How Long After Moisturizer To Apply Sunscreen (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Two Minutes

A moisturizer also termed emollient, is a type of cosmetic preparation which helps protect, lubricating, and moisturize the skin. Emollient is derived from the Latin word Mollie, which means to sup. Moisturizer is applied for achieving healthy skin, which looks more natural and vibrant.

Moisturizers are prevalent in all parts of the world and are more trendy in females. Anciently, people present in the Greeks used several herbs and creams to achieve a moisturizer. Moisturizers were first invented in the 1870s somewhere in America. It is one of the most selling cosmetics in the world.

How Long After Moisturizer To Apply Sunscreen

How Long After Moisturizer To Apply Sunscreen?

The primary mechanism of action of a moisturizer is that the human body tends to remove water from the body through evaporation from the layers present inside the skin. This effect is medically termed as Transepidermal Water Loss or TEWL. The body’s water content is removed to maintain a dry and easily shed surface that serves as a barrier against dirt, pathogens, and damage. It is done so that the skin doesn’t become rigid and brittle. The amount of moisture retained by the skin depends on the lipid layers present between the corneocytes.

Moisturizers help modify the water loss rate, and there are mainly two active ingredients present in a moisturizer known as Humectants and Occlusives. The primary function of occlusives is to coat the skin’s surface with a layer that doesn’t allow the moisture to escape from the body. In contrast, Humectants help absorb water, and thus they maintain the moisture of the skin. They absorb the water that is present in the surroundings and help in moisturizing the skin. However, they only work when there are humid conditions in the environment.

Event Time Gap
Application of sunscreen after moisturizerTwo to five minutes
Sun exposure after applying sunscreenFifteen minutes

Moisturizers are applied so that there is no water loss from the skin. They are applied to the skin gently. However, if a person wants to go out in the sun, then they must apply sunscreen. Sunscreen must be applied two to five minutes after applying the moisturizer. After applying sunscreen, an individual must wait for fifteen minutes before going out in the sun.

Why Does It Take That Long After Moisturizer To Apply Sunscreen?

Sunscreen, also popularly known as sunblock, suncream, or suntan lotion, protects the skin from getting tan in sunlight. Sunscreens can be classified into two types, namely physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, whereas chemical sunscreens have UV organic filters, which help absorb UV rays from the sunlight. Sunscreens help prevent cancer as sunlight contains UV radiation, harming the skin cell and cause skin cancer.

It takes that long after moisturizer to apply sunscreen because of the chemical composition from which moisturizer and sunscreens are composed. If we apply sunscreen immediately after applying moisturizer, the contents of both the creams will be mixed. In such a case, the contents of sunscreen will be diluted, and it won’t be possible for the cream to protect the skin from getting affected.


There are several side effects of applying moisturizer on the skin. It must be ensured that the skin doesn’t get over-moisturized as it will damage the skin. Some people also complain of allergies in the skin, which can be irritating, and they might need medical assistance. Moisturizers also contain paraffin which might catch fire, so the moisturizer should be kept away from fire. In case any medical issues are faced, then the person must seek medical guidance immediately.


Finally, it can be concluded that moisturizers are used to moisturize the skin to dry up properly. Moisturizer is made up of two active ingredients, out of which one is useful for not allowing the moisture to escape from the skin and the other one helps absorb the moisture from the surroundings.

On average, sunscreen should be applied two to five minutes after applying moisturizer as if both of them are applied together. It will lead to dilution of the sunscreen contents, and it won’t be effective for the skin. After sunscreen is applied, a person must wait for fifteen minutes to go out in the sun.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. I appreciate the extensive details about moisturizers, sunscreen, and their effects on the skin. It’s very enlightening.

  2. The information about the side effects of over-moisturizing and allergic reactions is alarming. People need to be aware of these potential risks.

  3. This is a very well-researched and informative article about skincare, focusing on skin hydration and sun protection.

  4. This article does a great job at explaining why the time gap between sunscreen and moisturizer is necessary, and also gives background information on emollients and humectants.

  5. The scientific explanation behind why sunscreen should be applied after moisturizer is convincing. It’s crucial for maintaining the health of the skin.

  6. I find it a bit unnecessary since most people don’t wait that long between these two products and they work perfectly fine for their skin.

    1. It’s necessary because sunscreen needs to be effective, and applying it immediately after moisturizer doesn’t allow the skin to absorb it properly.

    2. I disagree. It’s essential to understand the science behind these products and how they function together.

  7. I don’t see the point of waiting that long to apply sunscreen after moisturizer. Not every person has the luxury of time.

  8. The detailed explanations on the actions of sunscreen and moisturizer are fascinating. It’s an eye-opener for everyone.

  9. The information on the chemical composition of moisturizers and sunscreens is very intriguing. This is essential knowledge for skincare.

  10. The article provides important information about the types of sunscreen and the reasons behind the sun protection steps. Very useful.

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