Moisturizers With SPF – How Good Are They?

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Multipurpose products are a big rage in the skin care market. Since they offer multiple benefits, you need to use fewer products and still get the benefits of using many. And this is quite a boon in the women's busy lifestyles. One of the most popular kinds of products are moisturizers that come with SPF contents in them.

But are they any good? Is it the same as using regular sunscreens? Or regular moisturizers?
Let us address these questions in this article.

Sunscreens vs. Moisturizers with SPF

This is one of the most common complaints about sunscreens. Women buy into the promise of complete broad spectrum sun protection and end up getting frustrated with the greasy texture of the sunscreens. In spite of their promising formulations, it becomes quite a challenge to wear them on regular basis along with make-up. And because of this, women often wear a very thin layer of the sunscreen which offers less or no protection against UV radiations of the sun. Thus wearing sunscreen becomes utterly useless.


On the other hand, moisturizers with SPF content are just perfect for daily use and can be worn under make-up without any problems. This is what makes them a hot favorite among consumers. But then the question remains: Are they as effective as regular sunscreens and do they really offer protection against sun damage?

Moisturizers with Low SPF

Moisturizers that contain low SPF, with a rating of about 15 to 20 that do not contain any photostable ingredients like zinc oxide, titanium oxide nor chemical blockers offers protection only against casual sun exposure. This kind of moisturizer would be good for incidental sun exposure. For example, while driving orwalking through the front yard of your house. However, if you want to spend more time in the sun, you would need something more powerful.

Moisturizers with Higher SPF

Then there are moisturizers that contain higher SPF contents of about 30 and more. These moisturizers usually contain powerful sun protection ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that prevent the damage caused by the UVA-UVB rays of the sun and protect the skin against any damage. However, higher SPF rating doesn't really guarantee better protection.


In fact, there are sunscreens that have high zinc oxide concentrations but in nanoparticles. You can spot tell if it is in nano particles where there is no whitecast. Zinc oxide blocks visible light up to 700 nm wavelengths, whereas zinc nanoparticles block only up to 380 - 400 nm wavelengths.

No Water Resistance

An important consideration is, moisturizers with SPF are not water resistant unlike certain other sunscreen formulations available in the market. This means they cannot withstand sweat and water and thus would need to be reapplied more frequently.

Moisturizers with SPF: A hot pick!

Moisturizers with SPF are an excellent choice for regular use. Here are some reasons why they are so popular with women.

They are a great choice for women who need to wear make-up daily and cannot afford to pile on multiple layers of skin care products underneath.

It is an ideal choice for women with oily skin as they can skip having to apply two separate skin care products (sunscreens and moisturizers) and get the benefits of both from one. Since there are fewer products being used, the skin doesn't become too oily or greasy.

They are an excellent option for the summer season as you would not have to use multiple products which would make the skin greasy as you sweat and spend time in the sun. The moisturizer would hydrate the skin while the SPF contents would provide necessary sun protection.

Product Suggestions:

La Roche Posay Anthelios SX
This is a non-greasy moisturizer that acts as a sunscreen as well. It offers broad spectrum protection against the UVA/UVB rays of the sun and protects against sunburns. It contains Mexoryl SX, a photostable ingredient that shields the skin against UVA rays without any breakdown and lasts longer than most sunscreens. It is fragrance and Paba free and does not make your skin pasty! It moisturizes for 24 hours as well.

Nia 24 Sun Damage Prevention SPF 30
This is a physician recommended sunscreen lotion that has a dual action mechanism. It prevents sun damage and also is a 100% mineral sunscreen. What makes it a favorite is that it is weightless, oil free and absorbs almost instantly. It is even suitable for sensitive skin types.

Dr. Marilynn Syrett is a graduate from Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine Of The Pacific. She has authored several articles about skincare products like Anti-aging Skin Care Products, Sun Tanning & Sunscreens and so on.

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