Is It Bad to Use Moisturizer with Sunscreen at Bedtime?

a woman sleeping with an eye mask on

Updated 1/6/18. One habit that I have seen many people get into is using the same moisturizer both morning and night. They’re trying to keep their life simple by just using one product, and I certainly can respect this. But what if you’re using that same SPF moisturizer at night? Is it harmful to your skin?

Harmful, no, but not recommended. If you are someone who absolutely will only use the same exact moisturizer both day and night, it is better to have one with a sunscreen. After all, sunscreen IS the best product on the planet for the prevention of the appearance of lines, wrinkles. And let’s not forget skin cancer. In this post, I’ll share three reasons why sunscreen at night is not ideal.

1. At night your skin is in repair mode and requires a different type of moisturizer with specialized ingredients (hello retinol and exfoliants!) for optimum skin health. While you sleep, your skin is at rest and is not being exposed to the daytime environmental stressors that age the skin so you can apply more active products. Watch this video of my favorite night time skin tip.

2. Sunscreens may potentially be clogging your pores. Certain sunscreen ingredients may cause this for skin types prone to congestion. Using it at night when your skin doesn’t need it is never a good idea for your pores.

This is why, for those with acne-prone skin it’s important to use sun protection that won’t cause a blockage in the pores that leads to breakout activity. I recommend this lightweight sunscreen to my blemish-prone clients.

3. Your skin doesn’t benefit from using the same product all the time, year-round. While I don’t believe your skin gets used to products and stop working (read why here), I do believe it is helpful to give your skin a change by switching to different products depending on the season. Your skin will most certainly benefit from changing up morning and night since your skin benefits from exposing it to different performance ingredients. It’s good to up your skincare routine at night by using more advanced active ingredients. Read the Beginner’s Guide To Using Retinol Or Prescription Retinoids and the Beginner’s Guide To Exfoliation to learn how to get started.

I’m a skin type #2 (see these nine skin types) and I personally like to change up 1-2 products in my skincare routine every change of season, primarily because my skin has different needs. This is a well-rounded approach that I find beneficial and I advise my clients to do the same.

Bottom line: It’s generally not harmful to use a moisturizer with SPF at night, it’s just not the best strategy for your skin if you want it to look and feel its best.

Which skin care products are best for you? See our nine skin types or take the Skin Type Quiz and get products recommended.

Need expert advice from a licensed esthetician? Schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.

For more expert advice check out the blog. Also, sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and Instagram and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time. Get the #ReneeRouleauGlow!

Disclaimer: Content found on and, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.


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  1. Dear Renée Rouleau,

    I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for your blog post titled “Is It Bad to Use Moisturizer with Sunscreen at Bedtime?” Your insights on skincare and the importance of using appropriate products at different times of the day are truly valuable.

    I completely understand the desire to simplify skincare routines by using the same moisturizer both morning and night. However, your explanation of why using a moisturizer with sunscreen at night is not ideal makes perfect sense. Your three reasons for avoiding sunscreen at night, namely the need for specialized ingredients during skin’s repair mode, the potential for clogged pores, and the benefits of changing products with different performance ingredients, are enlightening.

    I particularly appreciate your emphasis on giving the skin a change by switching products based on the season and its evolving needs. Your personal approach of changing 1-2 products in your skincare routine with each season is a well-rounded strategy that I find intriguing and beneficial. It’s evident that you prioritize optimal skin health and share that wisdom with your clients.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise and providing such insightful advice to your readers. I will definitely explore your blog further for more expert skincare tips. Additionally, the opportunity to schedule a virtual consultation with a licensed esthetician is a fantastic resource for personalized advice.

    I look forward to continuing to learn from your expertise and achieving the #ReneeRouleauGlow!

    Best regards,

    Posted By: manoj  | 

  2. I work at night and sleep during the day from 10:30am to 5:30 pm. Should i wear sunscreen during the day when i’m sleeping. I live in a tropical zone and sun is quite strong.

    Posted By: Elena  | 

    • If any daylight sees your skin, then yes, you will want to wear it. Daylight, not just sunlight, is what damages the DNA of the cells and causes premature aging.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  3. thank u for such nice tips 🙂

    Posted By: zouina  | 


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