Best Moisturizers with SPF
EWG's analyses show that many moisturizers don't give long-lasting, broad-spectrum protection. Choose from among EWG's top rated products to get the most from your moisturizer. And match the SPF strength with your expected UV exposure to avoid spreading unnecessarily large amounts of sunscreen chemicals on your skin.
see all moisturizers with SPF
Hundreds of all-day moisturizers advertise SPF protection, but 1 in 5 provides poor shielding from harmful UVA rays or breaks down in UV radiation. A new review by FDA scientists attributes an increasing incidence of malignant melanoma among people who work indoors to UVA rays shining through windows onto unprotected skin (Godar 2009).
EWG's highest rated moisturizers contain zinc oxide. This stable sunscreen gives broad spectrum protection and doesn't break down.
You may not think you need a sunscreen indoors, but windows let through about one-third of the sun's UVA-1 radiation, the more deeply penetrating UVA rays. This radiation is associated with skin aging and malignant skin cancer. Vitamin D stored in the skin can help kill or arrest the growth of cancer cells, but UVA radiation breaks this vitamin down while spurring faster spread of cancer cells (Godar 2009).
A recent European study confirms our findings: this research team also found that 1 in 5 moisturizers fails to provide strong UVA protection. And when they exposed 35 moisturizers to 2 hours of UV radiation, 77% of the products lost at least 10% of their SPF strength. These scientists admonish the cosmetics industry to improve UVA protection, and warn their readers that unstable, ineffective sunscreens in moisturizers are "inappropriate" (Sehedic 2009).
Moisturizer labels don't normally list warnings common on beach and pool sunscreens to reapply the product often. Most of us rub moisturizers on our skin just once in the morning and assume the UV protection will last.