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Is Moisturizer with SPF the same as Sunscreen?

Is Moisturizer with SPF the same as Sunscreen? The answer is No. Both products are similar, but they are not the same.

In this blog post, we explained how moisturizer with SPF is different from sunscreen.

We would highly recommend that you read this blog post for a better understanding.

What is SPF?

What does SPF mean

SPF is a number that indicates the level of protection a sunscreen gives to its consumers from ultraviolet radiation. It also shows how long a person can expose himself without getting affected by Sunburn. Read more about SPF

What is Moisturizer?

What is Moisturizer & Moisturizer with spf

Moisturizers are products that help keep your skin hydrated. It also helps reduce water loss and maintain the natural moisture level.

What is a moisturizer with SPF?

As the name suggests, moisturizers with SPF have the quality of moisturizing the skin with the benefit of sunscreen. It also protects you from harmful ultraviolet radiation and moisturizes your skin.

Also, Read: Can Neutrogena Sunscreen be Used as a Moisturizer?

When should you use an SPF-based moisturizer?

As a morning skincare routine, you can use a moisturizer with SPF if your skin is sensitive to the sun.

Before makeup: You can use a moisturizer with SPF before makeup; it won’t affect the makeover result.

Routine activities: moisturizer Having sunscreen can be a good option while doing routine activities like shopping, commuting, or spending time indoors.

Cloudy days: When days are cloudy, you think that UV rays won’t harm your skin, but that’s not true. Can use moisturizer with SPF when days are cloudy.

How effective is a moisturizer with SPF on UV rays?

How effective is a moisturizer with SPF on UV rays

The effectiveness of a moisturizer with SPF depends on the SPF value of your moisturizer. Here are some factors that show how effective moisturizing with SPF is against UV rays.

SPF Value: A higher SPF indicates high protection from UV rays. Generally, in the market, SPF 30 is popular because it helps you stay in the sun 30 times longer.

Formulation and ingredients used: The ingredients used to prepare moisturizer with SPF influence its effectiveness on the skin.

Broad spectrum protection: Broad spectrum stands for protection from UVB and UVA rays.

The amount applied: It has been seen that most people apply a moisturizer with a lower SPF than recommended. To achieve the labeled SPF level, you have to apply it adequately.

Reapplication: Activities like sweating, swimming, and rubbing decrease the effectiveness of moisturizers with SPF. That’s why it is important to reapply it every 2 hours.

Benefits of Moisturizer with SPF

Hydration: Those moisturizers that have spf contain some protection benefits with moisturizing properties, which make them less prone to dryness.

Daily sun protection: For routine activities like commuting or shopping, a moisturizer with SPF is a great choice.

Skin comfort: It helps reduce the risk of irritation when you use a moisturizer with SPF.

Good for Indoor activities: Moisturizers that have SPF can be a good option for indoor activities.

Variety of availability: It comes in different formulations for various skin types, shirts, or concerns. Different formulations are used as per the preferences and needs of different skin types.

How long does moisturizer with SPF last?

It has been noticed that moisturizers that have SPF should be on every 2 hours because activities like swimming, towel drying, and sweating may remove the moisturizer.

How to choose the best Moisturizer with SPF

Here are some factors that you can consider before choosing a moisturizer with SPF:

Skin type

 If your skin is oily, you can go for lightweight and oil-free moisturizers so that your face is not greasy. But if you have a combination of dry and oily skin, then choose a balanced formula so that your skin gets a high rating without getting excess oil.

Ingredients used

Our skin may react differently to various ingredients. It is important to check whether your skin reacts negatively to certain ingredients or not.

Skin issues

 If you have acne-prone skin, then you have to go for oil-free options, but if you have sensitive skin, then fragrance-free moisturizers can be good.

Consistency and texture

Based on your preference, you can choose to go for cream, lotion, or gel.

SPF protection

 Before choosing a moisturizer with SPF, first, check whether SPF provides broad-spectrum protection or not.


You have to opt for moisturizers that have packaging that protects them moisturizer from light exposure.

Patch test

Before buying an actual moisturizer, it’s important to take a sample and test it on a small area. You just have to check whether your skin has adapted to that moisturizer or not.

Dermatologist opinion

If you are already suffering from other skin problems and still want to use a moisturizer with SPF, then it is better to seek consultation from a dermatologist.

What is Sunscreen and when it should be used?

When you should use Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a crime of lotion that helps to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. This ultraviolet radiation can cause sunburn and other skin-related issues.

Is sunscreen used as a moisturizer?

They can be used as a moisturizer in some cases, but they are not exactly a replacement for a dedicated moisturizer. The job of sunscreen is to protect you from harmful rays, while moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated. Sunscreen may not be a good option if you want significant hydration, but you can use moisturizer just before sunscreen.

Benefits of Sunscreen.

One of the basic benefits of sunscreen is that it protects from harmful rays. This protection can be achieved when you use broad-spectrum sunscreen based on broad-spectrum protection. 

It should also be noted that when you use less than the recommended amount of sunscreen on your skin, you won’t get the labeled result.

Can you use sunscreen as a moisturizer?

The answer is yes; you can use sunscreen as a moisturizer in some cases, like when you have oily or normal skin. When you have dry skin, you cannot use sunscreen as a moisturizer because the ingredients in sunscreen are not enough to hydrate your skin. That’s why you have to choose a dedicated moisturizer.

Moisturizer with SPF vs. sunscreen Which one to choose?

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, then you have to go for a dedicated sunscreen with a high SPF, but if you spend most time indoors, then a moisturizer with SPF can be a good option.

Why can’t an SPF-based moisturizer replace Dedicated sunscreen?

The SPF-based moisturizer has a lower amount of sun protection ingredients, which is why it can’t be replaced with a dedicated sunscreen.


Which is better, moisturizer or sunscreen?

For skin hydration, moisturizer is best, and for skin protection from ultraviolet rays, sunscreen is best.

Can I put sunscreen over moisturizer?

First, you have to apply moisturizer and then sunscreen for better results.

Does moisturizer act as sunscreen?

Yes, moisturizers with SPF act as sunscreens in some cases.

Can I use a moisturizer with a high SPF at night?

You can use a moisturizer with SPF at night without any issues.

Which comes first, moisturizer or sunscreen?

First, you have to apply moisturizer, then sunscreen, so that the sunscreen protects you from harmful rays.

Conclusion on “Is Moisturizer with SPF the same as sunscreen?”

Moisturizer with SPF works effectively indoors, but when it comes to dedicated outdoor activities, sunscreen is the best option.

This happens because moisturizers with SPF have a combination of moisturizing and sun-protecting ingredients, but sunscreens have dedicated ingredients that protect you from harmful ultraviolet rays.

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