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Most of us know that moisturizer is a critical part of a daily skin care routine. Moisturizers balance our skin, and finding the right formulation for you can help you look your best. From smoothing fine lines to combatting acne and evening skin tone, a great facial moisturizer is a must.

But, of all the ingredients out there, there’s one thing your facial moisturizer really needs. Three letters: S-P-F.

“Sunscreen is the single best thing we can do for our skin on a daily basis,” says board certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Libby. “Up to 90 percent of signs of photoaging like brown spots and wrinkles occur due to the sun’s UV rays, and SPF helps protect our skin from this UV damage, which can also cause more serious conditions like skin cancer.”

The truth is most dermatologists recommend using both a moisturizer and a separate sunscreen. Moisturizers will mix other ingredients that may dilute the SPF formula. However, applying a moisturizer with SPF is better than not applying SPF at all.

Libby loves two-in-one moisturizers with SPF because they simplify the skin care process and make sun protection a no-brainer. “This is an intuitive combination because everywhere we should be applying our moisturizer, we should also be applying our SPF,” she adds.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Higher number SPFs block slightly more of the sun’s UVB rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s UVB rays.

Once you commit to using a facial moisturizer with sunscreen, make sure you’re clear on how much SPF you’re really getting. If your face cream is SPF 30 and your BB cream is SPF 15 that means you must be extra protected, right? Unfortunately, not.

“Layering two SPF products does not add up to a higher level of protection,” says board certified dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand. “Sunscreen is not additive, and you should always aim for a higher SPF rather than a lower one to be sun safe.”

She explains that the SPF rating on each product is actually based on using a teaspoon-sized amount on the face — yet most people usually apply only half of the recommended dose.

“The positive to layering product is that you can reach the actual SPF rating if you didn’t apply enough initially,” she explains.

Our list of recommended products is based on a mixture of personal experience, high ratings of 4 or 5 stars, bestselling items, and doctor recommendations.

By scouring reviews from customers and chatting with medical professionals, we’ve rounded up our favorite 19 facial moisturizers with SPF.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$64
  • $$$ = $65–$100
  • $$$$ = over $100

Best overall

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.7 ounces (oz.)
  • Main active ingredients: zinc oxide, niacinamide
  • Pro: 84 percent of the over 20,000 Amazon reviews for this product are 5-stars.
  • Con: contains octinoxate, which is not considered an ocean-safe ingredient
  • Best for: sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, anti-aging

This bestselling facial sunscreen is number one on Amazon for a reason: Not only does it provide UVA and UVB protection, but its high concentration of niacinamide helps keep skin bright while increasing collagen and providing anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Reviewers also say that it works on all skin tones without a white cask.

Best drugstore find

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

  • Price: $
  • Size: 3 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: zinc oxide, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide
  • Pro: affordable product with high quality ingredients
  • Con: Some reviewers don’t like the texture.
  • Best for: any skin type on a budget

With moisture-locking hyaluronic acid and brightening niacinamide, this drugstore find not only has high quality ingredients, but it’s also made by a dermatologist-trusted brand. Reviewers said this lotion was a great budget option for sensitive and oily skin in particular.

Best travel-size option

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Face Milk SPF 40+

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1.4 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide
  • Pro: works on most skin tones and absorbs quickly
  • Con: may need two coats for proper coverage
  • Best for: tucking into your carry-on

This facial moisturizer with sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin is ideal for when you need SPF plus some extra moisture after air travel. Reviewers say this product doesn’t cause irritation and won’t give a gray or white cast to dark skin tones.

Best lightweight option

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, red algae
  • Pro: smooth, light formula with protection from UVA, UVB and IRA (infrared)
  • Con: pricey per ounce
  • Best for: people who don’t like the texture of heavy lotions or sunscreens

Reviewers love the lightweight texture of this fragrance-free and reef-safe sunscreen, noting that it acts as a great makeup primer as well. Because of its invisible formula, it can work with any skin tone.

Best brightening option

Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide
  • Pro: planet-friendly refillable bottle
  • Con: Some reviewers said it made their skin too oily.
  • Best for: evening skin tone in addition to providing sun protection

Made for all skin tones with no chalky finish, this SPF and facial moisturizer combination advertises a glowy finish. It’s also formulated with niacinamide to brighten and Kalahari melon to provide your skin with antioxidants.

