For oily skin, acne-prone skin, sensitive skin and everything between.
We updated this article in August 2022 to ensure all picks vetted and tested by the Good Housekeeping Institute were in stock, available and correctly priced.
No matter the weather or season, the scientists in the GH Beauty Lab recommend wearing sunscreen every single day. That's because the best defense against aging and sun damage is a good broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays. "Being consistent with use of moisturizer with SPF is most important when it comes to preventing signs of aging," explains Angelo Landriscina, M.D., a dermatologist in Brooklyn, New York.
But it can be difficult to remember to apply sunscreen on the days you're not basking by the pool or hiking a sunny trail. The solution? A daily face moisturizer with SPF mixed right in for moisturization and UV protection. Using a moisturizer with SPF is "like getting two steps done in one, so it makes your morning skincare routine quicker and easier," Dr. Landriscina says. For added benefits, seek out formulas that are made with anti-aging ingredients like peptides or antioxidants.
To find the best the best daily face moisturizers with SPF, Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab pros evaluate products both in the Lab using technical instruments to gauge efficacy and hydration capabilities, and we also send products to consumer testers at home for their experience in real life to find the best formulas on the market that not only work, but you'll actually want to use. Below, a mix of GH Beauty Lab test-winning products, GH Seal stars and top dermatologist and expert picks, including drugstore bargains and anti-aging formulas for any skin type, from SPF for oily, acne-prone skin to SPF picks suitable for sensitive skin and more:
This superstar moisturizer with SPF from Olay, a GH Seal star and Beauty Award-winner, may be the only product you need in your morning skincare routine. It is an anti-aging serum, moisturizer and sunscreen in one, with line smoothers (like peptides), hydrators (like glycerin) and broad spectrum SPF 30. GH Beauty Lab tests found it increased moisture levels in skin by 31%, which is more than any facial SPF 30 previously evaluated. Testers said the “quick-absorbing,” “non-greasy” formula firmed skin, diminished wrinkles and brightened complexions.
• Key ingredients: Avobezone (3%), Octinoxate (7.5%), niacinamide, peptides• Size: 1.7 oz.
A winner in our GH Beauty Awards, Neutrogena’s daily moisturizer is great for all skin types, especially if you’re worried about your sunscreen feeling too oily. The glycerin-rich classic lotion is oil-free, proven to feel light and won't irritate skin. Consumers found the formula lightweight and non-greasy on skin, and it’s also hypoallergenic.
• Key ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (12%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2.35%), Oxybenzone (6%), glycerin• Size: 2.5 oz.
The winner of the GH Beauty Lab's anti-aging day cream test, this L'Oréal moisturizer with SPF 30 delivers great bang for your buck plus skin-brightening benefits. It proved super-effective at evening skin tone, reducing visible dark spots, and moisturizing skin. Lab tests found the vitamin C and glycolic acid lotion raised skin's hydration 28% and decreased UV spots by 11% in four weeks. “It decreased the appearance of my wrinkles and made my skin brighter and more radiant,” a tester said.
• Key Ingredients: Octocrylene (7%), Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (5%), Homosalate (5%), vitamin C, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid• Size: 1 oz.
Dermatologist-recommended, this fragrance-free CeraVe lotion is a great budget-friendly option that won't inflame skin. Not only is it packed with SPF, it's also formulated with ingredients that strengthen the skin's barrier against irritants, like ceramides, niacinamide and hydrating hyaluronic acid, to keep sensitive complexions soft and protected. "It does not irritate my sensitive skin but it's made my face noticeably softer," a reviewer noted. "I've tried more expensive moisturizers but I much prefer this product."
• Key Ingredients: Homosalate (10%), Meradimate (5%), Octinoxate (5%), Octocrylene (2%), Zinc Oxide (6.3%), ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide• Size: 3 oz.
La Roche Posay's unique moisturizer with SPF comes in a liquid serum form that soaks right in, perfect for those with oily skin. "It is a super lightweight sunscreen and its texture absorbs quickly into skin," reports GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek. "It doesn’t leave me feeling or looking greasy."
