Preventing Sun Damage: Sunscreen vs. Moisturizers

Sunscreen vs. Moisturizers | Spectrum Dermatology, Scottsdale

Preventing Sun Damage: Sunscreen vs. Moisturizers

Think sunscreen and moisturizers with SPF are equals when it comes to preventing sun damage? Think again, because, at Spectrum Dermatology, experts know that sunscreen always comes out on top. You’ll see a lot of facial moisturizers that boast about their sun protection prowess. However, researchers at Aintree University Teaching Hospital in the UK found that sunscreen repeatedly does a better job of stopping sun damage.

The problem is user error. A lot of people don’t comprehensively apply SPF-rich moisturizers to their face compared with sunscreen. Plus, a lot of moisturizers simply don’t have as much SPF as their sunscreen counterparts. According to lead study author Austin McCormick, “We do recommend SPF in moisturizers because some protection is better than none. However, if prolonged sun exposure is planned, then sunscreen should be used as thoroughly as possible.”

There are many facial sunscreens available that aren’t greasy, don’t cause breakouts, and actually feel good on the face. Using a sunscreen designed for the body might protect the face from sun damage, but at the expense of a breakout. The best facial sunscreens are only available in dermatology offices.

Part of developing a skin health regimen with your dermatologist is finding protection against sun damage that works for you. If you love being in the water, you’ll want to avoid sunscreens with ingredients that have now been banned in Hawaii (oxybenzone and octinoxate). You will also likely want a separate sunscreen for your face, body, and scalp.

The reason a lot of people don’t do a good job of applying SPF-rich moisturizer to the face is that they put on too thin of a layer and avoid the eyes. However, people really don’t fare well at putting sunscreen or any other protection on their scalp. The hair part is particularly vulnerable to sun damage due to its location and lack of protection.

Schedule Your Appointment at Spectrum Dermatology Today!

Preventing sun damage is the best way to prevent skin cancer. Make sure you have the right tools and sunscreen as we go into summer. Call Spectrum Dermatology at 480-948-8400 to schedule your appointment today.