Best for dark skin tones

Bolden Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 2 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, vitamin C, shea butter
  • Pro: formulated specifically with darker skin tones in mind
  • Con: may not be enough SPF for people with hyperpigmentation issues
  • Best for: melanin-rich skin tones

Touted as the “perfect Black girl sunscreen,” this formula uses vitamin C to provide both antioxidants and boost the skin’s natural sun protection. Reviewers love that this moisturizer with SPF also evens skin tone without causing irritation.

Best for anti-aging

Glytone Age Defense UV Mineral Sunscreen Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: zinc oxide, niacinamide, vitamin E
  • Pro: formulated to decrease the appearance of deep wrinkles
  • Con: may be too drying
  • Best for: mature skin

This moisturizer contains both anti-inflammatory and anti-aging ingredients. The serum-like texture makes it lightweight. Plus, it has a matte finish designed to avoid shine. While some reviewers say that it does have a slight white cast, this typically disappears once the product dries.

Best for sensitive skin

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

  • Price: $
  • Size: 1.69 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, titanium dioxide, aloe
  • Pro: high UVA protection rating with a high concentration of aloe
  • Con: contains octinoxate (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate)
  • Best for: sensitive skin that could benefit from the healing properties of aloe

This facial moisturizer may be good for those with sensitive skin because of its aloe-heavy formulation, but it also has the highest possible UVA protection rating (PA++++), so it contains anti-aging benefits as well. Reviewers say that this moisturizer doesn’t irritate skin and isn’t greasy.

Best for acne-prone skin

Glo Skin Beauty Oil Free SPF 40+

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: zinc oxide, octinoxate, octisalate
  • Pro: formulated especially for oily skin
  • Con: might be irritating to sensitive skin
  • Best for: skin prone to breakouts

This non-greasy, oil-free face lotion provides SPF protection and is designed not to cause breakouts. Reviewers also noted that it won’t get stuck in facial hair, making it a good product for men with oily skin, too.

Best for dry skin

Urban Hydration Moisture-Locking Castor & Shea Face Lotion SPF 30

  • Price: $
  • Size: 6 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: homosalate, castor oil, shea butter
  • Pro: super hydrating formula
  • Con: may be too greasy for all skin types
  • Best for: super dry skin, especially those with flaking or eczema

Formulated with shea butter designed to soothe, this SPF facial moisturizer may work best for those with seriously dry skin or skin issues like eczema that need additional support.

Best for no makeup days

Saie Slip Tint Dewy Tinted Moisturizer SPF 35

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.35 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: titanium dioxide, licorice, jojoba esters, pansy flower
  • Pro: acts as a one-step beauty routine
  • Con: may be too shiny
  • Best for: anyone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup or wants to simplify their routine

According to reviewers, this tinted moisturizer plus SPF gives skin a dewy glow, making it ideal for those who prefer a one-and-done morning routine. It also contains licorice, which may help protect from discoloration, and jojoba esters for extra hydration.

Best tinted option

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.18 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: titanium dioxide
  • Pro: Reviewers love the airbrushed-like finish of this product.
  • Con: may not be enough coverage for all types of skin
  • Best for: getting SPF, face lotion, and foundation all in one product

As the number one bestselling facial tinted moisturizer on Amazon, this product is a fan favorite. It’s also vouched for by The Skin Cancer Foundation, which dubbed it an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen. Reviewers say the coverage lasts all day and is buildable depending on your needs.

Best option with high SPF

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Light Fluid Face Sunscreen SPF 60

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1.7 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene
  • Pro: High SPF formulation
  • Con: may sting eyes
  • Best for: anyone in need of significant sun protection

Reviewers say that this high-SPF option is so light you’ll forget you have it on, making it a good primer for makeup or wearable on its own. It also contains tropical leaf extract senna alata, which protects against signs of skin aging. It’s also reef-safe, dermatologist tested, and recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Best matte option

Cetaphil Pro Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

  • Price: $
  • Size: 4 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: octocrylene, avobenzone, octisalate
  • Pro: may prevent shine or greasy-looking skin
  • Con: may sting your eyes if you’re sweating, according to reviewers
  • Best for: oily skin and combatting shine

This dermatologist favorite brand may be a good choice for sensitive skin, redness- or acne-prone skin, as well as anyone who prefers a matte finish on their face. Reviewers love the non-greasy feel.

Best under makeup

Paula’s Choice Smoothing Primer Serum SPF 30

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 1 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate
  • Pro: contains antioxidants and natural ingredients designed to reduced redness and wrinkles
  • Con: pricey
  • Best for: those in search of a solid primer under makeup for a smoother finish

Formulated for those with mature skin who wear makeup, this primer promises sun protection and a smooth canvas for foundation.

