Skincare pros share the secret SPF weapons you should have in your beauty arsenal.
We all know that wearing SPF every day is the best way to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays—but sometimes we’re just a little bit lazy. While SPF in your makeup is not a replacement for your daily dose of sun protection, it’s definitely a worthy boost that can help the cause.
Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist, tells Health that having SPF in your makeup “gives you some sun protection at any point of the day, even if you didn’t think you would be out in the sun.” That’s why she suggests choosing a foundation, lip gloss, chapstick, or even eye cream that includes an extra boost of UV blockage to keep your skin as protected as possible.
Dr. Jaliman is also quick to note that most makeup products only have an SPF level of 15 to 20, but she personally recommends her clients wear at least SPF 30. That means you’ll want to seek out makeup products with a higher SPF, or prepare to put on face sunscreen as a base layer under your makeup—like Elta MD’s Facial Sunscreen ($35; amazon.com)—which is dermatologist-recommended and celeb-approved.
Of course, finding the best makeup with SPF can feel confusing at first. That’s why we turned to dermatologists to find out which makeup products they recommend that’ll ensure every step of your beauty routine keeps you safe and protected from the sun’s rays. From shimmery eyeshadows to setting powders to foundations, read on to discover their favorite SPF makeup finds.
Best Brush-On Powder: Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen
If you’re seeking out some serious sun blockage, Colorescience Sunforgettable is the way to go with SPF 50. Recommended by Connecticut-based dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, this mineral foundation powder comes in a plethora of shades with a built-in brush that makes “reapplication throughout the day a breeze.” She also says there are a few other added bonuses: “It absorbs oils and protects against other light sources such as light bulbs in your office or home, computer, and phone light.”
Best Cream Foundation: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly yet powerful find, Dr. Julia Tzu, MD, founder and Medical Director of Wall Street Dermatology, recommends Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin makeup. She loves that “it comes in various shades of color, provides great coverage with a matte finish, doesn’t feel too sticky for oily and combination skin, and most importantly has SPF 55 (Helioplex broad spectrum coverage)!”
Best Setting Powder: ISDINCEUTICS Mineral Brush
This 100% mineral setting powder with SPF 50 by ISDIN is another great way to maximize SPF coverage, and is a favorite of Jennifer Chwalek, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology. She loves that it’s easily portable, sheer, suitable for all skin types, and ideal for SPF re-application throughout the day. As if you weren’t already sold, Dr.Chwalek adds that “it acts as a double agent in mattifying shine throughout the day and also helps fight the effects of pollution on the skin.”
Best Tinted Moisturizer: Nars Pure Radiant with Broad Spectrum SPF
The formula of this tinted moisturizer is packed with desirable ingredients, like vitamin C (which reduces the appearance of dark spots from hyperpigmentation) and kopora (to hydrate skin and encourage natural cell renewal). Pair that with broad-spectrum UV protection and SPF 30, and it makes sense why Dr. Jaliman gave this lightweight foundation a shoutout during a previous interview with Health. Even better? The lightweight formula is non-comedogenic, so you can freely apply to your skin without worrying about clogging your pores or causing a breakout.
Best BB Cream: Revision Intellishade Original
This anti-aging BB cream is a lightweight foundation previously recommended by Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care. The unique formula simultaneously gives UVA and UVB protection through a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, while three peptides work together to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll be left with a healthy glow that’s earned over 500 5-star reviews on Amazon.
Best Tinted Sunscreen: Colorescience Tint du Soleil
You can expect broad-spectrum coverage of SPF 30 and a dewy finish when you wear this non-heavy formula from Colorescience, a brand recommended by Dr. Jaliman for makeup with SPF. The liquid formula includes ceramides and milk lipids, which hydrate skin to ensure comfortable all-day wear. While you’ll be focused on the buildable coverage, this subtly-tinted foundation can minimize the appearance of wrinkles with good-for-you ingredients like peptides and vitamin A.
Best Eyeshadow: Supergoop! Shimmershade Illuminating Cream Eyeshadow
Eyelids are typically left out of the SPF loop, even though they’re super sensitive to the sun and are one of the first spots on our face to show signs of aging. Give them a little extra TLC with one of the beauty industry’s first cream eyeshadows specifically formulated with SPF to protect this gentle area. From first swipe, you won’t be surprised that board-certified dermatologist Rhonda Klein, MD, called these shimmery shadows “excellent.” You can choose between three nude-brown shades for a subtle pop of color on your eyes with SPF coverage to boot.
Best CC Cream: IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream
Multiple dermatologists praised IT Cosmetics’ CC+ cream with SPF 50, but Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, president of Modern Dermatology, called it her absolute favorite SPF-infused makeup product. She praised the “great coverage” offered by this best-selling cream, which uses a combination of zinc and titanium for natural sun protection. You can also throw out your poreless-finish primer, hydrating serum, tinted moisturizer, and brightening color corrector, because this multi-use CC cream will take care of all of it in one product! Choose between 12 shades to find your perfect match.
Best Liquid Foundation: Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation
If you’re looking for a liquid foundation with SPF that suits sensitive skin, look no further than this favorite of board-certified dermatologist Tania Peters, MD. She loves that it “has good coverage” but “allows the skin to breathe.” It’s also formulated with a super-charged oxygen complex that stimulates cell production and speeds up healing. That means you can simultaneously heal and conceal blemishes, rosacea, and other skin conditions, while protecting your skin with SPF 25. While the tinted, liquid formula offers slightly more coverage than a powder or cream foundation, it’ll still feel breathable and light on your face.
Best Lip Balm: EltaMD UV Lip Sunscreen
Your lips will feel super hydrated the second you apply this paraben-free balm. A previous recommendation from Dr. Jaliman, this creamy, long-lasting formula is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and protects the sensitive skin on your pout with broad-spectrum SPF 31. If you’ve previously been skipping out on sunscreen lip balm, think again—forgetting to apply sunscreen to your lips is a major sun safety faux pas.