Help me find the best facial moisurizer with sunscreen
March 29, 2015 6:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a moisturizer that has sunscreen and I'm being picky about it. Can you help me find a good product?

Inspired by this question:

I'm looking for a facial moisturizer that has sunscreen in it.

- available in the US or (more likely) online
- as high an SPF and PPD as possible
- no white residue
- no tint

Nice to have:
- ideally a physical barrier or a mix of physical/chemical, but if it's a really good chemical-only product that's ok too
- no parabens (I say this is a nice to have instead of a requirement because I realize I might be asking for too much)

Any ideas? Does this product even exist? Send me your best recommendations! Thanks.
posted by sunflower16 to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
I was using this for a month as just a moisturizer before I even clicked that it was a sunscreen too. Now I just use copious quantities of this without additional sunscreen. Feels light, no residue, work well on my retinol/AHA sensitized skin as long as I use enough. If I was going to a beach or serious outdoor activities I'd add a sunscreen on top. It is only SPF 15, but they do have this with SPF 50
posted by wwax at 6:54 AM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I use an Olay one usually. I'm pretty sure that it's this one. Some people have said that they find that it leaves a slight white residue but I can't say that I have especially noticed that, especially compared to other moisturisers with SPF that I have tried. If you want some physical SPF, then there's always going to be some risk of that.
My only complaint is that I find it just a little bit too oily sometimes.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 7:04 AM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

In terms of avoiding a white cast and that awful suncreen-sting, I really like this Dormer 211 stuff. Only 30 SPF and I think it's chemical, which might not be enough for you, but it's pretty reasonably priced and it's one of the few moisturizers I have re-purchased more than once.

I also like the Paula's Choice Hydralight sunscreen, and while it's pretty "unwhite" for a 50SPF, it's still definitely sunscreen and not moisturizer-with-suncreen-in-it. But it is the most comfortable sunscreen I've ever put on my face, so there's that.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 7:05 AM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like Nivea Sensitive Day Cream, which is SPF 15. Paula's Choice also has several moisturisers with SPF 25 and higher, though they are a bit pricy.
posted by neushoorn at 7:13 AM on March 29, 2015

Sorry -- I lied. It's Paula's Choice Suncare Non-Greasy, not Hydralight. ANd yes -- they are expensive, but watch for regular promos on the website.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 7:14 AM on March 29, 2015

I have to use a strong sunscreen for medical reasons, so this topic is near and dear to my heart. I vastly prefer physical to chemical, so there may be better chemical screens out there that I don't know about.

My hands-down favorite is Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer (SPF 47). It goes on slightly thicker than a fluid, but sinks right in. In my experience, it starts out with a bit of a white cast, but that fades almost immediately. Makes my face feel great, and I'm comfortable with the ingredients.

It's spendy, though. Good sunscreen in the US usually is. However, I can tell you that the bottle at that link lasted me a good two and a half months of twice-daily use, and I'm careful about full coverage - ear to ear, hairline to throat. A little goes a long way.

Editing to add - you can walk into almost any Sephora and ask about it, and they'll let you try it out.
posted by kythuen at 7:28 AM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have crazy skin and the best thing I have found is CeraVe Moisturizing Facial Lotion with SPF 30.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:38 AM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]

I've had good luck with Elta MD sunscreen - it's what my dermatologist recommended and there is no scent, no parabens, and it absorbs well considering it's spf 45. It's not specifically a moisturizer though, but it does feel like it adds moisture so a good complement to whatever you'd use at night. I take the 3oz tube as a carry on when I travel, then there is also a larger bottle.
posted by belau at 7:40 AM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]

My wife and I really like the Elta MD products that our dermatologist recommended after the first bout of skin cancer. The wife is really picky about scents, and it's mild enough that she doesn't mind.
posted by underflow at 7:42 AM on March 29, 2015

I use a Coola product and love it. Paraben free, SPF 30, no residue, it's really great. Expensive but it lasts a while.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:15 AM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 30 is the bomb diggity.
posted by gsh at 8:38 AM on March 29, 2015

You can buy sunscreens, like just the sunscreen ingredient and not a finished product, and add them to something you already like. (Link is to a company I have had a good experience buying from.) There are some fiddly issues like having to pay attention to what it will or will not dissolve in and having to get your measurements just so, but it's an option.

