Splurge or Save: SPF Moisturizers 

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SPLURGE OR SAVE? Verdict: Save!

Whether it's sunny or cloudy outside, you should always have a protective layer of sunscreen on your face before venturing out. Sunscreen is the first, essential step in protecting your skin from sun and environmental damage. Good thing is there are plenty of drugstore moisturizers that can fulfill the SPF requirement that while hydrating your skin (and save you a step). According to the American Academy of Dermatology, ingredients you want to look for in any sunscreen are avobenzone, cinoxate, ecamsule, menthyl anthranilate, octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

If you do have sensitive or damaged skin that needs further protection, it may help to choose a department store moisturizer with SPF that caters to your skin type. Higher end moisturizers with SPF can include beneficial ingredients like antioxidants, which help boost protection from sun damage. If you are more prone to reddening and will be exposed to the sun for long periods or have sensitive skin, be sure to use sunscreen that is appropriate for your skin type and usage. If you're unsure, double check with your dermatologist to determine exactly what is suitable for you.

Just make sure any moisturizer you choose indicates broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and has an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating of higher than 30, the daily amount recommended by dermatologists. Sunscreen can be applied under makeup but don't think that applying a foundation or tinted moisturizer with SPF will be enough. You need to apply a sufficient layer of sunscreen for the product to give you the actual SPF protection that's listed on its label. Instead of getting the SPF 30 you think you're applying, if you put on too little, you're only getting the protection of SPF 4. So apply a liberal amount of sunscreen and rub it thoroughly in on all parts of your skin that is exposed to the sun like your face, ears and neck. One ounce of sunscreen is the recommended amount to cover all the areas on your body, including your face, arms, hands and legs.

Love and protect your skin, Beauties!

Drugstore Recommendations

  1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 70: This water-light texture spreads easily over skin, absorbing instantly for an invisible, weightless feel. It also provides an even, non-shiny finish that works beautifully alone or under makeup and moisturizers.

  2. Aveeno Positively Ageless Sunblock Lotion with SPF 70 for Face: This face sunscreen blocks aging UVA rays, burning UVB rays and fights skin-aging free radicals. This oil-free, non-greasy formula is also hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic and waterproof.

  3. Coppertone Sensitive Skin Face Lotion SPF 50 Sunscreen: This non-greasy, fragrance free and gently sunscreen is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin like rosacea. It protects from UVA/UVB rays and contains zinc oxide for fantastic coverage.

Mid-Price to Higher-End Recommendations

  1. Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 35: Utilizes advanced suncare technology to protect against dryness, oxidative pollutants, and UVA/UVB rays that cause photo-aging, spots, and wrinkles.

  2. Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50: This sunscreen offers the photoprotection of broad-spectrum, physical filters, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and is enhanced by artemia salina, a plankton extract, to increase the skin's defenses and resistance to UV and heat stress. Great for even the most sensitive skin since it's a pure physical sunscreen without any chemicals. Warning, it does leave a heavy white cast.

  3. LA Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra-Light Fluid for Face: Ultra light sunscreen fluid for face with breakthrough Cell-Ox Shield, provides a synergistic combination of patented high efficacy sun filters and powerful anti-oxidants to further protect your skin, even at the cellular level. This sunscreen contains Mexoryl which has been proven to block the most UVA rays for your protection.

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