Sunscreen and moisturizer are two very different kinds of products, and it’s important to apply them correctly so that you don’t do more harm than good. If you’re unsure of which order to apply them in, here are some tips that will help you to get it right the first time.

When to apply sunscreen

Experts recommend applying sunscreen to your skin 20-30 minutes before you plan on going outside. This will give it enough time to soak into your skin and protect it during peak UV exposure. Depending on how long you plan on being outside for and how high of a SPF you’re using, reapply every 2 hours for maximum protection. If you’re swimming or sweating excessively (which can cause your sunblock to wear off) make sure to reapply it immediately after those activities.

When To Apply Moisturizer

Sunscreen and moisturizer are two very important steps in your skin-care routine. Although many people are under the impression that sunscreen should be applied first, it’s actually better to apply moisturizer. When you apply sunscreen first, it has a tendency to dilute your moisturizer and leave your skin feeling less hydrated than it needs to be. This is why experts suggest applying your facial products in a certain order for best results: always start with sunscreen and then follow up with moisturizer.

For Oily Skin

You don’t want to clog your pores. Oily skin already has a hard time keeping itself clean, so it’s best to apply a light moisturizer first. Sunscreens work better on oily skin; most contain oil-absorbing ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that dry down as they protect your skin from harmful UV rays. If you can find one with a matte finish (oil-absorbing silicones are often used in these formulas), even better!

For Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, start with a moisturizer; in fact, your moisturizer should be your first layer of defense against UV rays. Applying sunscreen to dry skin can actually make it feel drier due to an effect called oil blotting: Sunscreen creates a layer on top of your skin that acts as a barrier between it and any other products you might apply (including moisturizers). The end result is less hydrated skin.