In what order should I apply serum, sunscreen and moisturizer? What goes on first?
Answer: This depends on whether you are using a physical or chemical formulation. Check the label – if it lists Parsol, mexoryl, oxybenzone or avebenzone as an ingredient, the formula is chemical. If it does not contain any of these and lists zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, it’s physical. If, however, it contains ingredients from both categories, treat it as chemical.
Chemical sunscreens need to sink into the skin, so they go first – apply them onto clean, dry skin, wait a minute and then follow up with serum and moisturizer (in that order).
Physical sunblocks, on the other hand, create an opaque barrier on your skin and won’t allow any other product to work effectively over them – so, if you put moisturizer over sunblock, the latter will stop the former from being effective. Plus, the act of putting on the moisturizer or serum over the physical formulation can give the sunblock a patchy effect, thereby reducing your sun protection. So it should be serum (the lightest product always goes on first), then moisturizer, then sunblock.
Foundation, concealer, powder etc go on last in both cases!
Keep writing in with your questions!