If you add one product to your skin care routine, it should be a face moisturizer. A good one will protect you from the sun, which can trash your skin and give you serious wrinkles and sunspots, and will keep your visage soft, smooth, and supple. Your skin will look and feel better, something all of us can appreciate.
Year-round sun exposure fries your skin. There’s no need for this when the solution is as simple as a daily face cream, one with solid sun protection.
One word of caution: “For those with sensitive skin, try to avoid products with more than 10 ingredients,” says Dr. Jason Miller of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New Jersey. “Allergies can develop, even to high-end or botanical ingredients. Other ingredients that can lead to allergies include fragrances, formaldehydes, and parabens.”
Based on these guidelines, as well as our own research and use, these are the SPF day creams we recommend.
This is a super-powered sunscreen that's also a moisturizer. It makes your skin look smoother and blocks out UVA, UVB and infrared rays.
Pros: This SPF 34 cream is suitable for all skin types. It absorbs easily and fast, and most importantly, does not leave white residue.
Cons: It can cause breakouts, so as with any skin care product, do a spot test first.
One Fatherly editor uses this face cream with SPF daily, swearing by its lightweight formula that visibly leaves skin looking smoother and fresher.
Pros: This moisturizer is suitable for all skin types, and is meant to be used after washing your face and shaving. It’s lightweight, but potent.
Cons: Some are put off by the scent.
A superb, luxurious day cream that bathes your skin in moisture to keep it soft and youthful.
Pros: You’ll swoon over the fresh scent. This cream has it all, including ingredients to improve skin suppleness and elasticity, plus SPF 30 sun protection. It’s got a gel-cream texture, so it’s quickly absorbed and goes on very light, and works on all skin types.
Cons: The price. It’s an investment in your skin.
A solid, non-irritating day cream that goes on lid without any oily residue.
Pros: The brand’s HEXINOL technology promises to reduce discoloration, sagging, dryness, dull tone and help get rid of wrinkles. Score! Plus, you get SPF 30 broad spectrum protection, which is what dermatologists recommend.
Cons: Some people really, really don’t like the smell.
This day cream is great for sensitive skin and is oxybenzone-free.
Pros: This brand’s sunscreen got the highest ratings from Consumer Reports last year. And even though we prefer SPF 30, the SPF 15 on this day cream can be sufficient, at a minimum. The day cream itself is non-greasy and oil-free.
Cons: Some folks complain of reactions to it, so do a patch test first, on the inside of your elbow.
A cream that's so light, you won't even notice you have anything on your face.
Pros: You get protection from free radicals (which can be produced in your body naturally after exposure to toxins like pollution or cigarette smoke). And this non-greasy, lightweight, anti-aging day cream contains broad spectrum SPF 30 PA+++ to keep those harmful rays at bay. It’s made with pomegranate and grape seed extracts to condition your face.
Cons: It can dry out the skin, in some cases.
It's an easy, grab-and go, quick-absorbing, lightweight day cream with SPF.
Pros: It’s a no-frills, basic, but effective daily moisturizer with broad-spectrum sun protection that makes your skin look smoother. The key ingredients squalene, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid help give wrinkles the boot.
Cons: Tends to go on oily, so for folks with oily skin, this likely isn’t for you.
Lighter than a cream, but just as effective, this serum goes on white, but blends right in without leaving any kind of residue.
Pros: Imagine putting the softest silk on your face. That’s what this Supergoop! day cream with SPF 30 feels like. It’s loaded with vitamins E and B5, has a hand pump for easy application and is suitable for all skin types.
Cons: It can feel slightly greasy, so again, if your skin tends to go that way, be aware.
This day cream has retinol to make you look younger, without irritating your skin, plus the SPF you need.
Pros: You get the anti-aging benefits of retinol, combined with SPF 30 broad spectrum sun protection. This workhorse promotes healthy skin renewal and targets aging, and it’s a perpetual favorite among skin care aficionados.
Cons: Again, not a cheap option, but very effective.
A turbo-powered SPF face cream from one of LA's top aestheticians, who tends to many famous faces.
Pros: Ignore the name. Yes, you can use this to set your makeup. But you can also just spray this on, let it moisturize your skin, and revel in having ultimate sun protection with a power of 50. It’s a light mist that helps blur the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Cons: Can be gloopy, so give it a very light spray.
This light, non-greasy day cream is half sunscreen, half moisturizer.
Pros: If you live in an intensely sunny area, this day cream is for you. You get hydration and protection, aloe and vitamin E to give you smoother skin, and robust SPF to keep those rays from damaging your face. It’s highly moisturizing, so it’s an ideal combo of SPF and just sheer luxury.
Cons: Can look a little shiny on some folks.
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