Skin ages because collagen and elastin fibers break down. It dries out and wrinkles form. Exposure to UV rays speeds up this process. If you want to keep your skin looking and feeling as young as possible, you need an anti-aging moisturizer with sunscreen.
Moisturizers hydrate skin, and that alone helps reverse the effects of aging. Many moisturizers that erase wrinkles and age spots have a variety of ingredients that help skin retain moisture and grow new collagen. More collagen and elastin means a firm, toned appearance. Combine this with protection from UV rays and you have the ideal daytime moisturizer.
Formula secrets of anti-aging moisturizers
While a thick oily cream may sound like a satisfying way to heal dry skin, many anti-aging moisturizers are water-based, and that’s a good thing. The components utilize the water to hydrate your skin, plus this type of formula is usually non-comedogenic and safe for all skin types.
Here are some other ingredients that help turn back time:
- Hyaluronic acid: Your body makes this ingredient but the quantity diminishes as a person ages. Hyaluronic acid brings water deep into the skin to plump it up and make it soft and smooth.
- Antioxidants: Vitamin C, green tea, and caffeine are antioxidants that protect cells from environmental damage. Harmful molecules called free radicals start forming in your body when you’re exposed to UV rays and certain pollutants. The antioxidants stop the free radicals from destroying your elastin, your collagen, and even your DNA. Some antioxidants also fade age spots and brighten skin tone while they repair cells.
- Vitamin E, often listed as tocopheryl acetate, heals skin
- Vitamin B3, listed as niacinamide, strengthens skin’s defenses
- Glycerin is a humectant that draws moisture into skin and is often a major ingredient in facial moisturizers
- Emollients like Shea butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), Argan oil, cocoa butter, Jojoba oil, and beeswax seal in moisture
Those are some of the most common names on the labels you’ll see. You may also run across resveratrol, grape seed oil, panthenol or Vitamin B5, coconut oil, raw honey, and CoenzymeQ10.
Vitamin A, or retinol (or one of its variants like retinyl palmitate) is an excellent ingredient for anti-aging creams and lotions, but it’s not something you want to wear outside in the sunshine. UV rays interact with Vitamin A and it can end up causing more damage than it cures. Although there are a few skin care products that include both Vitamin A and a sunscreen, many beauty experts recommend avoiding them if you spend time in the sun.
Formula secrets of sunscreens
There are two main kinds of sunscreens: mineral or chemical filters. Most sunscreens utilize chemical filters like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Mineral-based sunscreens depend on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Persons with sensitive skin may not be able to wear a chemical sunscreen at all. Oxybenzone is one of the most common ingredients, but it’s also one that can cause allergic skin reactions in some people. Chemical sunscreens also need to be reapplied during the day for best results.
Mineral sunscreens don’t usually cause reactions on sensitive skin. They may whiten your skin color temporarily, but many of them last all day as long as you’re not in the water. They also don’t clog pores.
What is SPF?
SPF - "Sun Protection Factor" rates how well a sunscreen blocks harmful UVB rays. UVB (ultraviolet B) is what makes your skin burn and tan, and it causes some kinds of skin cancer. Surprisingly, sunscreen SPF against UVA isn’t rated.
SPF 15 means instead of getting sunburned in half an hour, you could be out in the sun for 7-1/2 hours. To calculate if the SPF rating is high enough to protect you adequately, estimate how long it would take you to burn. (In case you’re not sure, half an hour is the average for most light-skinned people.) Multiply that time in minutes by the SPF number. For example, 30 times 15 equals 450 minutes, or 7-1/2 hours.
Dermatologists recommend a minimum of SPF 15, but you can buy up to SPF 100. SPF 50 is the highest most people will ever need, and it blocks 98 percent of UVB rays.
What damage do UVA rays cause?
Damage from UVA light isn’t visible like the sunburn that results from too much UVB, but it may be more serious. Ultraviolet-A penetrates deeper into the skin. Its strength doesn’t vary with the time of day or season of the year like UVB does. UVA causes wrinkling, but it also damages the bottom layer of the skin where skin cancer forms.
