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Best Moisturizers With Sunscreen

Sunscreens are essential for skin care day in and day out, 365 days a year. If applied correctly (meaning liberally and reapplied as often as needed), they are the best anti-wrinkle product you can use. In order to make the Best Products list, a moisturizer with sunscreen must: 

  • Provide broad-spectrum sun protection and be rated SPF 15 or greater
  • Help skin fight sun damage
  • Increase healthy collagen production
  • Contain a mix of antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, and cell-communicating ingredients
  • Protect skin from environmental damage
  • Improve skin texture
  • Contain the appropriate ingredients for your skin type
  • Not be packaged in a jar

Many, if not most, of the changes that take place on our skin over the years, such as wrinkles, brown spots, broken capillaries, loss of elasticity, texture problems, and dryness, are the result of sun damage from exposure to the sun without appropriate or adequate sun protection.

Sunscreens can potentially help prevent some forms of skin cancer and are an absolute must if you have already been treated for any type of skin cancer (or have a family history of it).

If you are not using a sunscreen of some kind (lotion, cream, gel, serum, or foundation with sunscreen) with SPF 15 or greater and that contains the UVA-protecting ingredients of avobenzone, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, Mexoryl SX, or, outside the United States, Tinosorb, then you are doing nothing of lasting value for the long-term health of your skin. Really!

All of the anti-wrinkle, firming, anti-aging, skin tone-evening, or rejuvenating products in the world are completely and totally useless if you are not protecting your skin from the sun every day. It is of vital importance to the health of your skin to include a well-formulated sunscreen in your daily skin-care routine. Arguably, the most unethical thing the cosmetics industry does is sell women a plethora of anti-wrinkle products that more often than not do not include reliable sun protection.

In the last few years many cosmetics chemists have created lightweight sunscreens whose texture and typically smooth matte finish are just what someone struggling with oily skin or oily areas needs. Still, for the face, someone with oily skin may prefer to use a foundation with sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater, and apply a well-formulated sunscreen from the neck down. Although it's less difficult for someone with oily skin, it still takes experimentation to figure out what product with sunscreen works best for you.

Those dealing with breakout-prone skin should consider sunscreens reviewed as best for normal to slightly dry or oily/combination skin. Keep in mind that despite non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic claims made on labels, no sunscreen is guaranteed to be problem-free for someone struggling with acne.

All of the moisturizers with sunscreen on this list were rated highly for two important reasons:

  1. Each has an SPF 15 or greater and includes avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX, or Tinosorb (the latter approved for use outside the United States) as one or more of the active ingredients (if these are listed someplace else on the ingredient list, it does not count toward reliable sun protection). Avobenzone may be listed on an ingredient label by its chemical name, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, and Mexoryl SX may be listed as ecamsule.
  2. Every moisturizer with sunscreen on this list contains a range of antioxidants and also includes other skin-beneficial ingredients such as those that mimic healthy skin’s structural components. These ingredients work to help skin look and act younger!

Antioxidants are proving to be an incredibly helpful addition to sunscreens because they not only boost the efficacy of the active ingredients, but also help offset free-radical damage from sun exposure.

Selecting a daytime moisturizer with sunscreen without antioxidants isn’t giving your skin as much of a fighting chance against the cascade of damage that sun exposure can cause (and that can be dramatically minimized with diligent, liberal application and, when needed, reapplication, of sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater).

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