Following your perfect skincare routine of a creamy cleanser, tip-top serum (either niacinamide or vitamin C), lightweight eye cream and whipped moisturizer comes a prime essential: SPF.
While we always have our facial sunscreens at the ready, it’s a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone situation if your moisturizer is pre-infused with SPF (though, dermatologists recommend reapplying throughout the day).
That said, we compiled this year’s edit of the 21 best moisturizers with SPF — tinted moisturizers accounted for, too. Aside from the best hyaluronic acid skincare and retinol creams, it’s always in our makeup bags.
Turning to four board-certified dermatologists to give us all their best practices, we also curated an FAQ section for what ingredients to look for, how to apply and more.
Click to jump to the best moisturizers with SPF:
Why is it important to wear SPF on your face?
Much like protecting your body from the UV rays in the summertime, your face is another prime area that should be lathered up.
“While it’s important to protect your entire body, the face is especially vulnerable to sun damage — it’s rarely covered by clothing and is exposed to the sun year-round,” Jesse M. Lewin, MD, a Mohs Micrographic and Dermatologic Surgeon practicing in New York and a spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation, told the New York Post. “Daily sunscreen use is an important part of a complete sun protection strategy that includes seeking shade during peak sun hours (10 am to 4 pm) and covering up with UPF clothing, wide-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses.”
What’s more, one study found that regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer, by 50 percent.
Should I apply a moisturizer with SPF before facial sunscreen?
“A moisturizer with SPF and good UVA filtering ingredients should provide adequate coverage on its own if applied correctly,” Marie Hayag, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics, told the Post. “However, I do recommend another SPF, preferably a physical block sunscreen, on top if you will be outdoors for more than two hours or if you’re in the intense sun such as sunny vacations, high altitude skiing and hiking or outdoor sports.”
Applying a moisturizer before your facial SPF is absolutely fine, too, as long as you aren’t decreasing the application of the volume of facial SPF. “To achieve the SPF level marketed on the bottle, the product needs to be applied appropriately, about ‘two-finger lengths’ of sunscreen for your entire face,” Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, told the Post. “You can apply moisturizer before or after, but make sure you’re applying the minimum required sunscreen in between.”
What amount of SPF is best?
While any type of sunscreen can be deemed “good,” it’s important to follow the baseline recommendations for using SPF on your face.
“If your facial moisturizer contains an SPF that’s at least 30 and titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as an active ingredient, that’s really all you need,” Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, a dual board-certified dermatologist and founder of NYC’s Mudgil Dermatology PC, told the Post. “Anything that doesn’t would require an additional sunscreen that meets my minimum criteria (namely, a minimum SPF 30 containing titanium or zinc).”
What other ingredients in a moisturizer should I look for besides SPF?
According to Hayag, look for ingredients that protect against blue light such as iron oxides and also antioxidant ingredients like vitamins C and E. “Formulations that contain HEV (high energy visible) blue light photons have higher energy than other wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum and penetrate deeper into the skin than UVA and UVB rays,” Hayag adds.
Titanium dioxide or zinc oxide — physical blockers of the sun’s rays — also provide protection against skin cancer and photoaging, Mudgil notes.
The best ingredients for sensitive or acne-prone skin
“If you’re aiming to use a hydrating SPF, look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, squalane, and niacinamide,” Nazarian highlights. “Sensitive skin does well with ingredients such as glycerin and squalane — which are hydrating and calming — and sensitive skin tolerates mineral blockers such as zinc and titanium better than chemical sunscreen ingredients”
Moreover, acne-prone skin “works well with sunscreens containing lactic acid, niacinamide, and those that are labeled ‘noncomedogenic,’ ensuring other ingredients in the product don’t clog pores,” she explains.
The best ingredients for dry or oily skin
If you have naturally dry skin or it’s wintertime, consider choosing a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients like lanolin or glycerin to combat dryness, per Lewin. An oil-free or mattifying moisturizer might be better for humid summer days or those with oily skin, too.
“Many moisturizing sunscreens on the market today include different combinations of skincare ingredients like niacinamide, ceramides and peptides. Depending on your skincare concerns, you can choose a moisturizer that will address both sun protection and issues like uneven skin tone or acne, but it can be helpful to discuss this with your dermatologist.”
Best Moisturizers with SPF
1. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum 46, $37 to $39
Stellar for both Hayag and her patients (specifically, those with acne), this lightweight, silky sunscreen for daily use is from a brand universally loved by dermatologists.
“It contains niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid to promote healthy-looking clear complexions,” she adds. “It comes tinted and untinted.”
2. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM, $15 to $16
Loved by Mudgil, CeraVe’s Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM “contains great moisturizing ingredients (ceramides and hyaluronic acid), zinc oxide and is at an accessible price point,” he highlights.
Nazarian recommends this, too, as it’s a “nice, hydrating formula.”
3. Revision Skincare Intellishade TruPhysical Tinted Moisturizer SPF 45, $80
Worth the splurge, Revision Skincare’s Intellishade TruPhysical is “a combination of antioxidants and peptides (great for anti-aging),” Nazarian said. “Along with a universal tint and high SPF of 45, it’s a great choice for a facial sunscreen.”
4. EltaMD UV Stick Mineral Face Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+, $34
Containing 22% zinc oxide (without leaving a white residue!), EltaMD’s UV Stick is unbeatable. “This is useful for travel and for easy reapplication as well as being very practical for kids and men,” Hayag said. “You can use it on the face and on the body [and] it contains vitamin E for antioxidant protection.”
5. Paula’s Choice Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30, $30 to $33
We love Paula’s Choice for producing some of the best toners and best salicylic acid products to help combat acne, and its SPF-infused moisturizer is just as fabulous.