Avobenzone is one of the handful of UVA-blocking chemicals that the FDA has approved for use in the USA. You may see it or a related chemical, oxybenzone, in the list of ingredients on a label. Zinc oxide also does a good job of blocking UVA.
Now let’s get into the reviews of the best moisturizers that renew aging skin and protect it from UV damage.
The top anti-aging moisturizers with sunscreen
Our first pick is one of the best of the best. It’s well-regarded on EWG and loved by customers.
MDSolarSciences Daily Anti-Aging Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Moisturizer
MDSolarSciences avoids the problems found in many moisturizers and sunscreens. There are no parabens, no methylisothiazolinone (a harmful preservative), no drying alcohols, no PABA, and no oxybenzone. All those ingredients can cause irritation of sensitive skin.
Instead, this water-based moisturizer is packed to the brim with natural ingredients to repair skin and protect it. It has Vitamin C and extracts of grape, rosemary, and green tea, plus hyaluronic acid, chamomile, aloe, olive oil, ceramides, and even caffeine.
The SPF protection is based on avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene, powerful chemicals that block UVA and UVA rays but aren’t as harsh on skin as other sunscreens.
Olay Total Effects 7 in One, Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF 30
Olay’s Total Effects is a popular product that is effective and inexpensive. It’s designed to tone and smooth out skin, shrink pores, and even out skin pigmentation. There’s just one downside that some users may not appreciate: the formula contains parabens, preservatives that may disrupt hormones.
Mineral Fusion Facial Moisturizer, SPF 15 Brightening
The Mineral Fusion Facial Moisturizer utilizes zinc oxide as an effective sunscreen against UVA and UVB rays. It has a mineral water base to hydrate skin and organic coconut oil to lock in that hydration. It also contains Vitamin C from orange oil to even out skin tone and a hint of mica to give skin a soft radiance. You can wear it under makeup with no problem at all.
This moisturizer is good for all skin types, for men or women, and it’s vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. It does not contain parabens, phthalates, or artificial colors.
Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Spf30
Murad is a well-known brand that is recommended by many dermatologists. This anti-aging oil-control moisturizer contains their Kombucha Collagen Defense formula to erase wrinkles plus anti-acne ingredient willow bark extract.
Neutrogena Triple Age Repair Moisturizer SPF 25
Neutrogena’s Triple Age Repair promises results in 4 weeks or less. Their Hexinol technology plus Vitamin C rejuvenates your face by stimulating collagen production which firms and plumps up skin.
The SPF 25 protection comes from avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene. Unfortunately, their formula also contains parabens.
Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Lotion SPF 15
Eucerin is known for their fragrance-free hypoallergenic body creams and lotions, so it’s no surprise that their Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Lotion is designed for sensitive skin. It works for men and women and can be worn under makeup. You can see fewer lines and wrinkles in five weeks or less if you use it every day.
The light sunscreen protection is based on octinoxate, octisalate, and oxybenzone. The moisturizing formula contains Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, and Beta-carotene to nourish skin. But it also contains parabens.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 15
La Roche-Posay Anthelios provides protection and hydration to sensitive skin. It doesn’t contain PABA or other ingredients that clog pores or cause breakouts. Its sunscreen is based on avobenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene. Unfortunately, this is another formula with parabens.
L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal SPF 30 Moisturizer
L’Oreal Paris’ Revitalift Bright Reveal is one of the moisturizers we mentioned that contain both sunscreen and Vitamin A. The Vitamin A is in the milder form of retinyl palmitate and it’s one of the last ingredients on the label. In this case it’s probably not a problem at all.
The moisturizer’s name, Bright Reveal, comes from its use of Vitamin C and glycolic acid to get rid of dull, dry skin and uneven skin tone to produce radiant, firm skin that looks and feels years younger. For maximum results, they recommend using their whole Bright Reveal lineup of face cleanser, peel pads, and overnight moisturizer.
We hope you found the perfect anti-aging moisturizer with sunscreen today. While you can apply two separate lotions to cover both needs, it’s very convenient to have both features in one moisturizer. Come back soon see new reviews of the hottest and best products in beauty and skin care.