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (2.68%), Homosalate (9.60%), Octisalate (2.88%), Octocrylene (5.38%), Oxybenzone (3.46%), vitamins C and E• Size: 1 oz.
This EltaMD face moisturizer with mineral SPF is a cult classic dermatologist and editor favorite. "The brand's sunscreens have high SPF, don’t irritate skin and don’t leave the dreaded white cast that many similar formulas do," reports a former GH Beauty Assistant. "I like this one specifically because it moisturizes so well — it’s packed with hyaluronic acid, and instantly plumps my face while being very protective."
• Key Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (10%), Titanium Dioxide (5.5.%), hyaluronic acid• Settings: 2 oz.
With hydrating hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, this affordable fragrance-free CeraVe lotion scored high among testers with dry skin in GH Beauty Lab testing. One hundred percent of users found that it went on effortlessly and didn’t cause redness, irritation or breakouts. Many said it “absorbed quickly” and didn’t irritate even “super sensitive” skin.
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2.7%), ceramides, hyaluronic acid• Settings: 1.7 oz.
To keep breakouts and shine at bay, turn to this Olay SPF lotion, which gained raves in GH Beauty Lab testing for its silky, non-tacky feel. It came in highest for leaving a matte finish on every skin type and tied for best texture and not being sticky, rating first with users that have acne-prone skin. “The first time I didn’t have to wait for a sunscreen to dry,” and “It didn’t interfere with any other serums, moisturizers or makeup,” two marveled.
• Key Ingredients: Octocrylene (8.5%), Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (4.5%), Homosalate (9%), niacinamide, vitamin E• Settings: 1.3 oz.
This gentle Roc cream is a GH Beauty Lab test winner for effectively smoothing lines and skin texture. Lab digital imaging showed that the nongreasy formula improved skin’s texture by 11% in four weeks; it also rated highly for diminishing wrinkles and firming. “It left my skin feeling plump and looking smooth and glowing” and “improved the fine lines around my eyes,” two testers reported.
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (2%), Homosalate (4%), Octisalate (4%), Octocrylene (2%), vitamin C• Size: 1.7 oz.
Packed with hydrating hero ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and fatty acids, Vichy's cream came out on top in GH Beauty Lab face sunscreen testing for making skin feel moisturized. It also didn't sting or irritate, leave a white residue or interfere with makeup."It was very moisturizing without being greasy," a tester noted.
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (5%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%), vitamin C, peptides• Size: 1.69 oz.
This multi-tasking sunscreen from Supergoop combines softening, glow-boosting, and makeup priming properties. "It has a good SPF, it’s moisturizing, and it works really well as a makeup primer," says a former GH Beauty Assistant. "It’s slightly tinted and has a pearlescent finish that makes you look dewy and sun-kissed — I always get the most compliments on my skin!"
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%), niacinamide, hyaluronic acid• Settings: 1.7 oz.
Applying a moisturizer with SPF feels like an indulgence thanks to StriVectin's rich formula boosted with antioxidant brightener vitamin C, a favorite of GH's beauty director. "I love the fresh, citrusy scent and that it feels more like a fancy moisturizer when you apply it than a sunscreen," she says.
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (3.0%), Homosalate (7.0%), Octisalate (4.5%), Octocrylene (10%), vitamins C and E• Size: 1.7 oz.
Boosted with protective natural antioxidants like vitamins C and E, YourGoodSkin’s day cream with sunscreen is a GH Beauty Lab test winner. In Lab evaluations, the formulation tied for first place for its pleasant, subtle fragrance and making testers’ skin feel soft. “This had a fresh, light scent and felt smooth on my skin” and was “luxurious, like a very rich face cream,” two fans reported.
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (3 %), Octinoxate (0.5 %), Octisalate (5 %), Octocrylene (7.5 %), vitamins C and E• Settings: 2.5 oz.
