Does sunscreen need to go on first or does it matter?

Hi Dr. Irwin, Great to get some honest skincare answers on the internet. You're a gem! I recently came across a site called derm tv which is run by Dr. Schultz. He seems very qualified but one of things he said was to put on sunblock first. This flies in the face of everything I have believed when it comes to sunblock. Indeed I have come across a few sites since that recommend this as well. Personally, I would much rather put it on last. I use La Roche Posay Anthelios 50. What do you think?

Glad you asked this – I think a lot of people are confused.  If you are using a chemical sunscreen (like the Anthelios) which needs to bind to skin cells to work, generally put it on first.  If you are using a physical sunscreen, like one with zinc or titanium, then it doesn’t matter so much because it works by reflecting light away from your skin with tiny little particles.

If you are layering several sunscreens like I do in high sunlight situations, then put the chemical one on first and then the physical sunscreen.   Hope this is clear!   Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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