Can I Use Sunscreen As A Moisturizer?

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Sunscreen is an important part of any skincare routine, but finding the right one can be a challenge. 

There are so many options on the market, and each one claims to be the best. 

But what if there was a sunscreen that could also double as a moisturizer? Can sunscreen double as a moisturizer?

The answer is yes!

a close up image of a woman's hand with sunscreen as moisturizer on hand

Can You Use Sunscreen as a Lotion?

Yes, you can use sunscreen as a lotion. In fact, many sunscreens are also marketed as lotions.

Sunscreen works by absorbing or reflecting ultraviolet (UV) light. This is important because it prevents UV light from reaching your skin.

There are two types of UV light:

  • UVA – UVA rays are the main cause of premature aging and skin cancer.
  • UVB – UVB rays are the main cause of sunburns.

Sunscreen helps protect your skin from these harmful rays.  

What’s the Difference Between Chemical vs Physical Sunscreen?

There are two main types of sunscreen:


Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays, while physical sunscreens work by reflecting the UV rays.

They are typically more lightweight and easy to apply, but they can be irritating to the skin.


Physical sunscreens tend to be thicker, but they are less irritating and often have a matte finish.

Both types of sunscreen are effective at protecting the skin from damage.

How To Use Sunscreen as a Moisturizer

Moisturizers are different from lotions in that they can lock in moisture. Moisturizers will keep your skin hydrated as well as increase its elasticity.

To replace moisturizer with sunscreen, apply the sunscreen to your face and body before going outside. 

a young asian girl applying sunscreen as a moisturizer on her body and face

Also, don’t forget to reapply throughout the day if necessary. 

You can also use sunscreen to moisturize your hands and feet. Sunscreen is different from lotion in that it is a chemical-based product. Sunscreens come in several forms, including as a spray and as an aerosol.

The spray is not only convenient, but it also helps to even out the product. The aerosol sunscreen is easy to apply and dries fast. 

The two forms of sunscreen may be used interchangeably.

Should Sunscreen Be Applied Before or After Moisturizer?

There is some debate about whether it is better to apply sunscreen before or after moisturizer.

Some say that applying sunscreen first provides a barrier against the sun’s harmful rays. Others find that applying moisturizer first helps to lock in hydration. This helps in preventing the sunscreen from evaporating. 

So, what is the best way to apply sunscreen?

The answer may depend on your skin type:

  • Oily skin – It may be best to apply the moisturizer first so that it acts as a moisture barrier.
  • Dry skin – There’s no need for a barrier and the sunscreen can be applied first.
  • Combination skin – You can apply sunscreen first or last. The main thing is to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays all year long.

What Ingredients In Sunscreen Make It a Good Moisturizer?

To keep your skin healthy and hydrated, few products are as versatile as sunscreen.

Here are some of the key ingredients to look for in sunscreen if you’re also hoping to use it as a moisturizer:

Amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks that help to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.


Glycerin helps to prevent moisture loss from your skin.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid helps to keep skin looking plump and youthful.

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that will help to fight the signs of aging.

a woman wearing white bath robe holding slice of orange on both hands while smiling at the camera

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps to keep skin soft and supple.


Aloe extract has healing, soothing properties. It soothes irritated skin and provided relief from sunburn.

Soybean oil

Soybean oil helps to keep skin soft and supple.

Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid helps to exfoliate the skin.  Removing dead skin cells will get rid of a dull-looking complexion.

Lactic acid

Lactic acid also helps to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells that can result in a dull-looking complexion.

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 helps to moisturize and soften the skin.

Can Using Sunscreen Daily as a Moisturizer Be Harmful?

Most people believe sunscreen is only necessary during the summer months.  

Yet, dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen every day, even when indoors.

But, there are sunscreens that can be harmful if used daily. These include sunscreens containing chemicals such as oxybenzone and avobenzone. These chemicals have been attributed to hormone disruption. 

Also, they have the potential to develop skin cancer.

The danger of using these chemicals daily is so great that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has given sunscreens with these ingredients a “dirty dozen” rating. 

But, not all sunscreen ingredients are harmful. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have been shown to be safe for regular use.  

It is important to remember that not all sunscreens are created equal. Each sunscreen has different ingredients as well as varying levels of said ingredients.  

So it is best to check the label before purchasing.

What About Moisturizers with Sunscreen?