“This is a nice product with lots of antioxidants,” Mudgil said. “Love the 13% zinc oxide sunscreen!” Nazarian recommends it for its antioxidant count, too, and says it’s “light enough to wear under makeup and a great way to prep your skin to protect itself against free radical damage.”
6. Mele Face Moisturizer SPF 30, $11 to $15
With niacinamide and vitamin E, this product is good for all skin tones, according to Nazarian. “It blends beautifully even with darker skin; the vitamin E and niacinamide offset some of the environmental damage and also hydrate.”
7. MDSolarSciences MD Mineral BB Cream Broad-Spectrum SPF 50, $28 to $29
Popular among her patients, Hayag loves MDSolarSciences’ BB Cream. “This sunscreen provides a light sheer matte finish with a high amount of zinc oxide and iron oxides for broad-spectrum and blue light protection,” she vets. “It contains antioxidant protection as well as caffeine and niacinamide to [help] decrease discoloration and redness.”
8. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream Sunscreen SPF 30, $33
As a prized brand for helping treat dry skin, Kiehl’s Since 1851 is remarkable for also showcasing a nourishing formula that helps protect from UV rays. “It’s a true hydrating sunscreen — using glycerin and squalane — and unscented, so an appropriate option for sensitive skin,” Nazarian comments.
However, since it doesn’t contain a physical blocker, according to Mudgil, it’s best to pair this moisturizer with a true facial sunscreen to be most effective.
9. EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 40, $35
EltaMD: the brand sworn in by many of our experts. Its UV Daily Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 40 is a great option for those who desire a more balanced skin tone. “It’s not drying or chalky,” Nazarian explains. “This sunscreen is lightweight and contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid.”
10. ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+, $60
ISDIN’s Eryfotona Actinica’s Sunscreen is described as “one of the most sophisticated sunscreens,” per Nazarian, namely because it’s a zinc oxide-based product and offers a high SPF of 50. “It has some of the best preventative qualities found in sunscreen, using DNA repair enzymes,” she adds.
11. Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color-Correcting Treatment SPF 30, $52
We love a product that has SPF and helps color correct — and so does Mudgil. “This is an excellent product which checks all the boxes,” he shares. “It’s great for folks with rosacea-prone skin.”
12. DRMTLGY Anti-Aging Tinted Moisturizer SPF 46, $26
Why DRMTLGY? Well, according to Nazarian, it’s next-level. “There are multiple hydrating ingredients in this one product: hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and B3,” she lists. “It’s oil-free and a great choice for acne-prone skin.”
13. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50, $35 to $37
According to Nazarian, La Roche-Posay’s popular Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen is “a fantastic option for sensitive skin.” It’s also allergy-tested, fully mineral, and oil-free. “The color blends beautifully and goes on smooth,” she notes.
14. Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++, $36
Meet the one product that’s in every beauty lover’s arsenal (including Olivia Jade). Good for underneath makeup, “it works great as a primer and has a smooth tint that leaves skin glowy and dewy appearing,” Nazarian approves.
15. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Facial Moisturizer SPF 50, $13 to $18
As a product great for sensitive and skin alike, Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost is much-loved by Nazarian. “The hyaluronic acid really helps skin stay moisturized and I’m a fan of the high SPF,” she said.
However, it does lack that mineral sunscreen ingredient, Mudgil shares, so pair this with a facial sunscreen for full protection.
16. La Roche-Posay Toleraine Double Repair UV Moisturizer SPF 30, $16
“The Toleriane line is great for sensitive skin, and the SPF is no different,” Nazarian shares. Because this oil-free formula contains hydrating glycerin, she appreciates that it can moisturize the skin while avoiding breakouts.
17. Eucerin Daily Protection Face Lotion SPF 30, $6
For the price, Eucerin’s Daily Protection Face Lotion is 100% worth it. “People love this sunscreen because it’s so lightweight,” Nazarian highlights. “It’s not as fancy as a lot of the other sunscreens but it does its job.”
18. Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad-Spectrum SPF 30, $38
Yes, Rihanna surely knows how to make a skin-boosting SPF. “The real edge here is that it’s a refillable container, so great for people looking to be more environmentally sustainable,” Nazarian explains. “It also contains a lot of hydrators, such as hyaluronic acid and aloe.”
However, because it includes fragrance and chemical radiation blockers, she doesn’t recommend it for sensitive skin.
19. StriVectin Super-C SPF 30 Vitamin C Face Moisturizer, $69
As a powerful brand for anti-aging, StriVectin has a wonderful moisturizer that includes vitamin C, too (just like the serums we reviewed).
“It’s a great option because it offers defenses against free radical damage, along with ultraviolet radiation blockage,” Nazarian vets. “It does use chemical sunscreens, so again, something to be cautious of if you have really sensitive skin, but contains hydrating glycerin and botanicals to address uneven skin tone.”
20. Supergoop! Sunscreen Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++, $42
As an Amazon best-seller, Supergoop! has a Sunscreen Daily Moisturizer that’s perfectly packaged in this warm-weather-ready tub. “It’s a basic hydrating sunscreen that’s non-tinted and has chemical ingredients,” Nazarian shares. “It’s lightweight, so normal skin types may use it under makeup without issue.”
21. COOLA Full Spectrum 360 Refreshing Water Cream SPF 50, $33 to $46
Nazarian recommends COOLA’s popular Full Spectrum 360 Refreshing Water Cream for normal and dry skin types, specifically, as its formula is hydrating. However, be sure to use a facial sunscreen to help offset its lack of a mineral ingredient component.
Check out the New York Post Shopping section for more content.