But, check out Biore Watery Essence.
posted by kmennie at 9:10 AM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Olay. I've used it for years and always always the sensitive skin version. It feels like a regular moisturizer, light and comfortable. A 15 is great for every day, and this is less than $10. As you've seen above they do also make a 30 that's much more expensive.

I can speak to Eucerin and my own experience was not good. I found it on deep sale and thought I'd try something new so bought two. It has that sunscreen thickness (zinc?) and residue that's hard to rub in. I ended up reserving it for heavy sun days only. But they make different versions, so maybe some are better than others. I'm back to the Olay and see no need to change.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 9:19 AM on March 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

I am a daywalker, so I wear major sunscreen every day, year-round, and I love the Olay Regenerist one linked above. Very nice on your skin, absorbs well, makes your skin look nice, and very good sunscreen. Plus not crazy expensive, doesn't make me break out, and you get get it at the drug store.
posted by biscotti at 9:32 AM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I bought some of this Jack Black stuff on a whim, and, while it's spendy, it's also really nice. Only SPF 20, though.

Neutrogena Age Shield is SPF 110 (I'm kind of skeptical about these mega-SPF-numbers, but it's certainly very protective), pretty smooth, but it can leave some white residue if put on too thick.
posted by box at 9:33 AM on March 29, 2015

PSA: avoid the CeraVe like the plague. It is not broad spectrum, and has a disclaimer on the back that it doesn't protect from skin cancer or aging.

Lately I've been using Kiss My Face Face Factor spf 30. It's in-part physical. It isn't specifically a moisturizer, but I have dry skin and find it incredibly hydrating. It's also at a good price point compared to a lot of other effective daily sunscreens. No white cast or tint. Pretty sure it's paraben free.
posted by imalaowai at 11:24 AM on March 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

I adore the Paula's Choice Youth-Extending Daily Mattifying Fluid -- quite a mouthful, I know -- but it's really one of the best moisturizers with sunscreen I've ever used, and I've used a lot of them. It's very light on the face and absorbs right in -- no tint at all. It's a chemical sunscreen. I highly recommend it.
posted by holborne at 11:48 AM on March 29, 2015

After about SPF45-SPF50 it really doesn't make sense to go higher for several reasons - because the difference in protection is only infinitesimally more, and because the sunscreen will physically wear off your skin before the point at which it's supposed to protect you until. A sunscreen is supposed to be able to protect you for the SPF x the number of minutes it would normally take for you to burn, so if you would normally burn in 15 minutes, and you use SPF50, you're supposedly protected for 750 minutes (12.5 hours). The sun isn't even up for that long in most parts of the world/most seasons, even presuming the sunscreen hadn't worn off your skin by the 12 hour mark.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:33 PM on March 29, 2015 [4 favorites]

Elta MD Clear is what you want. My dermatologist recommended it. It is available on Amazon. I love this lotion,its SPF 40, absorbs completely, and protects really well.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:21 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I came in to recommend the same Coola product mentioned above, so another vote for that. That's my go-to for summer. I use the Olay also recommended above in the winter because it's cheaper and I don't need as much SPF in winter. The Coola one smells really nice, too.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 3:37 PM on March 29, 2015

+1 for kiss my face spf30. $14. I have Olay total effects 7 SPF 15 ($22) and find it good but a little greasy whereas kiss my face is very hydrating, has antioxidants and dries well. Depends on your skintype though.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:48 PM on March 29, 2015

I've been using Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 for years.
posted by healthytext at 9:27 PM on April 11, 2015

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