With the rising popularity of beauty and skin care, many people are now looking for products that can do more than one thing.

This has led to the rise of moisturizers with SPF. SPF, or sun protection factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Moisturizers with SPF provide both hydration and sun protection. This makes them a popular choice among consumers.

For those who already use a moisturizer and would like to add an SPF to it, look for the following on the label: 

Broad spectrum protection

Broad spectrum protection means that the product protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are responsible for tanning and UVB rays are the ones that burn. 

If you use a moisturizer with SPF, make sure that it offers broad-spectrum protection. This will protect your skin from all types of UV rays. Look for a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher

Anything less than that won’t protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair UV SPF Moisturizer

We love La Roche-Posay Double Repair UV because it is an oil free alternative to moisturize skin and provide UV protection.  

Primary Benefits: Helps to blocks out harmful UV rays, hydrates skin, all natural moisturizing lotion.


  • Facial moisturizer with SPF 30
  • Provides all day hydration
  • Helps restores skin’s barrier quickly

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair UV SPF Moisturizer is sensitive skin tested, fragrance-free, and helps to keep skin healthy.

Is Using Sunscreen as Moisturizer a Good Idea For Oily Skin?

Oily skin is prone to breakouts, so choosing the right moisturizer is key.

Sunscreens can be a good option for those with oily skin, as they can help to control shine and prevent breakouts.

However, it is important to choose a sunscreen that is non-comedogenic and oil-free, as otherwise it may clog pores and cause breakouts.

Are There Natural Products That Can Be Used as a Sunscreen and Moisturizer?


There are a lot of natural oils that can be used as sunscreen. Unlike chemical sunscreens, natural oils do not contain any harmful toxins or chemicals.

Also, these oils have been proven to be effective in protecting the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. They are also very moisturizing, so they can help keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

Some of the most popular natural oils include:

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has a natural SPF of about 8, which means it can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Coconut oil is also non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores.

There are some downsides to using coconut oil as sunscreen, however.

Coconut oil can be difficult to apply evenly and can make the skin feel greasy.

Viva Naturals Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil

We love this coconut oil to help protect your skin by keeping it hydrated and from harmful sun exposure.

Primary Benefits:   Helps to blocks out harmful UV rays, hydrates skin, all natural


  • 100 % USDA organic
  • Unrefined extra virgin 
  • Non-GMO

Viva-Naturals organic coconut oil will help protect your skin from sun damage as well as nourish.

Olive oil

Olive oil is not just for cooking. It can also be used as a sunscreen.

The fatty acids in olive oil can help to protect the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It has an SPF of 8-10, which means it blocks about 80-90% of the sun’s UV rays.

Olive oil also has antioxidants that can help to protect the skin from damage.

To use olive oil as a sunscreen, apply it to the skin before going outside. Reapply every two hours, or as needed.

Ancient Greek Remedy Unscented Organic Blend Facial & Body Oil

We love this olive oil blend of raw ingredients to protect and soften the most sensitive of skin types.

Primary Benefits: Excellent for sensitive skin, unscented, packed with nutrients


  • 100% cold-pressed oils
  • Blend of olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, Grape seed oil, sunflower oil & vitamin E oil
  • No chemicals or preservatives

Ancient Greek Remedy is perfect for those with sensitive skin and can be used for other applications like hair and nails as well.

Avocado oil

Avocado oil has an SPF of about 20.

It’s packed with vitamins A, D, and E, which are excellent for your skin. Plus, avocado oil is non-greasy and will not clog pores.

Maple Holistics Avocado Oil

What we love about Maple Holistics avocado oil is their belief in real products for real results. 

Primary Benefits:   Pure all natural oil to hydrate and protect skin. 


  • Pure avocado oil
  • Rich in oleic acid and vitamin e 
  • Anti-aging moisturizer

Maple Holistics avocado oil will not only help you protect your skin from sun damage but hydrate with natural ingredients. 


In conclusion, sunscreen can be used as a moisturizer, but it is important to choose the right sunscreen for your skin type.

  • If you have dry skin, look for a sunscreen that contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin.
  • If you have oily skin, look for a sunscreen that is oil-free and non-comedogenic.
  • And, if you have sensitive skin, look for a sunscreen that is free of fragrance, parabens, and sulfates.

If you are unsure about which sunscreen to use, consult a dermatologist.


  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

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