Even Derms Say a Primer With SPF Is Useful—These 11 Get the Job Done
There has been a lot of debate recently about whether or not makeup products with SPF actually do anything. Most derms agree that you would have to be using an extremely generous amount of the product for it to actually provide any real sun protection, but that doesn't mean you should scrap the idea of buying makeup with SPF altogether. What these types of products can at least provide, is an extra layer of protection. Keep in mind that I'm not saying you should ditch your regular sunscreen and opt for solely a primer with SPF. But what you can do is wear your favorite sunscreen under a primer that also has SPF.
Brendan Camp, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, agrees. "Sunscreens should typically be applied before the makeup application so that they can protect the skin more effectively and won't alter the appearance of makeup that has just been applied," he says. "Primer products that include SPF protection can [help] accomplish two tasks in one step. When searching for a primer with SPF, look for one with a minimum of SPF of 30 and broad-spectrum protection." If you're considering snagging a primer with SPF, take a look at a few below beloved by celebrity makeup artists and a few of our own favorites.
1. Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer SPF 30
"One of my favorite UV primers is Laura Mercier's Pure Canvas Primer for its SPF 30 protection and weightless feel. People often forget to protect their skin under their makeup and shield against the sun's harmful rays. The better hydrated and protected your skin is, the better your makeup will lay!"—Judi Gabbay, Celebrity Makeup Artist
2. Charlotte Tilbury Invisible UV Flawless Primer SPF 50
"I love Charlotte Tilbury's Invisible UV Flawless primer as it bumps up the protection with SPF 50 and hydrates the skin instantly. It also shrinks pores, blurs fine lines, and has no white cast (a rarity with SPF!). A little goes a long way so don't be fooled by its smaller size. To apply, use with fingers after moisturizer and before foundation for all-day wear."—Gabbay
3. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen is a fan favorite because it's totally invisible, weightless, fragrance-free, and acts as a makeup-gripping base with SPF 40.
4. Paula's Choice Smoothing Primer Serum SPF 30
Paula's Choice offers a great option for those with dry or mature skin types since it also targets fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture. Additionally, it has SPF 30 and antioxidants to shield against environment damage.
5. NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35
Revive dull, dry skin with this gem from Nars. It's oil-free, contains encapsulated SPF 35, and is formulated with a radiance boosting complex to instantly warm the complexion and promote better circulation.
6. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 30
This 3-in-one formula is one of the best primers with SPF because it helps improve the look of fine lines, pores, and uneven texture. Mushroom peptides in the formula help keep skin firm, while sunflower and cucumber extract enhance your skin's natural moisture levels.
7. Bobbi Brown Primer + Sun Protection SPF 50
Bobbi Brown's lightweight and fast-absorbing primer has SPF 50 and adds deep hydration to the skin with sodium hyaluronate, which has the ability to penetrate deeper into the pores than regular hyaluronic acid.
8. ColorScience Calming Primer SPF 20
I love ColorScience's Sunforgettable SPF ($42), and it's great to know the brand offers a primer with sun-protecting elements. Although the sun protection comes in a bit low at SPF 20, it's still a great primer to layer over one of ColorScience's other SPFs because it's rich in antioxidants and neutralizes redness.
9. Dermalogica Age Smart SkinPerfect Primer SPF 30
Containing pearl powder and natural minerals to enhance your skin's luminosity, this primer also nourishes the skin with peptides, antioxidants, and SPF 30.
10. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Mattifying Face Primer SPF 20
This drugstore option is great for oilier skin types because it mattifies for up to 16 hours, controls shine, and helps skin appear more even.
11. Thrive Causemetics
SPF 37 in this formula helps shield against the sun while it also acts as a makeup-gripping primer and ultra-hydrating gel. It creates a velvet, matte-like finish and is also water-resistant.