7 Best Moisturizers with SPF, According to Beauty Experts

Make your morning routine work double-time for your skin.

By now you should know just how important it is to protect your skin from the sun — no matter the weather. Our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts recommend wearing sunscreen every single day (yes, even when it’s cloudy out). That’s because the best defense against aging and sun damage is a solid, broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

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. We have the solution: everyday moisturizer with SPF baked right in. Formulated with sun protection, these lotions offer the best of both worlds: hydration and protection. Plus, if you’re already in the habit of applying a daily moisturizer, you won’t notice a change in your routine — but you will notice a change in your skin’s health.

How to Choose the Best Moisturizer With SPF

Before you get to shopping, let’s answer some of your top questions on how to find the right SPF moisturizer for your skin:

Will a moisturizer with SPF give me the same hydrating benefits as a one without SPF?
Not quite. “Our evaluations found that day creams with SPF typically provided lower moisturization than night creams,” explains GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek. These daytime formulas are likely omitting some moisturizing ingredients to make space for SPF. Skin feeling extra dry? Use a night cream or an overnight mask — these offered the biggest boost of hydration in Lab tests!

Can I use sunscreen instead of my moisturizer?
In the summer, yes. “Facial sunscreen has emollients and other oils that can be effective to deliver moisturization and hydration,” explains Steven Q. Wang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “However, in the winter, I recommend using both sunscreen and a facial moisturizer, especially if you have very dry skin.” Or you can try one of our Beauty Lab’s two-in-one picks below.

In that case, what goes on first: sunscreen or moisturizer ?
Here’s a cardinal rule of applying skin care: always put your thinnest products on first, and layer on the rest in order of thickness for optimal absorption. If you opt for a two-step sunscreen-and-moisturizer combo instead of a moisturizer made with SPF, apply your normal moisturizer first, then layer sunscreen (with an SPF of 30 or higher) over it.

Will SPF or sunscreen dry out my skin?
Maybe. “Some sunscreens may also contain alcohol which tends to dry out skin,” explains Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Curology. “Look for formulas without alcohol to avoid dryness or irritation.” Check out the ingredients label for culprits: drying ethanol can sometime be written as “SD alcohol” (specially denatured alcohol) or “alcohol denat.” But here’s a loophole: if you see cetyl, stearyl or cetearyl alcohol, don’t panic. These are actually fatty alcohols that can act like emollients, softening the skin.

What’s the best drugstore moisturizer with SPF?
Our GH pros’ Top Lab Pick is L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30 (target.com, $9.99). It earned the top spot in our anti-aging day cream test, delivering visible improvements in skin’s appearance alongside preventative sun protection in just four weeks.

An important note on safety: The FDA is currently proposing big changes to sunscreen regulations, and only physical sunscreens with the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are recognized as generally safe right now. “Until they reach a more robust conclusion in late 2019, we’re including a range of formulas (both mineral and chemical) that we’ve found to be effective against sunburn during our testing,” explains Birnur Aral, Director of GH’s Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Lab. “These picks also earned positive feedback with our consumer testers,” so you’ll love applying them every morning.

If we’ve convinced you to swap your old moisturizer, check out some winning products from our Beauty Lab, GH Seal stars and top dermatologist picks:


Top Lab Pick

L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30



$9.99 (44% off)

The winner of the Beauty Lab’s anti-aging day cream test, this L’Oréal moisturizer with SPF 30 delivers the most bang for your buck. It proved super-effective at evening skin tone, reducing visible 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,” said a tester.


Best Value

Neutrogena Oil-Free Daily Facial Moisturizer With Broad Spectrum SPF 35



$8.69 (23% off)

A winner in our 2018 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, and proven to feel light, and won’t irritate skin. Consumers found the formula lightweight and non-greasy on skin, and it’s hypoallergenic. Plus, it’s backed by the GH Seal!


Best for Dry Skin

Mary Kay TimeWise Age Minimize 3D Day Cream SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen



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. We also love that it comes in two versions — this one for normal to dry skin and another for combination to oily skin.


Best for Oily Skin

RoC Multi-Correxion 5-in-1 Daily Moisturizer



RoC’s lightweight day cream with SPF 30 is the personal favorite of GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek. While it didn’t have the best hydrating power in our tests, she explains that makes it “perfect for anyone with oily skin who isn’t looking for heavy moisturizer.” The gentle, non-greasy formula was also a heavy hitter for smoothing fine lines and skin texture.


Top Dermatologist Pick

CeraVe AM Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30



Recommended by Dr. Lortscher, this CeraVe lotion is “a great budget-friendly option.” Not only is it packed with SPF, it’s also formulated with skin-perfecting ingredients like niacinamide and super-hydrating hyaluronic acid to keep even sensitive skin moisturized all day.


Best Multitasker

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer SPF 30



This GH Seal star 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. 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.


Best for Brightening

Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Brightening & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer SPF 15



Packed with powerhouse skin brightener vitamin C, this featherweight Garnier lotion lights up dull skin. Testing showed that it helped stimulate cell turnover, making skin brighter, and 91% of users’ complexions looked healthier after eight weeks. Not to mention, it’s a GH Seal Star!



8 Best Face Masks for Dry Skin, According to Beauty Experts

You’re going to want to plan a self-care Sunday (or any day) ASAP.

The elements can wreak havoc on your complexion. Until spring, cold winter air and dry heat indoors can leave skin parched, but in the summer, hot sun and wind off the water can result in irritated dry skin, too. A soothing face mask can work wonders on thirsty skin — and it’s a great excuse for taking some time for self care to chill and reset.

