A few months ago, I started moonlighting as a beauty writer. In my 10-year journalism career, I've written about health, interior design, pregnancy and parenting, technology, food… a wide variety of topics, but never beauty, aside from an article or two. So when the opportunity arose to write some beauty stories for Who What Wear, in addition to my normal 9-to-5 as managing editor of THE/THIRTY, I thought why not? I love learning new things, and beauty is a fun subject to cover!
I want to assure you that even though I'm a bit of a novice in the beauty-insider world, I actually did know some things about makeup and skincare before this, so I'm not completely inept. As I write more in-depth stories, I've really enjoyed investigating the heck out of everything (see: sunscreen, cellulite, and exfoliating). And while I don't have my Ph.D. in beauty just yet, there is one skincare "mistake" that makes me cringe: not wearing sunscreen every day.
I always knew sunscreen was so important, but when I did a deeper dive into it and found out just how damaging the UV rays can be—how it could not only increase your risk of getting skin cancer but also cause premature aging and other skin issues—I made it a priority to put on sunscreen every day. I understand it can be an easily forgotten step. I know I've had a lot of "oops" moments. And especially since a lot of us are staying at home, it's even easier to forget! It's still crucial to wear it every day, even when you're inside, because those UV rays can come in through the windows.
But there is one sunscreen trick that is so simple and pretty much right in front of us: Getting a moisturizer with built-in SPF! The two-in-one product takes away an extra step in your morning skincare routine. Board-certified dermatologist Elyse Love, MD, who practices at GlamDerm in New York City, says that the sunscreen should be broad-spectrum and a minimum SPF 30, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. "SPF-containing products should be applied before makeup to the face and neck," she adds.
And while you're at it choosing a daily moisturizer with SPF, you can also make sure it has some anti-aging ingredients to ensure your skin is extra protected. "The two most important anti-aging ingredients are retinol and SPF," Love says. "These ingredients are typically not included in the same products because retinol is a nighttime product. Other supportive anti-aging ingredients included in a morning moisturizer include antioxidants, growth factors, and peptides."
Another shopping tip: Be aware of your skin type. Love suggests those prone to acne should limit options to oil-free moisturizers. And for those with mature skin, she says, since the product can be a splurge item, "I recommend medical-grade products because these products have scientific research backing their formulations."
Need some recommendations? Take a look at some of our editors' and Love's picks below:
Another pick from Love, this sunscreen works well on sensitive skin. It's formulated with vitamin E and DNA repairsomes to nourish your face. It's recommended to reapply every two hours during sun exposure.
Shiseido's daytime cream is formulated with ingredients—like benibana flower and olive root, tea, and angelica root extracts—to visibly lift, firm, and brighten skin. It's recommended to use morning and night for best results.
With broad-spectrum protection, Neutrogena's sunscreen protects up to six layers deep into the skin, which is perfect since a lot of the signs of aging comes from UV damage. It's lightweight, non-greasy, and oil-free.