I’ve received quite a few emails asking what moisturizer I use with my sunscreen. Actually I don’t. I’m not a big fan of layering products on my skin. Its hard enough for bare skin to absorb ingredients in a single product. I can’t help but think that adding a separate moisturizer interferes with absobption of sun protection chemicals. And thats what they have to do to be effective. Rather than sit on your face like a ski mask, most sunblocks work within the skin to deal with UV rays.
If you have dry skin or if you are using Retin A and you feel as if your skin is thirsty using just a sunblock, I have two suggestions:
1. Rather than using a traditional sunscreen, use a moisturizer than also has an SPF of at least 30. In fact my go-to product is exactly that– Aveeno Ultra- Calming Moisturizer ( SPF30). This is what I successfully used during the winter in my first months on Retin A.
2. Use a “rich” sunscreen. Many sunscreens are pleased to describe themselves as ‘oil-free’, ‘dry- touch’, or ‘non-greasy’. This means they won’t clog pores, provoke breakouts or leave the skin with a shiny surface – all very good things. But if your sunscreen drags on your face when its applied, or your face face feels tighter after you put it on, look for products that boast of their richness and/or avoid those with oil free type claims. Dry sensitive skin definately needs this type of richer formulation.
Changing to a single product which works both as a moisturizer AND sun block to both save money and avoid the drawbacks of layering. If you have acne prone or sensitive skin I would select a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium oxide rather than a chemical sunscreen with ingredients like oxybenzone. Chemical sunscreens offer broad spectrum protection but can be inflammatory for sensitive skin types.
Send in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don’t have the answer I will find an expert that does.