We have all been there, staring at the endless aisle of skincare trying to decide what will work best. We know that sunscreen is important, but now so many products list an SPF. Is that good enough? can we just use our moisturizer with SPF and call it a day?

A lot of dermatologists and respected skincare experts are speaking out. Unfortunately, they all seem to agree that cosmetics and moisturizers with SPF are not the same as sunscreen. But, why?


Think about when you apply sunscreen. Specifically, think about how much sunscreen you usually apply when putting in on your face before a day out in the sun. Now think about your moisturizer and how much of that you apply. Typically, it is a lot less.

Researchers are finding that when we rely on moisturizers or foundations with SPF we apply much to think of a layer for it to really provide much protection. Also, as a way to keep cosmetic products feeling light and maintaining their transparent properties, the SPF is often 15 or 20. The higher the SPF, the more difficult it is to add it into cosmetic products without changing their feel or application. But, especially when in direct sun (including sitting in an office by a window, or driving in the car all day) you truly need an SPF of 30+ to give sufficient coverage.


The last point of concern is most cosmetics with sunscreen use a chemical, avobenzone, as the active ingredient. There is a ton of information out there about avobenzone and it’s safety and efficacy. The one thing that is unanimously agreed on in that avobenzone breaks down quickly and will only give you 30 min- maybe a few hours of protection. 


So what’s a girl to do? Go with a sunscreen designed for daily wear. There are lots of great choices out there depending on your skin and what you are looking for. We love a nice tinted sunscreen and often recommend Obagi or Skinmedica. Color Science also makes a really amazing powder/ brush on sunscreen that makes applying sunscreen so easy.

What if you hate the feel of sunscreen or feel that it makes your face feel greasy? Check out a matte sunscreen, these are specifically designed NOT to leave that dewey finish and are perfect for those with oily skin. They are also wonderful for use under makeup.


Do you have a favorite daily sunscreen? Share what you use and tell us your thoughts!


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