Moisturisers With SPF vs A Separate SPF

Separate SPF
Moisturisers With SPF Vs A Separate SPF. Photo by KaryB

It’s getting brighter, with more sunny days coming. Thoughts turn to spending more time outdoors, and the need for more SPF in our routines to protect our skin from sun damage. Is it enough to use moisturisers with SPF or is it better to have a separate SPF? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both.


“I lead such a busy life, why should I use a separate SPF when I can use a multi-tasking moisturiser which includes an SPF?”

We hear you! Really, it comes down to personal choice and how we use the products:

  • A combined moisturiser/SPF product is the simplest option as it reduces the number of products used (and the amount we’re carrying when travelling). For most of us, it’s more convenient as it saves time and money too.
  • The most important factor to keep in mind is that a moisturiser’s primary purpose is to prevent skin from drying out by providing the hydration and nourishment it needs for a happy, healthy complexion. Protecting against UVA and UVB rays is secondary – the results of damage can be irreversible so it’s best to always put this first and make sure whatever product you choose covers both.
  • To keep the formula lightweight and enable it to easily penetrate the layers of the skin, the added SPF element of the moisturiser is commonly around factor 15 – one of the lowest available. This becomes further diluted as it soaks into the skin. We’d always recommend opting for a minimum of SPF30 to provide adequate protection, so do look at the product claims when making your decision.
  • When moisturising it is so easy to miss certain areas of our face. The skin around our eyes and lips is very sensitive but these are areas which are often forgotten. Whether you use a multi-purpose product or a separate SPF, pay special attention to the areas that are especially vulnerable to the sun’s rays.
  • We don’t tend to slather on moisturiser as thoroughly as we would when we apply a separate SPF and we don’t regularly top it up throughout the day as this can leave skin looking and feeling greasy. This means we’re probably applying too thin a layer for it to be effective enough as an SPF, not keeping ourselves protected all day long and potentially removing it completely as the moisturiser is generally not water-resistant.

A separate SPF is designed to do one thing – protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays.

It works in tandem with the other products in your routine but focuses on keeping the skin safe from the sun. Massage in your moisturiser, let it do its job by soaking into the skin and then apply the separate SPF. The minerals will act as a shield and sit on top of the skin reflecting UV rays off the surface.

You can also use it over your face oil if you want to skip the moisturiser one day. Face oils also have a primary job to do – they hydrate, nourish, protect and support the regeneration of the skin. They provide a source of antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins, help the skin retain moisture, stimulate cells in the epidermis, repair the skin barrier, increase levels of collagen and elastin, and support a soft and smooth complexion.

In using a separate SPF – providing you regularly top this up – you are left in no doubt that your skin is being protected.


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