Traditional cream-based, rinse-off masks are great, but there are new kinds of masks on the market that are ideal for hydrating skin. Here’s the lowdown:

Overnight masks: As the name suggests, overnight masks are applied before bed. Instead of rinsing them off, you sleep in them and wake up with dewy, hydrated skin. Most formulations are thinner, lighter, and easily absorbed, so you don’t have to worry about them transferring to your pillowcases in the middle of the night. As far as moisturization, it’s serious: Our Beauty Lab tests found some overnight masks were even more hydrating than past night cream winners.

Sheet masks: Sheet masks might look silly, but they’re highly effective. They’re made of pieces of paper, cloth, or gel-like substrates that are saturated in single-use packets with serum-like active ingredients. Fit them over your face and just chill for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. For extra soothing power, pop one in the fridge for a few minutes before you use it.

We tested face masks in Good Housekeeping Beauty Lab for moisturization ability, and consulted experts and beauty editors for the best masks on the market. Below are our top-tested picks, as well as expert and editors picks for the best face masks for dry skin.



Top Lab Performer

Amorepacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Masque



Amorepacific’s overnight mask won the Beauty Lab’s test, upping skin moisture level by a whopping 49%. The no-rinse mask is like a super-strength night cream. Swap it for your go-to product before bed whenever you need an extra hydration boost.


Top Sheet Mask

Skin Laundry Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask

skin laundry


A great fast-fix for moisturizing and plumping skin in minutes, Skin Laundry’s mask boosted hydration 25% — the best in our Lab’s sheet mask tests! We also like that it has just the right amount of serum in the package so it’s not too messy.


Best Value

Bliss In The Honey Mega Moisturizing Lavender Honey Mask



GH beauty director, April Franzino, recommends this bargain pick if you’re looking for a mask with moisturizing honey. Also formulated with soothing lavender oil, this is a great before-bed mask. Use it up to three times a week!


Best Splurge

Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask



Yes, it’s pricey, but this Fresh pick is one of the best face masks GH beauty director, April Franzino has ever tried. It’s super-rich and indulgent, made of real honey and shea butter, and full of botanical oils (meadowfoam, jojoba, sunflower seed). “I have super dry, flaky skin all year long, and always apply a face mask in the shower for extra nourishment,” she says. “This feels soothing and pampering, like a mini spa treatment, and never irritates my skin.”


Daytime Formula

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

summer fridays


This is associate beauty editor, Pia Velasco’s go-to mask. No need to rinse it off: “It doubles as a primer in case your skin is really dry, so whenever I feel like I need an extra hydration boost I just apply a thin layer before putting on my makeup,” she says.

6 Julep Night Shift Sleeping Mask



A richer version of night cream, this no-rinse night mask (formulated with a mix of shea butter and natural oils) raised skin’s hydration levels by a near-record 43% in Lab tests. Our experts liked it so much they gave it a 2018 GH Beauty Award!

7 Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask

clark’s botanicals


$36.00 (50% off)

Another GH beauty editor favorite is this one from Clark’s Botanicals. “On days when my skin feels extra dry, I leave it on overnight, and my skin is super-soft by morning,” says assistant beauty editor, Paige Stables.

8 Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Night Mask

paula’s choice


This overnight mask from Paula’s Choice is a light, gel formula. It goes on silky smooth and leaves skin super-soft when you wake up. Great for all skin types, use it once a week or swap it for your night cream every day.




If Your Office Has Dry Air, This Face Mist Will Save Your Skin

I have a bottle of probiotic supplements in my kitchen cabinet, and whenever I feel like my stomach is a little out of whack, I pick up a bottle of kefir. And in addition to adding good bacteria and microorganisms back into my body, I’m also pretty obsessed with how the concept plays into giving me better-behaving and healthier skin, too. That’s why I initially became so interested in Elemis’ latest launch, the Superfood Kefir Tea Mist, a face mist that utilizes prebiotic technology.

“Prebiotics” is one of the buzziest words in skincare right now. The idea is that prebiotics help feed probiotics, which are the good bacteria that live on your skin. As Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, explained to me previously, healthy skin function (clearer, less-irritated, well-hydrated skin) is associated with a diverse number of organisms on the skin — AKA, a solid balance of good bacteria.

The Elemis Superfood Kefir-Tea Mist feeds the microorganisms you want sticking around with a kefir ferment that utilizes a prebiotic technology, while also hydrating with coconut water, soothing with aloe vera, and protecting with antioxidants from rooibos tea extract. It also can be used as a setting spray or a priming spray, or just simply as a face mist when your skin is feeling a little parched.

In short, it’s a face mist that actually does something for your skin, which makes me feel better about its $33 price tag.

I mostly use it as a quick moisture boost when my office’s dry air has sucked the life from my face, and it instantly relieves any tension or tightness I’m experiencing. Also, I don’t feel like I have to spritz it 45 times a day for it to actually work — all it takes is three quick sprays over my face at lunch, and I’m good. It’s not what some might call a skincare necessity, but it’s a little indulgence that amps up my routine in the winter.


While much more research is needed to determine just how beneficial probiotic and prebiotic skincare can be, it’s a concept that I’ve become particularly invested in after a horrendous face mask disaster basically destroyed my skin barrier (what keeps irritants out and moisture in). When your skin barrier is compromised, that healthy level of beneficial bacteria can also be affected.

I’ll have to wait a bit for those studies to surface, so in the meantime, I’m going to keep on spritzing this mist.