Mary Kay’s lightweight lotion will keep your skin hydrated for up to 12 hours. Backed by our GH Seal, a clinical study found it immediately boosted skin’s hydration levels by a whopping 238%! Plus, the formula is packed with potent ingredients like niacinamide, peptides and resveratrol to help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Lab experts also love that it comes in two versions — this one for normal to dry skin and another for combination to oily skin.
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (9%), Octisalate (4.5%), Octocrylene (3%), Oxybenzone (4.5%), peptides, vitamin E• Size: 1.7 oz.
With a subtle tint, this Paula's Choice moisturizer with SPF can double as natural-looking makeup. "It's really lightweight, goes only smoothly, doesn’t leave a white cast and it sinks in instantly — you don’t have to spend any time rubbing this in," says a former GH Beauty Assistant. "Sometimes I even skip face makeup and just wear this; my skin instantly looks more hydrated after I put it on."
• Key Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (13%), vitamins C and E• Settings: 2 oz.
For serious wrinkle-fighting benefits, plus moisturization and SPF, look no further than this GH Beauty Award-winning Mary Kay cream with peptides backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal. "In clinical studies the Lab reviewed, this cream improved lines and wrinkles,” says GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann.
• Key Ingredients: Avobenzone (2%), Homosalate (5%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2%), Oxybenzone (4%), peptides, vitamin E• Size: 1.7 oz.
A GH Beauty Award winner, this multi-purpose, oil-free Neutrogena day lotion hydrates, smooths with alpha-hydroxy acids, and protects skin with antioxidants vitamins C and E. GH Beauty Lab evaluations showed the formula softens, smooths and improves skin clarity over four weeks of use. "This is my go to skin lotion for several years," a reviewer said. "I try other products but none give my normal/dry skin the natural glow that this product does."
• Key Ingredients: Octinoxate (7.5%), Oxybenzone (5%), vitamins C and E, glycolic acid• Size: 2.5 oz.
Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists are constantly testing different types of moisturizers for face and body. When skincare products make moisturization or hydration claims, Lab experts use the Corneometer device to measure how much they affect skin’s moisture levels. The machine is used to calculate hydration of testers’ clean skin before a product is applied and six hours after to gauge the difference in moisturization over time (pictured below).
Because more goes into choosing a great moisturizer than Lab results, moisturizers are also label-masked and distributed to testers, who use them at home in their regular skincare routine and evaluate them on attributes such as how well they absorb, texture, scent and how they make skin look and feel. When the GH Beauty Lab tests sunscreens, consumer testers report on sun protection efficacy, ease of application, look and feel on skin, fragrance and overall satisfaction.
Yes: Since sunscreens are regulated by the FDA, any product with sunscreen is tested to provide the level of SPF listed on the packaging, so they will be effective when applied according to label's instructions. GH Beauty Lab experts recommend using at least broad spectrum SPF 30 for maximum efficacy. You also want to make sure that "you're applying enough of the product to get the SPF listed on the package, about one half teaspoon for the face, neck and ears for most people," Dr. Landriscina advises.
"More than anything, finding a sunscreen that you like (smell, feel, cosmetic elegance) is of utmost importance because you have to be consistent in using it," Dr. Landriscina says. Here are his general guidelines according to skin type and concern:
Danusia Wnek has been testing skincare products including moisturizing creams and sunscreens for over seven years at the Good Housekeeping Institute. She has experience in using specialized skin evaluation lab equipment to gauge changes in skin moisturization, firmness and facial features like wrinkles and texture before and after product use. She also regularly polls our consumer panel on their purchasing and product use habits as well as weighs in on the benefits of skincare ingredients like vitamin C, retinol and niacinamide.
April Franzino has over 15 years of experience researching, writing and editing skincare-related content, utilizing the expertise of the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists and top industry professionals such as dermatologists and aestheticians. She is an expert in all face and body skincare product categories, including moisturizers and sunscreens. April works closely with the GH Beauty Lab to coordinate skincare product testing and translate test results into best-in-class compelling, factually accurate science-backed content for Good Housekeeping.
Nicole Saporita is a former member of the Good Housekeeping editorial team that spent years working with the GH Beauty Lab to interpret and report on product testing.