do you have any link to substantiate that? I'd like to check it out. Thanks.   
  • Oh no, wasn't saying anything about the moisturizer breaking the UV absorbers down, just stating that that was the mechanism that chemical sunscreens protect you from UV - by absorbing the radiation and "breaking it down" probably a much too simplified and clunky way to describe it but the easiest way to convey to the lay person in my experience.
  • Got it, that makes much more sense!
  • I read that after we apply sunblock (hopefully enough to make it work!) we shouldn't rub or tug at our skin too much so as to keep that layer on sunblock on our face. If I apply my moisturizer after my chemical sunblock... Doesn't it goes against that concept? Will appreciate if someone could enlighten me! Thanks
  • Good question e. Maybe my sunscreen clumps bc I rub too much.
  • Rozy, perhaps you should try to apply a thin layer of primer without rubbing and let us know again :)
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