in

Should You Apply Primer or Sunscreen First? What’s the Best Way?

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

In a multi-step skincare routine, the order you apply things is critical. But working out how things should flow is difficult and time-consuming. While there is flexibility for when to apply certain products in your routine, this isn’t true for all products.

Primers and sunscreen are all beauty products for a flawless complexion. Should you apply primer or sunscreen first?

It’s like choosing between protecting your skin from harmful UV rays and having your makeup look its best.

Let us look into this and other related questions to gain a better understanding.


Primer and Sunscreen Basics

A primer is used to keep your makeup in place throughout the day. It also conceals pores, wrinkles, and other uneven surfaces on your skin and prevents your makeup from looking cakey.

A good primer should be waterproof and sweatproof to serve you well, even on hot summer days. 

A good primer should be waterproof and sweatproof to serve you well, even on hot summer days. 

Sunscreens, on the other hand, protect the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays by absorbing or reflecting sunlight. They also protect against sunburns and premature aging and lower the risk of skin cancer. 

Most sunscreens have a sun protection factor (SPF) number, which determines how well they can protect against UVB rays.

The higher the SPF, the better the effectiveness of the sunscreen in protecting your skin from sunburn and damage.


Should You Apply Sunscreen First, Or Primer First?

Now that you understand the distinction between a primer and a sunscreen, you may be wondering which should be applied first. If you use a separate sunscreen and primer, sun protection should always come first. 

If you use a separate sunscreen and primer, sun protection should always come first. 

Sunscreen should always be applied before primer or other makeup, assuming the makeup doesn’t already have sun protection included.

This allows the sunscreen to penetrate your skin and work to protect you from getting a sunburn or skin damage from UV rays.


Why You Should Apply Sunscreen First

Most sunscreens are designed to be applied on bare skin. Wearing sunscreen under a primer prevents your sunscreen from protecting your skin from harmful sun rays.

Even applying makeup on top of your sunscreen is often not recommended, but let’s be realistic here! 

Apply sunscreen at least 15 – 30 minutes before your primer for best results. This allows the sunscreen enough time to settle and become absorbed onto your skin.

Apply sunscreen at least 15 – 30 minutes before your primer for best results. This allows the sunscreen enough time to settle and become absorbed onto your skin.

If you can’t wait that long, you can use a primer that has sunscreen built-in. Just make sure you don’t skip having adequate sunscreen in your skincare routine. 

Glo Skin Beauty Tinted Primer with SPF 30 | Prime and Protect with This Oil-Free, Tinted Formula, (Medium)
  • TINTED PRIMER: A silky, oil free, tinted...
  • PREP: Wear alone for sheer radiance or...
  • RADIANCE: Apply under your mineral...
  • LIGHT-WEIGHT: Great for evening skin...
  • GLO SKIN BEAUTY: Delivering on the...

How to Use a Primer with Sunscreen

Wash and dry your face, and apply a generous amount of good sunscreen. Apply a moisturizer to your face, followed by a generous layer of sunscreen. Allow the sunscreen to penetrate the skin for a few minutes before applying your primer.

Sunscreen works best if applied at least 15-30 minutes before going outside. 

Sunscreen works best if applied at least 15-30 minutes before going outside. 

If you are going to be in the sun for an extended period, reapply sunscreen every 90 minutes to 2 hours to stay protected. Even if you are wearing makeup, you can still reapply the sunscreen on top if you can’t wash it off.

Remember, sunscreen is always applied first. It should also be reapplied after swimming or sweating.


Can You Replace Sunscreen with Primer?

Sunscreen is a moisturizer with SPF that can be used as a moisturizer during the summer. Most sunscreens have a hydrating base that keeps the skin from drying out in hot weather.

The best face primer substitute is oil-free sunscreen. This is because they don’t leave a sticky residue on your skin and have a matte finish, which is ideal for applying makeup. 

However, because primers and sunscreens serve completely different functions, it is usually best to keep them separate. Again, different skin types have different needs, so always wear sunscreen when you’ll be in the sun for extended periods. 

Because primers and sunscreens serve completely different functions, it is usually best to keep them separate.


Should You Use Sunscreen Before or After Moisturizer?

There’s a lot of argument over whether sunscreen should be applied before or after moisturizer. In all honesty, the answer is dependent on several factors. The type of sunscreen you use is an important consideration. 

If you’re using a chemical sunscreen, apply it before your moisturizer. This allows it to be absorbed through the skin. This is because chemical sunscreens work by absorbing into your skin. 

On the other hand, mineral sunscreens can be applied after the moisturizer as a protective layer against the sun. This is since they contain ingredients that form a barrier between your skin and the sun, reflecting harmful UV light.


Should You Use a Primer Before or After Moisturizer?

You’re always wondering which comes first, primer or moisturizer? Primers and moisturizers have different functions, so it’s important to distinguish between them before incorporating them into your regimen. The truth is that you should always apply moisturizer before a primer. The moisturizer’s function is to lock in moisture and keep the skin from drying. 

On the other hand, a primer creates an ideal canvas to hold onto your makeup and keep it looking fresh all day long. Applying the primer first puts your skin at risk of drying.

This is because primers are not designed to provide moisture to the skin. Moisturize before applying your primer. In many ways, moisturizing is separate from the rest of your skincare routine and should be done first. Let your moisturizer dry for a minute or two before applying your primer.

In many ways, moisturizing is separate from the rest of your skincare routine and should be done first. Let your moisturizer dry for a minute or two before applying your primer.


The Bottom Line

Hopefully, this article has helped you feel more confident about the order to apply your sunscreen and primer. Here are some quick tips to remember:

  1. Applying sunscreen and primers as part of your makeup routine is important. A primer will keep your makeup in place throughout the day, while a sunscreen will protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  2. Don’t mix your sunscreen and moisturizer before applying your primer. Doing so lessens the efficacy of the sunscreen and reduces its ability to protect your skin.
  3. Chemical Sunscreen is most effective when applied directly to the skin.
  4. Mineral Sunscreen sits on top of the skin.

8 Mistakes You’re Making While Using Self-Tanner

Does Mascara Come Out of Clothes? What’s the Best Way Without Ruining Your Top?