Best vegan option

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer Tinted SPF 47 Protect + Perfect

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 2 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, argan oil
  • Pro: completely vegan formula
  • Con: can be too greasy for some skin types
  • Best for: people in search of all natural or vegan skin care products

Josie Maran’s original argan oil has been a long-time popular face product. This SPF-infused tinted version provides antioxidants and hydration. Reviewers say it’s wearable on its own or when mixed with foundation for more coverage.

Best anti-pollution option

Eminence Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 2 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: zinc oxide, tea tree oil
  • Pro: contains hydrating ingredients like bioflavonoids, aloe, and shea butter
  • Con: can have a slight white cast if you overapply
  • Best for: people living in cities who may need extra environmental protection

This mineral moisturizer plus sunscreen is designed to keep skin even and protected from UVA/UVB rays, blue light stress, and pollution. It also contains microencapsulated tea tree oil, made to slowly release throughout the day to combat redness and irritation.

Best spray

Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Face Mist SPF 50

  • Price: $
  • Size: 3.4 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene
  • Pro: easy to reapply, even over makeup
  • Con: may be too oily, according to some reviewers
  • Best for: quick reapplications

Skin care and sun protection couldn’t be easier — just spritz your face and you’re good to go. Formulated without oxybenzone, parabens, or mineral oil, this spray is designed to feel light on the skin and not cause irritation.

Best for men

Jaxon Lane Rain or Shine Daily Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Price: $$
  • Size: 2 oz.
  • Main active ingredients: vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, green tea, licorice root, ginseng
  • Pro: high SPF and UVA protection
  • Con: tube size too small, reviewers say
  • Best for: those who may be skeptical of a skin care routine

This one-stop-shop product won the Esquire 2020 Grooming Award and customers rave about its non-greasy, ingredient-packed formula (with a high SPF, to boot). While the product line is marketed toward men’s skin, anyone can use this sunscreen.

When choosing a sunscreen and facial moisturizer combination product, use your skin type as a guide.

“For example, if you have dry skin, looking for ingredients like vitamin E is helpful,” Houshmand advises. “If you have pigment issues like dark spots, niacinamide is great. Look for “noncomedogenic” and avoid products with the ingredient mineral oil if you are acne-prone.”

Also, be sure that the product you choose protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. While UVA rays cause premature aging, UVB rays are the ones that actually burn your skin — but both cause cancer.

Finally, check reviews to see how sheer (or, conversely, how white-casted) a product is. Some moisturizers with zinc oxide formulas can leave a chalky finish, which may not work for darker skin tones.

When you go to apply your product, Houshmand says it’s important to put your facial moisturizer with SPF on first. “You do not want to apply anything that will interfere with their penetration,” she explains. “Additional moisturizer, face oil, or makeup will create a barrier between your skin and the SPF that’s meant to protect it.”

Visiting a dermatologist should be routine at least once a year. Even if you don’t have a skin condition, getting a dermatologist to thoroughly examine your skin for irregular growths or asymmetrical moles or lesions could be a key step in preventing skin cancers like melanoma.

And of course, if you notice any existing moles or skin growths changing in shape, color, texture, or size, make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

Are SPF moisturizers as good as regular sunscreen?

The short answer is no. Most dermatologists recommend using both a moisturizer and a separate sunscreen. Moisturizers will mix other ingredients that may dilute the SPF formula. However, applying a moisturizer with SPF is better than not applying SPF at all.

How much SPF should your moisturizer have?

Dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 30, but many daily moisturizers out there are only SPF 15. They add some protection, but not exactly enough.

Are SPF moisturizers OK for sensitive skin?

If you have sensitive skin, look for a gentle, oil-, and fragrance-free moisturizer with mineral protection — that is, zinc oxide titanium dioxide. These formulas sit on top of the skin and help physically shield it from harmful UV rays without getting absorbed into your skin.

Since sunscreen should be a critical part of your everyday skin care regimen, having a facial moisturizer with built-in SPF — and one that’s tailored to your specific skin needs — helps streamline your routine. This way, you’re sure to get that UV protection on the regular, keeping your skin both nourished and healthy.

Natasha Burton is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Livestrong, Woman’s Day, and many other lifestyle publications. She’s the author of “What’s My Type?: 100+ Quizzes to Help You Find Yourself ― and Your Match!,” “101 Quizzes for Couples,” “101 Quizzes for BFFs,” “101 Quizzes for Brides and Grooms,” and the co-author of “The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.” When she’s not writing, she’s fully immersed in #momlife with her toddler and preschooler.